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Paignton velodrome to go ahead, Torbay Council Tax to be frozen

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: March 04, 2013

  • Picture by Alison Hernandez

  • Herne Hill

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TORBAY Council has given the go-ahead to a plan for a £1.6million velodrome and other cycling facilities at Paignton's Clennon Valley.

The decision was taken during a full council meeting at which members also decided to freeze Council Tax for the coming year.

It was the first full council meeting to be held at Torquay's Riviera Centre after the closure of Oldway Mansion for redevelopment.

Councillors have agreed to support the cycling centre plan in principle. Now the project will have to seek funding, with British Cycling matching the money put in by developers.

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The facilities will include a 400-metre open air banked track and a 1.5-kilometre training, racing and leisure track winding around the outside of the velodrome.

The country's best-known outdoor velodrome is at Herne Hill in South London, where the track measures 460 metres around. The nearest indoor boarded velodrome to South Devon is at Newport in South Wales, and it is hoped that the Clennon Valley development would bring in riders from all over the West Country.

Members of local cycling clubs and groups were in the chamber to hear the decision being made.

Among the other decisions to be made was to freeze Council Tax payments for the coming year.

You can follow the debate as it happened in the panel below.

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6 comments

  • DaveNoakes  |  March 06 2013, 10:13AM

    I think that it great that this finally got the go ahead. Though have to agree that the weather could be a problem, as for the 'getting wet is part of cycling' comment...well clearly you are no a track cyclist as riding in the rain or wet is extremely dodgy and dangerous. I would love an indoor track, though I realise how expensive it would be. This seems to be a common problem in the uk, people are constantly building things outside, such as skateparks, velodromes and it rains far to much and they do not get the proper use. We need to spend that extra bit of cash building these inside do they can be used all year round. Investing money in healthy activities that benefit everyone should be a priority. Nonetheless I am looking forward to having a burn round the velodrome.

  • Bleach  |  March 05 2013, 6:36PM

    Oh for god's sake, getting wet is part of cycling. If you're afraid of a bit of water you're not a cyclist. get a pair.

  • spindleshanks  |  March 04 2013, 8:05AM

    Darren, I think the risks/potential missed opportunities and cost savings of building an open air velodrome are clear for all to see in the report to council. We are to appeal to cyclists from the South West, (Devon, Cornwall and Somerset) and won't be attracting high profile events because of lack of spectator seating and a roof giving the conditions needed for competitive cycling. I have already had one keen cyclist ask the question "Is it an indoor facility?" before expressing disappointment that he wouldn't be able to train all year round in Torbay. That said, given the location, funding available, etc., something is better than nothing and credit should go to those who have succeeded in getting the project started. I think the term is "9 out of 10" as opposed to "10 out of 10".

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  • DarrenCowell  |  March 03 2013, 4:45PM

    The velodrome will be the only one in the South West and is the preferred choice of British Cycling. If it is suggested that they don't know what they are talking about can I suggest a quick look at the recent success of our cycling teams at the World championships and Olympics may be in order. Cycling is worth some £3bn to the UK economy and I for one wish to see Torbay be part of that success. As far as costs are concerned, the fact it is an outdoor facility, with a 1.5km off-road cycling road, will mean that running costs are considerably less than that of a building. The facility is also likely to be operated by a non-council operation, so any costs to the council will be minimal. Even if the council was to operate it, it is estimated to require up to £45k from revenue - which set against the benefits to health, reduced crime and ASB as well as additional income through day visits and cycling tourism - will be money well spent. I spent a Saturday afternoon watching a road race and during the day there were 185 competitors! Sadly none were under 16 as they are not allowed to race on open roads - they will be able to do so at Clennon. I hope some informed comments help to clarify this exciting project.

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  • spindleshanks  |  March 02 2013, 2:18PM

    Totally agree MisterDonut - in a few years time when the place requires a heavy subsidy like the RICC, the council can always blame it on the weather. Excellent idea if it has a roof and is available to be used all year round and not just for a few months a year.

    |   2
  • MisterDonut  |  March 02 2013, 1:18PM

    Indoor velodromes are 'doing the job properly'. Outdoor velodromes are the cheap council alternative that will be overgrown with weeds in 5 years time. Like the cheap as chips living coasts that no one visits. Guess which one our far sighted council chose.

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