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Ranmore BMX Park Plan Stopped in Its Tracks for Now

Published on: 25 Jun, 2021
Updated on: 28 Jun, 2021

Cllr David Draper, cabinet member for leisure and tourism at Ranmore BMX track. Submitted. Image Mole Valley Lib Dems

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

A decision on a commercially managed BMX and mountain bike park for Dorking has been put on hold.

Mole Valley District Council is to get an ecological survey done at Ranmore after residents expressed horror at the prospect of losing rare Roman snails, nightingales and green houndstongue.

The cabinet was due to decide what to do with the current overgrown BMX track on Tuesday (June 22) but it was withdrawn from the agenda.

Cllr David Draper (Lib Dem, Dorking North), cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “This will allow more time to explore all the views and discuss a future course of action on what is clearly an important issue to members of our community.”

Two weeks earlier he said the results of a consultation was clear, with 72 per cent in support of the Surrey Bike Park proposal.

This week Cllr Draper said: “During the course of the last few weeks, there has been much discussion over the future of the Dorking BMX track, with new and varying concerns coming to light from local people and users of the track.

“We have listened, we are acting fairly, we care about finding a solution that preserves the facility, is environmentally friendly and is welcomed by the community.”

The council does not have the funding to improve the site, so Cllr Draper said unless something is done, it would deteriorate further and potentially have to close.

The other options are either to allow Trail Academy – who run mountain biking courses at Belmont School – to manage it and invest in it, which would involve a user fee, or to invite voluntary organisations to manage it, thereby keeping use free.

If the first option is chosen he said there would be “further discussion of ways to overcome concerns of the local community”.

The protest against the trail academy managing the Ranmore site so it can remain open to all for free. Image Dan Harvey

Dorking resident Jenny Desoutter, who protested against the Trail Academy proposal, said: “We’re pleased the council are going to take time to look at it again.

“Volunteers are anxious to work with them to keep the track open to everybody for free.  And we hope we can preserve the biodiversity alongside that.”

A final recommendation will be made once the ecological survey is done.

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