Exciting plans for new cycling hub and café on Leith Hill

There have been a few objections but the council is expected to approve the idea

Plans for a new cycling hub on one of the Leith Hill ascents in Surrey are set to get the green light this week.

The application is to convert a former poultry farm on Sheephouse Lane – one of the eight Leith Hill ascents – into a cycling café, an office for a cycle events business and a bike repair workshop.

Cycling holiday company Just Pedal is seeking planning permission from Mole Valley District Council to set up the cycling hub, which will be a welcome attraction to cyclists taking on the famous Surrey Hills.

Councillors are expected to approve the planning application on Wednesday (January 8), despite receiving seven objections over “noise pollution and litter due to potential increase in traffic.”

In a supporting statement submitted with the application, director and owner of Just Pedal, Robert Hawkins, said: “Just Pedal are still growing as a company and plan to move to larger premises on Coast Hill Farm in the heart of the Surrey Hills, the area where the company has been based since its creation.

“Here we plan to set-up a much needed ‘hub’ facility that benefits both the local community and visiting cycling community. The ‘hub’ will consist of our current event offices, a bicycle centre and a café. We will also provide much needed parking facilities for visiting cyclists.”

Just Pedal, founded in 2012 and based in nearby Albury, organises charity challenges and cycling trips throughout the UK and Europe.

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The new cycling hub would be located in the business park at Coast Hill Farm, Sheephouse Lane, one of the ascents included in the Leith Hill Octopus.

Despite the objections from some local residents, which include “strongly object on the basis of large groups of cyclists impeding traffic flow on the A25 and Sheephouse Lane”, council officers have recommended the planning application is approved.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.