Celebrations as a new pavilion for the Herne Hill Velodrome is given the green light
Cyclists across London and the South East are celebrating this week following the approval of plans to build a new pavilion at the historic Herne Hill Velodrome.
At Tuesday’s meeting of Southwark Council’s planning committee, councillors voted unanimously to approve the Hopkins Architects design for the new building, which will replace the existing one, which has been out of use for nearly a decade despite the track itself being very popular and in constant use.
Hillary Peachey of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust said “We’re over the moon. This has been a long time coming and I want to thank each and every person who has played a role in getting planning permission this week. For far too long, visitors and riders at Herne Hill have had only basic facilities that do not do justice to the site. Herne Hill has been vital to the cycling history of Great Britain and now, with this final piece of the jigsaw secured, will play a role in the future”.
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, who submitted the plans, was established in 2011 to ensure the regeneration and continued use of the Herne Hill site, which has hosted a velodrome since 1891. The first ‘win’ of the campaign was to secure a medium term lease on the land, thereby unlocking funding from British Cycling to enable the total refurbishment of the track surface, which had become dangerously unsafe to race on. The second success came with funding from Southwark Council’s Olympic legacy project, to install trackside flood lighting and create a new, junior track inside the existing one, as well as much needed hard standing for use in coaching, training and events. This was completed in 2013 and has allowed the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust to increase participation from around 15,000 riders a year to a staggering 34,000 a year from a range of schools, community groups and regional cycling clubs.
The design is by Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects, who was also the architect of the 2012 Velodrome. He said “After over 4 years hard work by the local and cycling community, this approval is great news for the long-term future of Herne Hill. To complement the 2012 Velodrome in Stratford, south east London can now have decent facilities to support the already popular outdoor track at Herne Hill. In combination these two venues will really help promote cycling in London. After our experience delivering the Olympic venue we are delighted to be able to help out at Herne Hill too.”
The Herne Hill Velodrome, where Sir Bradley Wiggins first rode a track bike while still at primary school, has hosted some of the world’s greatest track riders, and continues to be a hive of activity from balance bike sessions for toddlers to elite level training and racing. Until the completion of the Stratford velodrome for the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, Herne Hill was the only velodrome in the whole of London.
Bob Howden, President of British Cycling, said; “This is fabulous news for cycling in London. The planning consent for the new pavilion will allow the completion of the final phase of the comprehensive improvement programme and ensure that cycling’s rich history continues in the long term. As one of the only surviving venues of the London 1948 Olympic Games the future has never looked brighter for Herne Hill”.
Tessa Jowell, who as local MP was vocal in her support for the campaign since the very start, said; “I’m delighted that Southwark Council has granted planning permission for Herne Hill Velodrome, and I know how much this will mean to the community. The new pavilion will ensure this fantastic asset remains as popular as ever, and as Patron of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust I look forward to helping plan for a successful future for the track”.
The approved plans, which have been developed and (subject to completion of funding agreements) will be delivered thanks to Sport England, the London Marathon Charitable Trust and Southwark Council, will allow for a multi-sports room, training and office space as well as reconfigured bike storage. It is proposed to begin work and have the new building ready to celebrate the track’s 125th birthday in 2016.
Herne Hill Velodrome Celebrates
Olympic Legacy Project is Given Green Light
Herne Hill Velodrome is one of the finest outdoor cycling tracks in the UK and is the last remaining finals venue from the 1948 Olympic Games. Much of the UK’s Olympic success in 1948 came from two silver and two bronze medals won in track cycling events. It is still used by the British Cycling as a base for developing cycling talent and encouraging grassroots interest; famous names whose careers began at Herne Hill include Bradley Wiggins, Laura Trott and Jo Rowsell.
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust is the charity established in 2011 to lead the refurbishment and renewal of the Herne Hill Velodrome site for current and future generations of cyclists. The have been working hard to gain recognition of the importance of the Velodrome to the local community and beyond today there was good news….
Southwark Council has approved (subject to conditions) two planning applications from the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust to improve facilities at the historic outdoor track in South East London. The works will be funded by a £400,000 grant from Southwark Council’s Olympic Legacy Project.
The first approval will see construction of an area of hardstanding and a junior track within the velodrome’s inner field. These will provide much needed training facilities for young, novice and less able riders. The junior track will provide a 250 meter flat surface for wide and diverse community use, such as the charity Wheels for Wellbeing who use hand bikes, trikes and side-by-side bikes to help less able riders enjoy cycling. This is the first time Herne Hill will be able to offer such space; other than the track and mountain bike course, there is currently no tarmac area for new and young riders to practice.
The second approval will see installation of much needed track lighting on the main velodrome, the first time the track has ever been lit in its 122 year history. The lighting has been designed with bespoke lighting poles to ensure it delivers the required brightness whilst also minimizing light overspill and with no ecological impact. Lighting will be available for use up to 9.15pm and will allow the velodrome to be used during the winter months when early darkness currently prevents training.
Chair of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust Hillary Peachey said: “This is a very proud moment in our campaign. We will be able to offer more children, from more diverse backgrounds, an opportunity to learn track cycling. There will be more sessions for women to take up riding, and more time for non-conventional and less able cyclists to discover the freedom of riding in a safe and welcoming environment. And we can at last offer better facilities to those elite riders who train and race at Herne Hill, inspiring the next generation.”
Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling, said; “’We are delighted that the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust have been successful in obtaining planning permission for what is effectively phase two of the velodrome’s rebirth. Phase one was achieved in 2011 when British Cycling resurfaced the track, saving it from closure and we look forward to working with the Trust, the Dulwich Estate, Sport England and all our local members and supporters to deliver phase three – the redevelopment of the pavilion”.
Cllr Veronica Ward, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Sport, and Olympic Legacy at Southwark Council, said: “The Capital Legacy Fund has contributed significantly to the development of this famous Velodrome. We are delighted that this next phase has been granted planning permission and that the energy and dynamism of the 2012 Olympics has not been lost in Southwark. We are already seeing real examples of a long-lasting legacy. The state of the art improvements at Herne Hill Velodrome will open up this fantastic facility to larger numbers of cyclists, and allow different generations and people of all abilities to take advantage of the activities on offer.”
Michael Conway, CEO of FM Conway who have been contracted to complete the works, said; “We are extremely pleased to be involved in these prestigious works and are looking forward to working on this historic site that has played such an important part in our sporting history.”
Approval of the applications coincides with preparation for the biggest event of the year at Herne Hill, the Southern Counties’ Cycling Union Good Friday Meeting. This event is now in its 110th year and will be held on 29 March, 2013. With the date looming, and international riders as well as British champions already booked to race, the timing of being granted planning permission and being able to begin work on site could not be more important.
The construction team are fully committed and working hard in uncertain weather conditions to enable the completion of the infield works in time for Good Friday. The installation of lighting will follow in May.
The project team are:
Jackson Coles LLP – Project manager
Hopkins Architects – Feasibility study
Rolfe Judd Planning Ltd – Planning consultant
Deloitte LLP – Cost Consultants
Ramboll – Structural Engineers
Peter Deer Associates – Services & Engineering
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP – Legal representative
Spokesmen Ltd – Public consultation & media
FM Conway – Contractor for works & project partner