Get set to have your say in North Devon BMX track consultation

Posted on: 6 November 2018

A consultation has just started to find out how popular a new BMX track would be in North Devon.

North Devon Council is carrying out the consultation to find out whether residents would like to see a new BMX track in Braunton. As part of the consultation the council would like to know how often residents would use it and whether it should be used for competitions or just for fun – have your say online.

The consultation is being carried out following a community led campaign for a BMX track in Braunton which was launched several years ago.

Lead Member for Parks Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “ We have been approached to take on some land and project manage the construction of a new BMX track in Braunton, this public consultation is a vital first step in this potential project for us.

“As a starting point we need to find out the level of demand for a new BMX track in North Devon and how our keen BMX riders would want to use it – we want to make sure any new facility provided is wanted by local residents and meets their needs. To help us do this and make sure we get it right, we need to gather as much feedback as we can through the consultation. A lot of hardwork has already gone into this project by the local community so I encourage as many people as possible to come forward and have their say – we can’t do it without you.”

Local ward member for Heanton Punchardon, Councillor Andrea Davis, says: “This is an opportunity for residents to say if they would like to use and help run a BMX track in the area. I would urge people to express their view so an informed decision can be made by North Devon Council.”

Planning permission was granted in April 2015 for a BMX track in Velator, Braunton as part of an application for 16 houses (58119) at the new Park View development. If a need is identified through the consultation Section 106* contributions have also been identified to fund the scheme.

The consultation starts today (Tuesday 6 November) and is open until Friday 7 December. Residents can find out more and have their say online.

*Section 106 (S106) is money paid to the council by developers as part of the planning conditions of planning applications. The money can only be used for certain things, but is used primarily for public open space projects.

Project update from Mark Kentell (27/11/18), Contacts Delivery Manager at North Devon Council: “Thank you to everyone who has commented on this page and completed the online survey so far. Just to clarify the current position – the land in question at Velator is currently owned by the trustees of Braunton BMX Club. We have been approached to ask if we can take ownership of the land and build the BMX track on the club’s behalf.

“The survey is being carried out to check current public support for the BMX track before committing to the project. The response so far has been overwhelmingly in support of delivering a BMX track at Velator.

“In the past my team has been responsible for delivering the much loved skate parks in Rock Park, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, so thank you all for the positive feedback about those facilities. However, the initial focus for the land at Velator will need to be in line with the expectations of the BMX club trustees and in line with the current planning application for the site. These expectations are to deliver a BMX track that can be used for competitions, but is also open at all other times for informal public use.

“Once we close the survey, the feedback will be presented to our councillors to decide whether the council can take ownership of the land and deliver the BMX track. If provided, the track would then be handed to a club or community group to run in the future.

“Thank you again for taking the time to feedback and for completing the survey. Those who have included email addresses within the survey will be informed of results and news regarding this project as we progress.”

104 comments on “Get set to have your say in North Devon BMX track consultation

  1. Nathan Spice says:

    I’m all for the area to be used for a bmx track but personally I think it sooo short sited. It is a huge site that could be used in far better way to cater for alot more needs. A bmx track like the one proposed is just too niche. Who does it cater for? A few die hard bmx ers? Some kids that will be drawn into the sport due to it being there? Obviously this isn’t a bad idea but there is a better idea.. Why not use there area as bmx track on smaller scale with a skate park, outdoor gym area, kids park, outdoor bbq’s and even a park pavaillion/band stand for gigs and gatherings. Why aim to cater for one when it could cater for many. How many kids in the village ride bmx? Not many but how many ride skateboards.. Let’s use it wisely

  2. Carol says:

    This site is the wrong location for a BMX track. It is a flood zone and wildlife haven, the track will be too close to neighbouring properties and there is not enough parking available. If it were built at Chivenor then it would be accessible to road users as well as having access from the Tarka Trail.

