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Bid to put skids under luge plans
4:00pm Thursday 25th October 2012 in News
VILLAGERS fighting the opening of an extreme sports track near Worcester are making a last-ditch attempt to rally support for their campaign.
Members of the Berrow Hill Action Group (BHAG) will meet at the Admiral Rodney, Martley, near Worcester, tomorrow at 7.30pm to update local people on plans for a downhill long-boarding race track nearby.
A planning application was submitted in April for the track at Berrows Farm, Berrow Green, Martley, which will be used for tutoring and hosting events for gravity sports such as street luge, skateboarding and inline skating.
Campaigners are concerned by the visual and physical impact that the track will have on the hill, which is a scheduled ancient monument and a designated special wildlife site.
They also have fears over increased traffic, noise and waste pollution and the dangers that the sport poses to its participants.
John Hollyhead, a spokesman for BHAG, said: “The strength of feeling against this project is overwhelming. There is evidence of this through the comments on the Malvern Hills planning website and the number of signatures on the petition which has now reached 450 and is growing in a relatively small area.”
Applicant Will Stephen-son, aged 25, of Clifton-upon-Teme, who is an international street luge competitor, said he wanted to create a safe place for athletes to train and felt it would bring a wider benefit to the community.
“Berrow Hill is the perfect location. There is lots of run off, it’s steep and just what we need.
“We plan to have four or five races a year. In the UK racing scene, we have roughly 70 people turn up to our races from all over the country. Even for the big, international world cup we’re looking to have only 120 people. There are not going to be massive numbers.
“It’s going to be good for the local businesses. Two-thirds of the new track will be made up from an existing track and the only people who can see it are on the other side of the valley, which is my house.
“It’s not a three-lane motorway.”
It is understood that it is likely to be early in the new year before planners at Malvern Hills District Council make a decision on the application due to the need for surveys and reports to be carried out.