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Belton BMX track meets opposition

PUBLISHED: 19:53 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:27 30 June 2010

A proposed BMX track at Belton has met opposition from neighbours and officials concerned about disturbance.

Applicant Tom Knight, who was born in the village, is keen to persuade planners of the merits of his scheme at Stepshort which he hopes could host national competitions in the future and provide a new sports' facility for local youngsters.

A proposed BMX track at Belton has met opposition from neighbours and officials concerned about disturbance.

Applicant Tom Knight, who was born in the village, is keen to persuade planners of the merits of his scheme at Stepshort which he hopes could host national competitions in the future and provide a new sports' facility for local youngsters.

But in a report to Tuesday's development control committee meeting officials say there is a wish for new leisure opportunities but not on that site, where access via an unmade road off Stepshort is problematic.

The field is used for growing crops and is said to contribute to the tranquil, rural nature of the area and is close to a popular campsite, known for its peaceful setting.

Objectors Bernard and Chris Williamson of Stepshort outline their concerns in a letter ranging from increased traffic to effect on the landscape and Belton Fen, and possible misuse of the tracks.

Mr Knight, however, of Scratby-based Knight Leisure Buildings, said in a letter: “My plans for the site are to start with very basic set of jump tracks that will be aimed very much at locals. The numbers will be quite small and if it grows to be able to accommodate competitions it will not be able to happen for a number of years and only if the park is successful. The whole project is designed to offer a facility to locals because we have nothing in this area at all.

“I realise this may be classed as an environmentally sensitive area but we must remember that we are talking about people on push bikes not motorbikes or anything that can be damaging or noisy”

He points out that his brother still lives in the village with his family and that his father along with a few others, founded Belton Cricket Club in 1968, which he has captained for the last two years.

Some buildings for toilets and storage will be required as part of the enterprise. The officer's report concludes: “Although the initial phase may not cause too much harm to the landscape the long term aim of the additional tracks and increased users would be harmful to the area and would inevitably generate traffic on the access road.

“Whilst the council would like to support the BMX and mountain bike track it is felt, on balance, that this is not an appropriate site and that the possible benefits are outweighed in this instance.”

Members will also be asked to decide on a retrospective application from Swift Taxis to park ten coaches at Fairview Farm, Stepshort, using the same unmade access as HGVs, homes and a fishery. There is already permission for six lorrys to use the site. Officials say the unmade road is not suitable and are advising members to refuse.

The meeting is on Tuesday in the council chamber, Great Yarmouth Town Hall, at 6pm.


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