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SEEKING APPROVAL: BMX pump track planned for east Leeds park

SEEKING APPROVAL: BMX pump track planned for east Leeds park

Plans to create a BMX biking track in east Leeds are set to go before council planning chiefs for final approval next week.

Leeds City Council will seek approval from its own planning committee to build a hard-surfaced pump track on land at Rein Park and Kentmere Approach, Seacroft.

According to a report from council officers, a 0.46 hectare site to the north of Rein Park would be used for the track, which could be made of “compacted crushed limestone” with a number of slopes, loops and drops.

The plans have been met with a mixture of objection and support from locals, with some fearing the site could be misused by motorbikes, and other problems with antisocial behaviour.

“Unfortunately I do not agree with this planning application,” one objection read. “It is a shame as It will simply be a magnet for anti social behaviour. It will attract crowds leading to arguments, fights and gangs converging.

“There is a BMX track at Fearnville, surely that can have bits added to it or be extended.  Rein Park is a small local park, the BMX track would take over. In turn it will discourage others from using the park with younger children and older people will be afraid to visit.

“It is not at all inclusive, it will be male and teenage dominated. BMX is too niche, of the people I see on bikes I have not seen a single BMX.”

However, those in support of the scheme claimed the plans would in fact reduce antisocial behaviour by increasing the use of the park.

One stated: “What more could kids want and need on the door step! Brilliant idea, such a big open space, this will be ideal for the local generation growing up.”

A pump track is formed of slopes, drops and turns designed to be ridden by cyclists by “pumping” – or using up and down body movements, rather than pedalling, to propel themselves.

Recommending the plans for approval, council planning officers stated: “The use of this area of greenspace is compatible and accords with adopted and saved policies.

“The development is also considered to be in keeping with the character and appearance of the wider park and would provide additional uses and facilities to the wider community and an overall health and social benefit. The use of the pump track is not considered to significantly impact upon neighbouring residents or pedestrian/highway safety.

“The application is recommended for approval subject to the conditions as
outlined at the head of this report.”

The conditions included the standard time limit for development, as well as a management plan for the site and the replanting of any trees that die within the first five years.

Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel will meet on Thursday, April 15 to discuss the plans.

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