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Cheddar BMX Track Under Threat From Property Developers

One of the country's best loved BMX facilities is under serious threat of closure thanks to the ambitions of a property investment company that wants to replace it with caravansOne of Great Britain’s best loved BMX facilities is under serious threat of closure. The Cheddar BMX track in Somerset has been earmarked for removal as part of a large scale redevelopment of the holiday park that currently hosts it. The proposal has drawn broad criticism from the British BMX fraternity and from the general sporting community.
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According to reports from the BBC, Pete Phillips, the father of Team GB’s Liam Phillips, has condemned the decision. He described the track as one of the top three in the country, naming Manchester and Birmingham as the other two. If Cheddar’s track is demolished, the South West will no longer have a world class facility available for use, denying scores of riders of future opportunities to develop their skills locally.
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The track, which is at Broadway House Holiday Park, is due to host the British BMX Championships later this year, having hosted the same competition last year. In 2011, it drew high praise from organisers, competitors and fans for being the perfect location for professional BMX tournaments.
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Discussing the decision to demolish the site, the owners, Darwin Property Investment Management claimed that the track was “dated” and “underused”. They plan to replace the prized facility with 68 holiday lodges and 60 static caravans. A spokesperson for the Limited Liability Company explained that the decision to close one of the U.K.’s most prestigious sporting facilities was “difficult”.
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Many commentators and pundits believe that the closure will be a serious blow to sport in the region and a major setback for British BMX and British cycling generally. The announcement follows hot on the heels of a decision by central government to sell inner city school sports fields to property developers. Both decisions stand in stark contrast to an Olympic-inspired commitment to British sports.
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Unfortunately, the Conservative-controlled Sedgemoor District Council (the relevant local authority), has already given the redevelopment plans the green light, which significantly diminishes the possibility of saving the site for future generations. However, the strength of concerted opposition should not be underestimated and there is still hope that this highly-valued track will be preserved.
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Words By A.LCuin
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Photo Courtesy of Stewart Black

Tags: BMX, Broadway House Holiday Park, Cheddar, closure, Conservatives, Darwin Property Investment Management, Pete Phillips, redevelopment, Sedgemoor District Council

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