An updated design for the new mountain bike and activity park at the former Entry Hill Golf Course site in Bath has been unveiled.
Residents are invited to view the proposals and comment on their future use of the new facilities.
The new design takes into consideration more than 1,800 responses received in a public consultation about the Bath Bike Park held last year by Bath & North East Somerset Council. The consultation report is available to view alongside the new design.
Residents and businesses were asked for their feedback on traffic and parking, community features, design and environmental considerations in the consultation which ran from July to September 2021.
The responses generated more than 4,000 long answer comments and broadly showed support for the new opportunities to get active including the bike trails, play park and trails for running and walking.
Many positive comments were made in the survey about the café and outdoor seating areas and many respondents suggested positive ways to contribute to addressing the climate and nature emergencies. These included tree planting and the creation of new habitats.
Concerns over the potential for increased traffic and parking along residential streets and noise were raised by residents living nearest to the park in the consultation. The balance between the ’pay to ride’ space and free space was raised by people who want to see more unrestricted access to the site.
These concerns have been considered in the project development and the next set of designs, which are now available for the community to view and comment on via the Entry Hill Bike Park Consultation website at www.ehbpconsultation.com.
Through this next phase of community engagement, the council wants to get a good understanding of how people will access and use the park and new facilities on site before the final design is submitted for planning.
Bristol-based Pedal Progression was appointed by the council in an open procurement exercise in to create the new mountain bike and family cycling centre.
Councillor Jess David, cabinet assistant for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Thank you to everyone who responded to our consultation last year. This feedback is key to getting the final design of this park right. It was especially important for us to hear from groups less frequently heard, such as women and girls and disabled people, so that we can consider everyone’s needs from the early stage of the site design.
“It was encouraging to hear the positive feedback on how the project can contribute to addressing the climate emergency, but we also noted important concerns over traffic, parking and noise as well as the quality of community space.
“All the feedback has been considered in the updated design and I would encourage everyone interested in using this park to have a look and submit your comments.”
The survey is open until March 28.
The park will cater for cyclists, families, walkers and nature-lovers, providing free access to park areas and trails for walking and cycling, a beginner pump track and a new natural play park. People of all abilities will be able to enjoy an exciting bike ride, including balance bikes and disability trikes to tandems, hybrid and mountain bikes, linking to new and existing cycle routes.
New wildlife habitats and wider biodiversity will be encouraged with nature areas, pond, and additional planting. The new and expanded café will provide viewing areas across the park and to the landscape beyond.
A full planning application is expected to be submitted in Spring 2022. Due to complex nature of the landscape at the site, it is hoped that the park will open in 2023.
The council will contribute £385,000 capital funding to the project, subject to approval of the council’s 2022/23 budget on February 16. The terms of the contract will ensure that the full cost of capital and interest at 5% are recovered by the council over the life of the agreement. Additional sources of funding will include Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding, sponsorship and external grants.
Last summer, the company ran a programme of activities to provide more opportunity for community engagement and to pilot activities that could become regular elements of the bike park operation in future. This included forest school, archery, slack lining, slip and slides, circus skills and den building as well as a ‘Let’s Ride’ pop up cycling event.
Ollie Cain, Director at Pedal Progression said: “We would like to thank everyone who came to site over the summer and those who also took the time to respond to the community survey. It’s been exciting to engage with so many people since being selected as preferred bidder. We’ve enjoyed hearing the views of a broad cross section of potential users and the local community. With all surveys now returned, time has been spent revisiting the concept design and responding to the complex set of design challenges that these posed. We want to ensure we make the absolute best of this amazing opportunity to develop the site for everyone to enjoy.”
More details about the project can be found on the Pedal Progression website at https://www.pedalprogression.com/bath-bike-park-faqs/