Proposed Northampton mountain bike park on disused golf course set to go step closer

Council asked to approve bigger budget for free-for-all project with slopes for all abilities

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 8:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 9:23 am

A new 'specialist' mountain bike park on a disused golf course in Northampton looks set to go a step closer with councillors due to approve extra funding.

West Northamptonshire Council's cabinet has been asked to rubber-stamp the revised budget and grant a 25-year lease for the Hardingstone Bike Park at its meeting next week.

Additional planning application work such as surveys and expected material cost increases has meant more money is needed from the local authority to turn part of Delapre Golf Course into a bike park.

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The proposed site for the Hardingstone Bike Park on a disused part of Delapre Golf Course. Photo: Tony Skirrow

A council officer's report ahead of the meeting on Tuesday (October 12) reads: "The bike park would be developed on a disused section of the Delapre Golf Course and consists of several different bike trails that would require varying degrees of skill and ability to ride.

"Some would favour mountain bikes whilst others could be ridden by almost all cyclists. The bike park will respect and enhance the natural landscape setting of the former golf course."

The Hardingstone Bike Park has been in the works for a while with the old Northampton Borough Council holding a public consultation on the scheme towards the end of last year.

Free-to-use downhill trails suitable for all abilities, plus pump tracks and slaloms, are some of the suggested features of the park, which will also host events and coaching.

The council, Northamptonshire Sport, volunteer and off-road bike enthusiast, Tony Skirrow, and Sport England have teamed up to deliver the project, with plans revealed in September after successful external funding bids.

Approval is needed by the council's cabinet for the amended budget as well as to delegate authority to a senior officer to enter the grant agreement and lease, subject to being satisfied with financial and legal due diligence.

"The project will see the conversion of a disused section of the Delapre Golf Course into a bike park," the report reads.

"The park will consist of several different bike trails that would require varying degrees of skill and ability to ride.

"Some trails are designed to be ridden by mountain bikes whilst others could be ridden by almost all cyclists.

"The park will respect the existing pedestrian public rights of way footpaths and ensure interfaces with the bike trails are clearly identified for safety notices are to be installed.

"The trails are positioned in such a way as to minimise the impact on the landscape, trees and vegetation.

"Enhancement of the habitat and landscape will also be a requirement of the planning application (by way of a biodiversity/ecology enhancement plan)."