  3. Carole says:

    Our house would have full view of this proposed bmx track which obviously is a concern for us. We would actually see it whilst sat on our sofa! It is too close to our homes, and now the new houses are being built the space is even more limited. It would be in completely the wrong place. There would be parking issues, there is barely enough space for the residents as it is, and club members apparently will cycle to the proposed track when there is a competition, but I imagine people will also be looking for convenient places to park, causing even more problems for us residents who live here. The club have said there will be parking at the school but the school have said there won’t be! The concerns of local residents should be the main priority here, we are the ones who will have to put up with the noise, possible antisocial behaviour, parking problems, etc. The proposed track is far too close to the old peoples bungalows. The club said that the track will be open for everyone, but that if it attracts antisocial behaviour then they will fence it off so there will be little benefit to the community. At the meeting we had we were also told that the surface would be of a material that decreases noise level, and would not be suitable for skateboards, so if this proposal is to be changed to accommodate skateboards, scooters etc then we will certainly be challenging this proposal. It is too close to residents homes, inflicting on our quality of life, it needs to be in a more suitable area, and not on our doorsteps!

  4. Mark says:

    I think the Survey is pretty irrelevant after filling it in the questions do not allow for any constructive input. As for comments I feel any facility for our children is hugely needed but have a specific BMX facility is missing the point somewhat. If a new facility could deliver a “pump track” that could be used for multiple disciplines such as skateboarding, cycling of all descriptions and box and even dare I say scooters, then it would be used by the community in much larger numbers. Please see attached link for reference.

  5. Lee Parker says:

    I spent my whole childhood at Barnstaple track, before the downstream bridge was built and the track was demolished.
    Now, the only track available in North Devon is in Bideford. It’s a top, top quality, professional track, but to maintain its standard, it is fully fenced off, except for club nights and race meetings.
    If there was a BMX track in Braunton built to the standard of the old Barnstaple track and open all year round, people would flock there from all over the county. (I regually drive from Barnstaple to Tiverton to use theirs)

    It looks like planning permission is already in place aswell? Get on and build it!! It will put Braunton on the map.(In BMX terms) ??

  6. AA says:

    I like the idea of a BMX track. However Perhaps they could build a large skate park like this one in Newquay. Make it a real national destination for skaters, BMXers and bladders. This would bring money into the whole area


    It would also be great to see a climbing centre. Either way something has to be built as promised.

  7. N dempsey says:

    Both my sons have rode Bmx both regional and at national level ! There is a Bmx club in Biddeford , for regional events ( of which my sons are members of )
    So as we already have a BMX Track in North Devon , plus one at Tiverton wouldn’t it be better to have a skate park , family park and play area ! So everyone could enjoy ! If a BMX Track was put in the allotted area , it’s only going to attract youths , not the young of Braunton !

  8. Hoff says:

    We have enough play areas and skate parks. North Devon needs an unfenced BMX track where anyone can rock up and ride. I grew up on Barnstaple BMX track and had countless hours of fun. Build it and they will come. All the local kids from Barnstaple and. Braunton will flock to the track. I’ll be there with my kids. See you there!

  9. Barnstaple BMX Bandit says:

    The council knocked down a great BMX track and never replaced it in Barnstaple. If you are going to knock it down to build a bridge how about you start by replacing that one? Barnstaple is a much better location for it. Has access via Tarka trail for Braunton users also. Come on council, sort it out been waiting a while for the rebuild! Thanks see you in opening day.

  10. Jon says:

    Its very interesting reading the points above, some are very valid others are not, I think parking is not something that should be considered, my understanding of its location allows the track to be accessed via the Tarka trail and cycle path and parking is available in Tesco car park for free all day, we need to encourage people out of their cars and on to their bikes.
    The track its self is a little exclusive in its nature I agree and a Pump track would perhaps be better for “all”, but, the people who have raised the funds for this facility are BMXers and I think this facility would be fantastic, I grew up riding BMX then went on to other forms of competitive cycling, I still ride all types as does my son, as long as the track can be accessed by all (including little kids on running bikes with dad on a Sunday afternoon once an a while) then it can only be a good thing..

