‘Frustrating delays and snags’ mean PedalPark at former RAF Coltishall base will not open in 2016
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
The team looking to transform the old RAF Coltishall base into a unique cycle venue have said the project will not happen this year because of 'frustrating delays and snags'.
Neil Turner, who co-owns bike shop Pedal Revolution, which has outlets in Norwich, Gorleston and Cromer, had hoped the PedalPark would open at Scottow Enterprise Park this year.
With a three-mile perimeter cycle circuit, PedalPark would be delivered on a not-for-profit basis and be the first of its kind in the region.
But delays in securing planning permission meant the launch event for the park, due for May 8, had to be abandoned, and a potential £75,000 grant from Sport England was missed.
And Mr Turner has today announced that the project is no longer on track to be ready in 2016 - and has appealed to supporters of the scheme to let county councillors know it has local backing.
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Mr Turner said: 'We have been working hard with the landlords, Norfolk County Council, to bring life back to the site and create Europe's longest traffic-free road cycling venue.
'We passionately want to support the heritage of the site and continue to evolve how local people enjoy such an iconic landmark in the heart of our county.
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'When we originally signed our first agreement with the landlord back in December 2015, we were given the expectation that PedalPark would be open by the spring.
'This slipped to summer and now we regretfully have to announce that 2016 has been lost because of frustrating delays and snags in the process.'
While the project has a lease, planning permission has been secured, a social enterprise has been set up to run and manage the venue and a business plan is in place, Mr Turner said sticking points remain.
He said county councillors still need to approve the project and the council has not been able to give a date for when the building will be connected to a water supply, while concerns over security of the site still need to be resolved.
He said: 'We are frustratingly close to pulling off this ambitious plan. We are on the verge of creating something amazing.'
He urged people to contact their local Norfolk County Council member to make them aware of the support for the PedalPark.
He said: 'It will be great business for Norfolk County Council, great for cyclists and a great opportunity for creating positive community outcomes at a site that will remain part of Norfolk's proud heritage and a firm part of its exciting future.'
A council spokeswoman confirmed the matter would have to go before councillors and that the water supply connection remained an issue, but did not want to comment further.