BMX track plans are withdrawn ‘temporarily’

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PLANS to build a BMX track in one of the largest villages in Suffolk suffered a setback after they were ‘temporarily withdrawn’.

Elmswell Parish Council has been forced to put proposals to set up the site in the village on hold after Mid Suffolk District Council requested a biodiversity survey.

The BMX track, which would feature 5 to 6ft high dirt jumps, would be developed on the old school playing field next to Old Schools Court.

Sue Messenger, youth worker for Elmswell Parish Council, said: “We have temporarily withdrawn the plans because the report has been requested. It’s about looking for protected species like nested birds or maybe reptiles.

“We’re going to do the survey. We feel it’s worthwhile pursuing it.

“I’ve spent so much time researching this and we have had some positive comments supporting us. We had as many favourable as we did objections.”

Those in favour of the plans include Sport England, who ‘support the principle’ of the proposal, and Mid Suffolk Safer Neighbourhood Team.

In letters to the district authority, parents and young people said they have been asking for a piece of land in the village for BMX biking for ‘quite a long time’.

One letter said that parents and children ‘would be willing to help dig the site and maintain it’.

However, some residents have voiced concerns stating ‘it would be very dangerous to have BMX bikes riding in and out’ of a nearby road.

They also aired fears about the potential noise and ‘a grave risk that accidents may happen as young people attempt to access the facility’, which would be sited on ‘a very sharp bend’.

Mrs Messenger said the plans were drawn up after she spoke to young people about what they wanted in the village.

She added: “There’s so many young people in the village. I run a pub club on a Monday night at the Railway Tavern for 13 to 19-year-olds. I found out what they wanted was a youth shelter and BMX site. There’s a great need for it.”