BMX park plan halted in its tracks by wrong kind of soil

Cllr David Henwood wants clay soil to build a BMX track. Picture: OX69104 Antony Moore

Buy this photo Cllr David Henwood wants clay soil to build a BMX track. Picture: OX69104 Antony Moore

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Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering East Oxford and Cowley. Call me on (01865) 425430

PLANS to build a BMX track have had the brakes slammed on after parish councillors could not get the right type of soil.

Up to 1,000 cubic metres of soil is needed to create the track at Littlemore’s Herschel Crescent Recreation Ground.

Littlemore parish councillors hoped to use leftover earth from the construction of Blackbird Leys’ new swimming complex.

But they discovered it was unsuitable as it did not contain the right amount of clay.

They are now appealing for businesses to come forward and donate some soil.

Littlemore Parish Council vice-chairman David Henwood said: “If we don’t get the right type of soil we can’t really have a BMX track and without the BMX track we would miss a massive user group and kids would be disappointed.”

He said if other soil was used it might shorten the track or reduce the quality or number of humps which would “reduce the amount of fun kids have”.

The correct soil will ensure the track maintains its shape and will prevent it from crumbling or washing away.

Incorrect soil would also cause the track to require constant maintenance.

Dave Turner, managing director of Kettering-based BMX track construction company DT Leisure, said sand-based soil or soil containing stones would be unsuitable as it would prevent it from binding when compacted.

The project has been shelved until the council can obtain enough soil with a high clay content.

A consultation with Cowley and Littlemore residents last year to discovered what facilities residents wanted.

Along with the BMX track, proposals include a picnic area, a basketball hoop, tree planting and new benches.

The track would be 50 to 70 metres long by 30 metres wide.

The parish council received more than £80,000 to update the ground’s facilities, with £7,000 allocated for the track.

A £60,000 grant was secured from not-for-profit business WREN, as well as a £7,000 grant from Littlemore’s Cardinal House development.

A further £10,000 grant was secured by the parish council from the parish precept and £5,000 from councillors Gill Sanders and John Tanner from the Big Society budget.

The new facilities would stand at the former Second World War airfield site.

Parish councillors hope to secure additional funding to highlight the role of the former Spitfire airfield.

Mr Henwood said: “I think that there’s always more things that we can provide for younger children and the teenage groups to facilitate their needs.

“It’s something that the residents of Cowley and Littlemore have asked for so therefore it feels that we have a duty to fulfil. It will give me a great deal of satisfaction to see it completed.”

  • For information or to offer soil call the parish clerk on 01865 777686

 

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Comments (1)

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2:01pm Thu 7 Aug 14

hot foot says...

The movement of soil/clay/waste from one site to another requires planning permission from the waste authority,in this case Oxfordshire County Council.As far as I know the soil removed from the Blackbird Leys site to Hinksey Park was found to contain asbestos and to be contaminated above the legal threshold and is currently undergoing further testing under the control and directions of the Environmental Agency(see Curtins consulting report,phase 2 Intrusive investigation,Blackb
ird Leys,Oxford.Planning permission to remove the soil material from Blackbird Leys has as far as I am aware not yet been approved by the City or the County Councils.
I would say there has been a lucky escape for Liittlemore Parish Council and the children who will be using the much needed BMX facility.
The movement of soil/clay/waste from one site to another requires planning permission from the waste authority,in this case Oxfordshire County Council.As far as I know the soil removed from the Blackbird Leys site to Hinksey Park was found to contain asbestos and to be contaminated above the legal threshold and is currently undergoing further testing under the control and directions of the Environmental Agency(see Curtins consulting report,phase 2 Intrusive investigation,Blackb ird Leys,Oxford.Planning permission to remove the soil material from Blackbird Leys has as far as I am aware not yet been approved by the City or the County Councils. I would say there has been a lucky escape for Liittlemore Parish Council and the children who will be using the much needed BMX facility. hot foot
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