    One thing the village does not need is another park space for the more senior of our community, we need to think of the young and give them more opportunity to be outside and exercising not just catering for the elderly or very young.. I hope it goes ahead.

  11. Matt says:

    I have been an avid BMX supporter for more than 30 years, been involved in two BMX tracks in Barnstaple that succumbed to the construction of the link road at Severn Brethren’s Bank and then down by the Rugby Club for the new bridge.
    Both facilities were used by the general public of all ages, including whole families on their various different bikes.
    BMX Racing is at its core a family sport, it enables everyone who can ride a bike to partake. From the 2 yearolds on ballance bikes to 70 years olds and everyone in between.
    In a time when our children are glued to their technology, a facility like is being proposed can hopefully entice them to break free of it and maybe encourage more activity and interaction.
    Depending on what level you wish to cater for in the tracks design, you could potentially hold a round of the British Cycling National Series. That would open up potential new visitors to the area that wouldn’t normally visit North Devon.
    You can see what benefits a BMX Track can bring to an area by looking at the work of Peckham BMX Club in South London, then BBC recently ran an article and makes for some interesting reading, granted the demographics of the area are far removed from North Devon but it shows what is possible.

  12. Kelly says:

    The survey monkey questions are very biased and should have included an area to comment and suggestions for alternatives.
    I don’t think it should exclusively be a bmx track but should be open to more activities
    There needs to be plenty of parking so the new street doesn’t have parents dumping cars in front of their houses.

  13. Chris says:

    A BMX track is exclusive to BMX riders only. However, a skate park can be used by Skateboarders, Roller Bladers’, Roller Skaters and Scooter riders AND BMX riders! The space could be accompanied by an Outdoor Gym and ‘pay as you go’ type BBQ area the same as they do in Australia. I would like to see something that benefits’s a greater number of people in the community.

  14. Dave says:

    A sole purpose BMX track has limited appeal. A community park area with ‘pump’ track, skate park and open space for children of all ages would be far better. Look at Ilfracombe skate park and the play area at Croyde. Both fantastic facilities. Braunton owes it to it’s growing population to provide such areas.,

  15. Emma says:

    I also thought it had already been agreed and my son has been waiting all year for it to open. We thought it would be ready when the houses are, and I can’t believe it seems to be back to the consultation process. I am confident it will get very widely used as there is nothing for children over 8 or 9 in the village so it is badly needed. I do agree that it would be even better if it also included a skate park as I spend a massive amount of time ferrying my son to Ilfracombe or Barnstaple skate parks!!

  16. Sam says:

    I agree with the above comments that we need a much more mixed use area. A BMX track would be fine but it would be much better to have a great park like they now have in croyde or hatherliegh which is a very small village near okehampton. A skate park is much needed for the village as is a decent park and area for families to relax in. So many families drive to croyde, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple for these facilities and if there was a cafe etc it would do great business. Children and teenagers have a negative rep in the village but we haven’t provided them anywhere decent for them to hang out. It would be great if the village can realise a great vision for the younger generation and it would keep locals in the village at weekends and evenings.

  17. Pippa says:

    I think the aim should be to include more of the local community than just those who BMX locally. A BMX track would be great but I don’t think it should be exclusive of other sports. Perhaps a lower spec/smaller BMX track plus a skate park, outdoor gym equipment and some concrete table tennis tables would ensure everyone in the community felt included in the space.

  18. John says:

    PLEASE NO – Lets think about the wider Community
    I would far rather see a Community Space that catered for all residents and visitors to Braunton and the surrounding area. A competition BMX Track is an exclusive facility that will not be accessible to all, surely we should be thinking about a community space that incorporates something for all, for example:
    An excellent play park (like the new one in Croyde)
    A BMX pump track (not a full scale competitive track)
    A skate park / scooter park (you just need to go to Illfracombe to see the number of Braunton based parents that are there with their children)
    A parkour area / outdoor fitness area
    A picnic space with good wheelchair access
    Outdoor table tennis tables etc.etc.

