Post-2012 plans for London’s Olympic Velopark took a step forward today with agreement on a new alternative scheme to create a universally accepted road racing circuit.
Original plans for the venue, which included a one-mile road circuit, 6km of mountain bike trails and a BMX track, were agreed in 2010. But in March this year the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) sought to change the boundaries and layout of the site, saying this would free up green space for local residents and improve the track by keeping it in a more contained area.
British Cycling and Sport England launched a joint objection in April, arguing that the proposals compromised previously agreed plans and would be detrimental to the Olympic legacy. Today saw an agreement reached between all parties, with the OPLC agreeing to withdraw its two planning applications. We contacted them for images of the revised plan but were told that work is ongoing on the finer details of the circuit.
A joint statement from British Cycling, Sport England, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (who’ll own and operate the Velopark following the Games) and the OPLC suggested the new plan was closer to the one originally agreed, in that the circuit would be part of the wider Lee Valley Velopark. However, it does appear that the new plan has been amended from the one first agreed and is a compromise between the OPLC and its opponents.
“The plan proposes that the consented one-mile cycle circuit route is amended to create a new area of open space and accessible riverside, along with a large park for families and local residents to enjoy,” the statement said. “The new plan will also ensure that cyclists are able to enjoy a mile-long circuit that crosses the river into the parklands. The circuit will be part of the wider Lee Valley Velopark, with a new, enhanced area for mountain bike trails directly adjacent to the BMX track, on land to the east of the Velodrome.
“The agreement on the new plan is a significant milestone in the development of the Park and reflects the long-term commitment of all parties to work together to achieve an exemplary park with sport and neighbourhoods at its heart. All partners will be working together, and with local cycling groups, on the technical aspects of the scheme to finalise the design and enable the Olympic Park Legacy Company to prepare a new planning application.”