BMX track at Hilsea Lido wins council’s approval

Kieran Quick on a temporary BMX track at Hilsea Lido last year
Kieran Quick on a temporary BMX track at Hilsea Lido last year
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  • New BMX track by Hilsea Lido given the green light by councillors
  • Temporary track last Easter was a big success
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A NEW BMX track will be built in the north of Portsmouth.

Proposals for the pump track just south of Hilsea Lido were approved by Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee unanimously yesterday, and were greeted with delight by councillors.

People are really going to love this. You’ve got people travelling to Gosport and the New Forest for access to something like this so it is great to know that we will be bringing something in the city into play.

Councillor Rob New

Concerns had been raised ahead of the meeting by Historic England regarding potential harm to Hilsea Lines and from First Group who fear a ‘detrimental impact’ on its nearby depot in London Road.

A temporary track had been installed at the site over last year’s Easter holidays and construction of the new permanent attraction will be funded using Section 106 funds – cash given to the council by developers.

Councillor Rob New said: ‘People are really going to love this. You’ve got people travelling to Gosport and the New Forest for access to something like this so it is great to know that we will be bringing something in the city into play.

‘It will also link up with the new cycling routes around Hilsea so for me this is really exciting.’

Fellow Tory councillor Jim Fleming, chairman of the council’s planning committee also backed the proposals.

He said: ‘This is a much-needed facility that will bring something new to the area. It is great to see that in the last ten years the lido has gone from closed to becoming a very vibrant area.’

Liberal Democrat councillor Lee Hunt was also in favour of the track.

He said: ‘I am really happy with this. This is the right location for this as it is very centrally located.’

Cllr Hunt also pushed for the council to potentially consider building another track in the south of the city.

BMX riders in the south of the city have facilities at Southsea Skatepark.

Hilsea Tory councillor Scott Harris said: ‘This is great news, it will become a real asset to the community and is something for kids to do, keeping them active.’

First Group said in a comment on the planning application: ‘The depot already suffers from considerable vandalism and criminal activities within the area.

‘It is considered that current problems could be exacerbated by the nature of the proposes use for the BMX track.’

Historic England had written to the council to state its fears that the track would have caused harm to the Hilsea Lines due to the historical significance of the ancient monument.