Plymouth campaigners call to send letters in protest at new bike track plan
CAMPAIGNERS are calling for final letters of objection to be sent to Plymouth City Council against plans for a mountain bike track in Plymbridge Woods.
The National Trust has submitted revised plans for the track after withdrawing a previous application was withdrawn following considerable objections last year.
Now the charity plans to shorten the route from 8.7km to 4.2km, remove routes south of Plymbridge Road, remove two 'skills' areas and plans for a cycle hire hub have also been withdrawn.
However, the Friends of Plymbridge Woods still believe, if given the go-ahead, it is an "accident waiting to happen".
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Arthur Ainslie, chair of the group, said there was also still time to enter letters of objection.
He added: "We've now had notification that the planning committee will be dealing with the application on December 6.
"They said they will accept letters of objection right up until the end of the month. At the moment we have about 300 letters that have gone to the council objecting, and now we have started a petition to lobby the councillors prior to the meeting so we get our message across."
In its revised plans, the trust say it has taken into account the objections to the previous application and made the amendments in light of residents' opinions.
The new application shows plans for an extended car park providing 90 spaces and use of the trail will be orientated more to users in Plymouth as opposed to those further afield in places such as Bristol.
Mr Ainslie said recent television footage of a mountain bike track in Bristol was simply "frightening".
He explained: "These mountain bikers come careering down the hill and any person or dog stepping out in front would have been met with disaster.
"Plymouth never asked for a mountain bike track. There was no lobbying from the mountain bike fraternity to have tracks in Plymouth; they already use routes in Cann Woods or at Haldon Forest."
Mr Ainslie said the National Trust's plans also meant mature trees would be cut down and natural habitats for deer and other animals would be lost.
A spokeswoman for the National Trust said: "It's now in the hand of the planners but we have given the plans careful consideration. People who aren't happy about our plans can object but we also ask people who support our plans to do the same in support and write to the council.
"It's just as helpful to get comments of support as it is of objection.
"We believe this is a really positive way forward and we have gone a long way to address some of the concerns of some of the residents."
The plans will go before Plymouth City Council's cabinet members on December 6 at 4pm when representations will be made from the Friends of Plymbridge Woods.
To view or comment on the application - either for or against - visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/planning and enter reference 12-01712-FUL.