    In my opinion the surveymonkey consultation is a very biased survey that does not offer much scope to object and to offer alternative solutions.

    This is a legacy that will be with Braunton for a very long time, surely we can see the short-sightedness of such a narrowly available facility.

    • Laura Melville-Brown says:

      I completely agree. I space that caters for the large community is exactly what we need. Braunton is a large community with a positive relationship with the outdoors. There are a lot of skaters/scooter users and a skate park would have a lot more use than a BMX park that is aimed as high skill riders. We need something for the majority not something for the few.

  19. Karen Whitmore says:

    I understood that planning had already been approved and most of the funding found – unless that was just so that the new “exclusive” houses could be built of course.

    I agree that a heated outdoor pool would be fantastic, but that would be great alongside the promised BMX track. Having both facilities available within walking distance would help alleviate the already strained traffic situation travelling to access these elsewhere. The population is growing in Braunton and new houses being thrown up at an alarming rate, yet nothing being done to improve the traffic or facilities here. Please build this.

  20. Vorn Syms says:

    I think the young people in Braunton need this facility as there is very little for them, But only if it is available for all as a community facility not just members and competitions.

  21. Gaz says:

    Taking aside that this has already been promised, yes it’s badly needed here. A great way for youngsters to meet, enjoy themselves, build their confidence and burn off steam – rather than idling around the streets with nothing to do.

  22. Emma says:

    Yes my son would love it & husband too!

  23. C Weston says:

    I think it would be fantastic to have something for the older children!
    A BMX track would be great, with 3 children we would be regulars!

  24. W.Plowman says:

    I asked my son – why do we need one – we’ve got hills & dunes.! And I think it’s just another back door method of building more hugely expensive homes that the younger people in our community can’t buy.

  25. Joe says:

    The village needs more facilities for children and their families to use, that is very clear as even croyde has better park and skate facilities, so does Appledore etc etc. However, walk around the village and see how many bmx bikes you see kids riding vs scooters and skateboards.. it’s clear the kids are into skating and scooters much more.. so don’t build them a bmx track, a multi use skate / ramp park caters to all. Like others have said, if you have money for a swimming pool too.. feel free to chuck one in. My last point is don’t let those sneaky developers get out of putting their hands in their pockets, they will make plenty of margin on no doubt cheap to build expensive to buy houses they are building.

  26. G.norman says:

    An indoor swimming pool would be very nice.

  27. Keira says:

    I agree with the above comment that a swimming pool on the site would be far better for the village and its ever growing population. Yes, there are swimming pools in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, but they are not easy for everyone to get to. An openair pool that’s heated all year round and could be walked to by villagers would be a huge asset to the village and used not only by a few youngsters but by everyone in our community. The old, the young, the able, the less able, pregnant mothers, swimming lessons, surf lifesaving clubs, local schools, etc. I really don’t understand why a community the size of Braunton doesn’t have its own pool. We visited Buckfastleigh in the summer, a Devon village with half the population of Braunton, and it has the most amazing openair pool, skatepark and adventure playground for kids of all ages – http://www.buckfastleighpool.co.uk. It would be amazing to have a set-up like that in Braunton and not simply a BMX track which would be great, but only for a very small section of the greater community.

  28. Keda Johnstone says:

    YES we need it! I am a little perplexed as to why this is being asked – I thought we’d already been through the consultation process and it had been approved? We need more facilities for everyone, this could be a brilliant draw for Braunton. We also need a swimming pool – absolutely right – but it’s not an either/or. Braunton is easily big enough and should have both. I’m frequently amazed at villages/towns smaller than Braunton across the country which have way better facilities.

