Plans finally submitted to build 'specialist' mountain bike park on former golf course in Northampton

The submission comes after years of consultations and applications for vital funding

By Logan MacLeod
Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:08 pm

Plans have been unveiled to build a 'specialist' mountain bike park on a former golf course in Northampton.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has submitted proposals to build the five-track mountain bike park on the former Hardingstone nine-hole golf course on land south of Delapre Golf Club.

The proposals' submission comes after years of consultations and applications for vital funding.According to the plans, the park would be free of charge and 'inclusive for all'.

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The proposed site for the bike park. Photo: Tony Skirrow

The bike park would comprise of a 'duel track' which would allow for head to head racing, a 'skills area' for bikers to improve technique and tricks, and a red trail for advanced riders, blue for intermediate, and green for beginners, according to the plans.

The 16 hectare site has been out of use for six years and is currently overgrowing with wildlife.

WNC said in planning papers: "The layout of the bike trails have been designed in conjunction with a specialist bike park designer.

"The proposed bike trails have been designed to aid progression of all age users and abilities on the single site from balance bikes and four-wheel riders to intermediate and advanced riders."

The bike park has been proposed for an area of land in Hardingstone

Leader of the council, Jonathan Nunn said previously the site would 'provide a much-needed facility for bikers of all ages and abilities to showcase and develop their talents'.

Councillor Nunn said back in November: "We believe the park will be of great benefit to the local community as it adds to Northampton’s recreational offering and provides another outlet for the town’s cyclists.

“Who knows, it could also produce our very own elite cycling star in the future.”

The council said other benefits of the park would include the creation of jobs through construction work, and also the chance to build a 'strong, vibrant, and healthy community by providing a recreational facility that is inclusive for all'.

There will be five specialist bike trails at the park

Users would either access the site via the current cycle networks in the area or by car and book a space in the golf club car park.

Multiple public consultations have been held about the site, with the council receiving 2,322 responses in total, according to planning papers.

According to councillor Julie Davenport of the Delapre ward, one issue some residents have made is whether the taxpayer's money could be better spent elsewhere.

Half of the funding will come from the British Cycling organistion through its Places to Ride scheme, while the other half will need to come from the council.

The council has been asked how much the site will cost. WNC responded saying all of the information should be available after the next cabinet meeting.