Cornwall approves plans for £7m cycle hub

06/09/2021
Dominic Browne

Cornwall Council has granted planning permission for the £7m Cornwall Cycle Hub, with opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities to take part.

In a partnership between British Cycling, Cornwall Council and Sport England, the Cycle Hub is set to be built on council-owned land near the Newquay Aerohub Business Park, which will also be home to 54-acres of enhanced natural environment.

Picture from Cornwall Council

The project is part of the council’s investment into cycling across Cornwall and was announced to coincide with the Tour of Britain Grand Depart on 5 September, which will see elite cyclists from all over the world race in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport Philip Desmonde said: 'We’re building a home for cycling in Cornwall so that the inspiration and legacy of the Tour of Britain will benefit Cornwall’s residents for years to come.

'We’re investing in more strategic and recreational cycle routes and the Cycle Hub will create further opportunities for everyone, of any ability and experience, to cycle recreationally or as a mode of transport.'

The Hub will provide somewhere safe where trained staff can provide coaching to develop skills and bike handling for all ages and abilities - from the youngest child learning on a balance bike to someone who has been referred through their GP, or the next Laura or Jason Kenny.

The 54-acre site will also contribute to the council’s Climate Change Action Plan as the built areas of the Hub take up only 12% of the site, leaving an opportunity for increasing biodiversity and habitats.

The proposals include significant amounts of tree planting, wildflower areas and managed grasslands.

Providing a national standard closed road circuit racing track and European standard BMX track also brings opportunities to host high standard events at the Hub, which will bring added economic benefits for the area.

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, said: 'The Cycle Hub is for everyone and encourages us all to be more active. It will not only give performance cyclists a safe place to train and race away from the road, but will also provide opportunities for residents with a disability to cycle, be a place of referral to help tackle mental and physical health issues, and a venue for schools and other groups to come and learn to ride safely.'

Dr Rob White, chair of the Diabetic Oversight Group, GP, NHS Kernow Commissiong Group, clinical director for Coastal Primary Care Network, said: 'We cannot have enough of this type of enterprise in promoting healthy living and weight management to reverse the tide of type 2 diabetes and to support mental and physical health and wellbeing.'

Match funding for the pre-development costs was provided by the British Cycling and Sport England through the Places to Ride Fund.

Having now secured planning consent, the focus will shift to securing the funding in order to allow work to commence on what is expected to be a 12-month build.

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