  29. Mim says:

    A BMX track would be an amazing asset to Braunton and the surrounding area. It will encourage kids and adults to be active and healthy. It will give the youth of braunton somewhere where they can spend their time in a positive way.

  30. David says:

    A BMX track was promised years ago and it should be built. This sport has a huge following and teaches young people to mix with others, build lasting friendships and respect for others.
    Your nearest swimming pool is about 5 miles away served by one of the best bus services in the country. How inconvenient that you can’t jus walk there.

  31. Lara says:

    Nice idea but build it somewhere else. There is no parking for such a facility nor appropriate acesss and the green space has already been wrecked enough by the new houses built there.

  32. Rebecca says:

    A BMX track in Braunton will be brilliant for the local kids and adults to have somewhere to ride. BMX is a fantastic sport for all ages. People who travel into Braunton to use the track will most likely visit the local shops and facilities in the village too!

  33. Chris marston says:

    This would be a great asset to the village, keeping young people fit, off the streets, somewhere to socialise and take part in sport. What’s not to like!

  34. K Major says:

    Has anyone considered going to ask young people in Braunton their opinion? They are highly unlikely to find out about a Council run consultation advertised in newspapers. We have three local primary schools and a secondary school – prime audiences.
    This has all been done before – the survey results are predicatable. It’s just another delaying tactic by those in charge so they can pretend to be interested in providing for young people. Council’s idea of providing for young people in Braunton are swings and slides.

    • Karen Whitmore says:

      I have shared this on the Caen School Facebook page.

    • Holly says:

      Thank you for your comments. If you haven’t already, please do take part in our online consultation so that they can be included in the results so we can show the level of demand for the facility. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/W9DLMT2

      Thanks Karen Whitmore that’s a great help for us, much appreciated.

    • Holly says:

      Thank you for the suggestion, good idea. Newspapers are just one of the many media we send our press releases to. We also have a facebook (@northdevoncouncil) and twitter page (@ndevoncouncil) which is updated everyday with our news and what’s going on.

  35. Cath Barker says:

    It’s a no-brainer, Braunton needs a bigger and better space for the kids to meet up and hang out and BMX is very popular. I agree with the other comments about maybe making it a more general skatepark and it would be a shame if it was imited to competitions only. I have 2 children who would use it after school and at weekends. I can understand concerns from local residents, but it has to go somewhere and planning was granted so what’s stopping it!!!

  36. Louise Verrall says:

    Without provision for parking AT the site chaos will be caused by people parking in nearby roads. The school is not close enough that people would use it even IF they did agree.
    The land should be left as part of the wildlife area to be used for education by the local schools.

  37. dean says:

    The proposed track is in completely the wrong place, there is little or no parking and although I understand club members will cycle to the facility when there is a competition local streets with limited parking will be overwhelmed. I understand the club say there will be parking at the school but equally the school say there wont.
    My main concern however is for the local residents. The track will be within a few yards of the old peoples bungalows. The club has said in the past that the track will be open to all but also said that if attracts anti social behavior they will fence it off so there will be little community benefit

  38. Nick says:

    This needs to be built elsewhere. Too much traffic, too many houses, too much green space being lost to urban development in the Braunton area. There are plenty of areas outside of the village, soon enough there will be no green space between Braunton and Chivenor. Have a BMX track, an extreme sport, not as popular as people may think, but build it were it is not an eyesore and will undoubtedly cause upset for many residents and create even more congestion.

  39. Lorna says:

    The population of Braunton is growing with large numbers of young people.At present options for activities have many yong people making the 5 mile drive/ ride into Barnstaple. The park in Braunton is for toddlers and young children. Other than the tiny scateboard park which becomes rammed if there is more than a handful of kids in there, there isnt much.
    There a large numbers of kids on bikes and a bike park would take them off the streets and provide a space for them. Its really is needed and would be an assett to the village

  40. M Breeds says:

    This land should be retained as a good habitat for marsh wildlife – it has a rich assemblage of wetland plants, amphibians such as frogs and is frequented by birds such as snipe. The houses have been built on the slightly drier & less interesting part of the site but the remaining area is an important wildlife corridor between Braunton & Wrafton.

