What Will Become of the Hadleigh Olympic Biking Track?

Stephen Castle at Hadleigh Castle

Now that the London 2012 Olympic Games have come to a close, many Hadleigh locals are asking, what will now become of the Olympic Biking Track? Located on the Salvation Army land, the cycle track is just one of the many attractions of the 550-acre site. In March 2011, the 5km construction was complete, consisting of 500 tonnes of rock and 3,500 tonnes of crushed stone.

Since Castle Point councillors gave their approval, further plans for the mountain bike track have been released. The Hadleigh Farm and Country Park Olympic Project will preserve and modify the course for use by the general public whilst also enhancing the area to encourage more visitors.

A Visiting Centre, café, bike hire store and a network of cycling and walking tracks are to be installed. In addition, a larger pay & display car park will also be appointed for easier access. It is hoped that the investment will not only attract more visitors but also create opportunities for new jobs.

There has been mixed feeling amongst local residents – many welcome the opportunities whilst others fear the natural beauty of Hadleigh Farm will be destroyed – yet the vote resulted in eight to three.

Stephen Castle, of the Essex County Council, said “Essex residents can be proud not just of hosting the exciting and challenging London 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike events but proud of the promise of a legacy”. He followed on by saying “The project will also benefit the environment, by enabling historic and natural environment improvement projects.”

Whilst Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said “the plans would ruin the park’s natural beauty.”

What are your views? Are you happy with the opportunity for more jobs and attractions at Hadleigh Farm or do you feel the park should be left to nature?

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Published: August 19th, 2012

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