Concerns grow about proposed new Velodrome at International Sports Village

Maindy Flyers send letter to the council amid concerns about proposed new base

OPPOSITION is growing to the proposed demolition and relocation of Maindy Velodrome to the International Sports Village site in Cardiff Bay.

The Maindy site in Cathays is to be demolished to make way for the expansion of Cathays High School, subject to a detailed business case due to be considered by Cardiff Council soon.

Although Maindy Flyers Cycling Club was originally not opposed to the plan, The Cardiffian understands that the club has now sent a letter to the council outlining concerns they have about the new velodrome’s specifications and proposed designs.

It is also understood that the club has been left questioning the validity of the consultation because their views are not being fully considered as part of it.

The club are unhappy with the suitability of the proposed Cardiff Bay velodrome after plans for it were revealed in the planning permission bid which was submitted by the council late last year.

International Sports Village Extended Masterplan Draft

Initially Maindy Flyers, and other clubs using the site, did not publicly oppose the plans for the new site, on the condition that it would also include a closed road circuit for them to train on.

The Cardiffian understands that recently the cycling club has learnt that the angle of the banking at the new track will be 32 degrees, considerably steeper than the 18 degree track at Maindy.

This would mean only older riders, riding faster and with bikes whose pedals are suitable for a steeper track would be able to use it.

Now the ‘Save Maindy Velodrome’ campaign, which is being run independently of the cycling club, has gained further support and momentum with news of the club’s growing concern.

Additionally, discontent has grown within the club and the campaign at the way in which consultation has been handled by the council.

Campaigners and residents have questioned why the consultation period had been extended to February 17 if the planning application has already been submitted for the new site.

When The Cardiffian put this question to the council a spokesperson said: “The Council undertook a Pre-Application Consultation for the Velodrome from September 2nd to September 30th last year, with a report on the representations submitted as part of the planning application in December.

“In addition, the planning department has undertaken its own public consultation on the application, which has yet to be determined.

“The engagement that is currently taking place is seeking views on relocating the Maindy facility to the Bay and the wider Sports Village masterplan, and is separate from the planning process.

“The results of this engagement will inform a future Cabinet decision on the funding proposal for the proposed Velodrome at the Sports Village.”

Responding to the council’s statement, campaigner Andrew Wyatt said: “The pre application consultation was flawed. It was only sent out to a select few interested parties.

“We only know of Maindy Flyers and Ajax (both clubs who use the track). No announcement or links were posted on the Council’s own website and we only found out third hand by accident. It was very well hidden and not publicised.”

The proposed plans provided by the council includes a summary of September’s Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) revealing that only nine responses were received from local residents regarding the new site and Maindy Velodrome.

This contrasts with the number of objections filed when residents found out about the plans to demolish Maindy Velodrome, which was left until page 16 of the Cathays High School expansion consultation, when 425 objections were received.

A petition set up to save the Velodrome also has nearly 4,500 signatures.

The Charity Commission are also looking into the council’s proposal to demolish Maindy Velodrome to expand the school because the velodrome is built on land that was gifted to the people of Cardiff by Lord Bute in 1922.

The council is the sole trustee of the site and needs to apply for consent from the Charity Commission to change the purpose of it. A decision is due February 24.

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies, met with campaigners on Thursday and pledged his support for the campaign.