Council issues update on velo park plans for Abergavenny
Plans for a new velo park at Llanfoist, Abergavenny were discussed at Monmouthshire County Council’s meeting of full cabinet on Wednesday 2nd March. The project would help provide facilities for cyclists across Monmouthshire, as well as hosting some local and national events.
Council members agreed that a capital budget of £492,000 be created in the 2021/22 financial year to fund the construction of the first phase of the Abergavenny velo park. The report was put forward by Councillor Lisa Dymock, cabinet member for Social Wellbeing, who said: “The project has been developed in consultation with a number of stakeholders including Sport Wales, British Cycling, the national governing body and two local cycling clubs. The provision of a velo park in Llanfoist is a key component of the council’s emerging cycling strategy and is intended to form part of a network of regional facilities promoted by Welsh Cycling, the governing body of the sport in Wales.”
In 2020 the council was awarded a grant from the Welsh Government, via Sport Wales, to develop a project for the construction of a velo park (to include a purpose-built closed road circuit (CRC) and some recreational trails) at Racecourse Farm, Llanfoist.
The project has been complex to develop, because of the site’s topography, biodiversity and ecology, with a number of protected species identified on or immediately adjacent to the site.
The council has been working closely with senior managers at Welsh Cycling and with local cycling clubs to develop proposals for ongoing management of the velo park, which will be comparable to those at other similar facilities elsewhere in Wales and the UK. The site will host a range of cycling related activities and events organised by the council, local cycling clubs and by Welsh Cycling. It will also be available for use by schools and will have a booking facility for cycling clubs to hire, so as to produce income to offset annual running costs. At this stage it is
envisaged that a limited number of regional or national events may be held on the site each year.
Temporary/overflow parking provision has been made in the management plan on nearby land in council ownership. Use of the site will not be restricted to just cycling and will include opportunities for all wheeled sports (including wheelchair users, roller blades, etc.), walking and running.
There is a separate but adjoining proposal by the owner of Grove Farm and the Gwent Wildlife Trust, with support from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, to develop a wetland reserve on the water meadows situated between the River Usk and the proposed velo park. The wetland proposal is located on land in council ownership, which could provide the opportunity for future partnership on managing the new habitats proposed as part of the velo track.
Further updates will be announced as the project progresses.