Wolds cycle park faces opposition

Residents to fight back against off-road cycle park plans v.1
The plans for the skate park.The plans for the skate park.
The plans for the skate park.

Lincolnshire’s first off-road cycle park would have a ‘profound’ impact on nearby villages, residents have warned.

The Wolds Cycle Park is proposed for Hainton Estate near South Willingham, and promises professional trails for both beginners and experts.

It initially enjoyed a glowing reception, with cyclists from across the East Midlands supporting the plans.

A view from the cafe area in the Wolds Cycle Park building.A view from the cafe area in the Wolds Cycle Park building.
A view from the cafe area in the Wolds Cycle Park building.

However, a South Willingham resident who is helping to organise opposition to it warned that local people will make their voice heard.

“There were a lot of positive comments that were orchestrated by the publicity campaign. But now that local people are reading the documents, they’re not happy with it at all,” he said.

“I delivered 22 objections to East Lindsey District Council myself this week, and there are many, many more coming.

“The overwhelming majority of people in South Willingham are against it. Even people who originally liked the idea have changed their minds once they saw what was in the plans.

An impression of how the cycle park facility would look.An impression of how the cycle park facility would look.
An impression of how the cycle park facility would look.

“If the park really takes off, we could be seeing hundreds of extra visitors a day – or more for weekends and events – which would have a profound impact on the area.

“Our roads are already popular with local cycling groups and horse riders, who don’t want all this extra traffic. Why does this have to be built in the Wolds?

“The applicants claim that it would be great for the area’s economy, but I can’t see any visitors using our local B&Bs or shops.

“There’s also the question of the environmental impact to 100 acres of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I doubt the biodiversity will go up when five metre wide tracks are being dug all over the place.”

The plans have been submitted by Louth-based Lincs Design Consultancy on behalf of Focus Rides.

The application says the proposal will have a very low impact on the natural surroundings, and the visitors centre would be sympathetic to the environment.

Kevin Smith, who runs Focus Rides, said: “The Lincolnshire Wolds is the perfect spot for a cycle park that will be the only one of its kind in the wider region. There are many passionate off-road cyclists across the county, but there isn’t a single purpose-built facility to cater for them within Lincolnshire’s borders.

“The park will promote a healthy and active lifestyle, and the site we have identified provides the perfect mix of excellent undulation while avoiding any significant visual impact on the surrounding area.”

Lincs Design Consultancy director Daniel Sharp said: “The project proposals have been developed following extensive public and statutory consultation and have been led by a thorough team of specialist consultants.

“The proposal will provide a significant ecological and biodiversity net gain as proven by the specialist consultants’ reports.

“The trail itself will be incredibly low-impact – all features will be constructed with soil from the site and dressed with fine limestone, so they are less impactful on the environment than a farm track, for example.

The application can be viewed on East Lindsey District Council’s website.