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Proposals for new mountain bike trail to be considered

Published: 23 June 2020

A planning application to build a new mountain bike trail at Shipley Country Park near Heanor, and to avoid costly changes to Osborne’s Pond will be considered by Amber Valley Borough Council’s Planning Board at a future meeting.

The proposal for the new recreational facility has been submitted to Amber Valley Borough Council by land development company Waystone Developments, which we're working in partnership with to develop the former American Adventure site – now known as Shipley Lakeside – to include housing.

The application is to take earth removed from Shipley Lakeside for the creation of a flood relief channel and use it to build a new mountain bike trail in the park, which is popular with cyclists.

A flood relief channel is needed to carry water from Osborne’s Pond – which is actually classed as a reservoir due to its 75,000 cubic metre capacity – safely downstream into Shipley Lake at the centre of Shipley Lakeside in the event of the dam at Osborne’s Pond breaching, such as in extreme rainfall over a prolonged period.

If the plans are refused, alternative measures would be needed to comply with the law in relation to reservoir management such as reducing the capacity of Osborne’s Pond or upgrading its structure – which could cost council tax-payers up to £1.6 million.

If the proposals go ahead, construction of the flood relief channel and mountain bike trail would be paid for by the Shipley Lakeside scheme and avoid the direct cost to the taxpayer entailed with having to carry out works to Osborne’s Pond.

Our Cabinet Member for Highways Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Simon Spencer said:

“Osborne’s Pond is a much-loved feature of Shipley Country Park and popular with local people and visitors alike.

“As with any new housing development, measures need to be put in place to protect against the potential risk of flooding and our preferred solution in this case, subject to planning permission, is to build a flood relief channel.

“The proposal to remove earth to create a channel and use it to develop a mountain bike trail would not change the Greenbelt status of the site and would provide a fantastic opportunity to build on Shipley’s excellent cycling links and create a new leisure facility for both local people and visitors to enjoy.

“Derbyshire is already a top destination of choice for cyclists and if the mountain bike trail gets the go-ahead it will provide yet another reason for cyclists from near and far to visit this beautiful country park – boosting the local economy and hopefully inspiring more people to take up cycling as a healthy, more environmentally friendly alternative to the car.”

Sheffield-based trail design experts Bike Track have designed the trail which would create around 1.25 miles of new track – catering for a broad range of riding abilities – built to ROSPA, IMBA and British Cycling guideline standards.

If the proposals are approved, the trail would be built just off the Nutbrook Trail to include:

  • 560m of green trail for beginner and novice riders
  • 1,400m of blue and blue+ grade trails for more experienced riders
  • 100m of opt-in trail sections for riders looking for more technical features
  • technical features to add interest and flow to the trail

The trail, which would include mounds up to 20 metres in height, would be surfaced with locally sourced compacted stone to create slopes with a 1:3 gradient, hairpin bends, banks known as ‘berms’ and jumps known as ‘rollers’.

Bike Track would work with local cycling groups to get their input into the final design.

Covering around 13 acres, the trail area would be planted with grass and wildflowers in keeping with the surroundings of the park and screened from view by planting new hedgerows along the perimeter.

A date for the planning application to be considered is yet to be set by Amber Valley Borough Council.

Give Amber Valley Borough council your comments on the planning application number AVA/2019/1201.