    • Louise says:

      Totally agree – also PARKING must be provided.

    • Carrie Mallett says:

      I agree. The land is a flood plain, there is inadequate parking and it is too close to local residents. The proposed track is in the wrong place, and I’m not sure the numbers of local children interested in BMX-ing warrant a national sized track.

  41. Julie says:

    My son has been riding BMX for the past 7 years and loves it. He was a member of Braunton BMX club but unfortunately had to move to Bideford club as training on a playground just wasn’t enough when he started competing. He has travelled all over the country and has made lots of friends. I believe something like this in Braunton would be great for the kids and help keep a lot of them out of trouble!

  42. Richard Starling says:

    Please, please, just build it. Original permission was based upon a clear and numerous interest, and this remains…..only quietened by the slowdown progress. Young folk of Braunton have waited far too long for a place at which they can gather with a sporting purpose (ref Ilfracombe’s skate park for an idea of popularity). The infrastructure is ready, as are the BMX talented young folk. This is an opportunity to bring more competitive, regional sport into North Devon, like the events at Braunton’s Athletics track.

  43. Ben Scanlan says:

    Yes! We have been waiting for this to be built for years now. It would be a great asset to Braunton’s community and provide an excellent sport and leisure facility for children and young people especially.

    Perhaps it could be considered to build the track as a ‘pump track’ with the inclusion of a skate park and surrounding parkland rather than a competition-standard bmx track so that it can be used for leisure purposes to suit a wider range of abilities, bikes and sports.

  44. Michelle says:

    A BMX track would be amazing for the village. The children need somewhere to go rather than going out of the village every time they want an out door activities
    I thought it had actually all gone though already.

  45. Paul Maddocks says:

    I bmx track is a great idea .
    It would fill a big gap in the needs of not only young local people but others who also enjoy the sport. North Devon is really lacking in such a facility so I whole heartedly approve of a track in Braunton.

  46. Lin Tinsley says:

    I can’t believe this hasn’t been done yet. I’ve lived here for 9 years and it’s been happening ‘next year’ since we arrived. This sort of facility is badly needed for young people and having something easily accessible would mean more would use it. We used to live near Bristol where there are so many facilities and clubs, here the kids can’t even get on the bus with a surfboard to get to the beach which is the cheapest and best ‘facility’ we have

  47. Holly says:

    Thank you for your comments. If you haven’t already, please do take part in our online consultation. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/W9DLMT2

  48. Ron chapple says:

    Thought this was going to be built as part of new housing .this has been on the cards for years and is needed for the youngsters of both braunton and barnstaple as would be an asset to them

  49. Tracy says:

    Myself and my daughter have been riding bmx for the last 5 years and originally were members of Braunton Bmx club – this is a much needed facility for us and the population of Braunton and surrounding areas as the nearest track is Bideford. It would only need to hold one competitive race a year as part of the South West region but would be used for training and practice throughout the week.

  50. Clare janes says:

    No no no no no

    Should of been a swimming pool for us rather then a bmx track! Would be nice to actually walk somewhere and use a pool rather then trying to find a pool that’s actually good enough!

    • Rich M says:

      Go to Barnstaple! I’ve lived all over the U.K. and europe and i’ve been hard pressed to find a pool as good as the leisure centre.

    • David says:

      A BMX track was promised years ago and it should be built. This sport has a huge following and teaches young people to mix with others, build lasting friendships and respect for others.
      Your nearest swimming pool is about 5 miles away served by one of the best bus services in the country. How inconvenient that you can’t jus walk there.

    • Holly says:

      Thank you for your comments. If you haven’t already, please do take part in our online consultation so that they can be included in the results so we can show the level of demand for the facility. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/W9DLMT2

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