Plans to build a bike park on land at Entry Hill have been criticised by councillors, who insist the site should remain a public green space.
In February last year, Bristol-based cycling company Pedal Progression were appointed by Bath and North East Somerset Council to take over the running of the former golf course, and to turn it into a family cycling centre and mountain bike park.
But Pedal Progression’s designs for the site have been widely criticised by local residents, who fear the facility will have a detrimental effect on the surrounding area.
The Conservative Group on B&NES Council has today declared its support for the residents and called for the site to stay as it is – a popular public green space.
The proposed cycling facility needs to attract between 500 and 700 paying visitors every week to be financially viable. This will mean that around 200 people could visit the site every day over the summer and at weekends. Yet the proposed car park capacity on site is a mere 54 spaces.
Concerns have also been raised about noise levels when special events are held at the facility, the lack of free-to-use space available for walkers and the fact that the designs don’t appear to be family-friendly.
Instead of a bike park that will only cater people with a keen interest in cycling, local Conservatives say the site should be a public open space for people to walk their dogs and get close to nature.
Rather than creating an attraction that people would have to drive to get to, this option would also be better for the environment and would better address the climate emergency.
Cllr Vic Pritchard, Leader of the Conservative Group on Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “The proposal for Entry Hill is a nice idea in the wrong location. Quite simply, the site should remain as it is – a lovely green space where you can let children and dogs roam free while feeling confident they will not go too far.
“Spaces such as this are so important for peoples’ quality of life, and they should be protected. The designs we have before us could create enormous traffic problems in and around Entry Hill, which will make life extremely difficult for people who live nearby.
“The current proposals fly in the face of the climate emergency and do not reflect the council’s initial aspirations for a family-orientated facility.”
A formal planning application is yet to be submitted.