Work on the latest phase of the regeneration of Herne Hill velodrome will begin as soon as possible after Southwark Council last night granted planning permission, subject to conditions, to install trackside lighting and a junior track at the historic venue.
Concerns over light and noise pollution in the local area were dismissed as the planning committee voted to approve the plans, which form the second phase of the work to restore the 1948 Olympic venue to its former glory.
A statement from the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust after the announcement said, “we are delighted with the decision to grant permission, subject to conditions, for the improvements to the track and inner field. It marks an important milestone for our historic and much loved site.
“We will begin work as quickly as possible in order to minimise disruption to sporting activities and look forward to updating you all with progress,” it continued.
Work on the junior track will begin immediately and it is hoped will be completed in time for the Good Friday track meet on March 29. The flat, 250m circuit will be constructed inside the existing 450m track with a hard-surfaced multi-use games area (MUGA) inside that.
Trackside lighting will allow the track to be used into the evenings and during the winter months. Permission was granted for the track to remain in use until 9.00pm although motorised dernies will not be permitted to use the track while the lights are illuminated.
Due to the manufacture of the equipment the installation of the lights is expected to be completed in late spring.
The £400,000 project will be financed by Southwark Council’s Olympic legacy fund and follows the resurfacing of the main track in 2011 when British Cycling secured a 15 year lease on the site. The next phase aims to redevelop the pavilion on the site to provide improved facilities at the venue.
The Herne Hill velodrome was constructed in the 1890s and hosted the track cycling events at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. It is famous for being a regular training and racing venue for a young Bradley Wiggins as well as helping to kick start the careers of Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott.