im surprised this isnt already on here so ive copy/pasted it below
Radical Bikes is a very popular and successful Bike Park near Chelmsford in Essex, that has been open to the public since 2009. We are a family-run, not for profit, Community Interest Company, running public sessions for Trials Cycling, Dirt Jumping and BMX.
As Radical Bikes' popularity grew and our venue became very well known, it became necessary to have a manager living on site, to deter instances of theft, vandalism, graffiti and, most importantly, illegal entry for unauthorised and unsupervised cycling. However, despite massive support from the public, our MP, County Councillor and local neighbouring landowners, Chelmsford City Council does not consider our venue as providing a 'special circumstance' to allow this dwelling in the Green Belt. Putting this in context, the dwelling is in fact a one bedroom mobile home measuring 28' by 12'. It is a temporary, mobile structure, still sitting on its jacks, with no permanent foundation. It has not, we feel, had any detrimental impact on the Green Belt whatsoever. We have suggested that the permission only be granted whilst the Bike Park remains functioning and we have also suggested that the permission be granted for a limited period of three years, thus giving Chelmsford City Council some control over the land use going forward. However, both conditions were not agreed by Chelmsford City Council and we were refused planning permission. We were devastated and are therefore now having to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate to allow our manager’s mobile home to remain in place.
It is no exaggeration to say that Radical Bikes Bike Park will have to CLOSE if we cannot keep the venue and its users safe and secure. No amount of high fencing, CCTV cameras and alarms will save injury (or worse) to an intruder who may use our obstacles in a dangerous manner. Supervision has to be on site and actions have to be immediate. This is our duty of care. We cannot and will not supervise the venue remotely.
The loss of Radical Bikes would be devastating, not only to our family (who have built this cycling community up from scratch), but also to the many hundreds of cyclists who visit regularly, some of whom have been coming to see us for almost 10 years now. We are a COMMUNITY, with a shared common aim - to have fun on our bikes. Along side the fun, our riders grow in confidence, their fitness and stamina levels improve, they make new friends, their mental well being improves and they enjoy a safe space in a world where, sadly, such spaces are increasingly needed. With worryingly high instances of knife crime and gang culture in the news these days, Radical Bikes is a safe, supervised place where young people can feel secure, valued and welcomed.
Please sign this petition to show your support of what we do and to show that you feel we should be seen as an ‘exceptional circumstance’ to allow this small manager's mobile home to be sited on Green Belt Land. Thank you very much!
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