By Eric White
THE Hadleigh Park Olympic Mountain Biking centre is celebrating a different sort of victory having claimed gold in a prestigious local planning awards event.
The venue won ‘Excellence in planning for community and wellbeing’ category in the Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence awards.
The judges praised the ‘continuation of the evolving planning strategy’ and acknowledged how ‘all the partners mindfully built on the legacy of the Olympic facility’.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Sport and Physical Activity, said: “Hadleigh Park is a true example of how collaborative working between public and third sector organisations can deliver clear aims.
“The success of the venue is a result of the partnership between the Salvation Army, Sport England and Natural England, and is testament to innovative working and the determination to ensure local people have access to high quality sporting facilities.
“As the only purpose built Olympic mountain biking venue still open to the public, I’m delighted Hadleigh Park has been recognised in this way.”
The Park was described as a model for others and with the Rio Olympics and Paralympics just 77 days away, will play host to some of the world’s best athletes during the Hadleigh International at the end of July.
Dominic Watkins, Director of Chris Blanford Associates (CBA), added "As the Planning Advisor for Hadleigh Park, we’re extremely pleased the venue has received national recognition.
“CBA feels privileged to have helped partners create a lasting sporting and green infrastructure legacy following the London 2012 Olympics, and it’s great local people also have a facility they feel ownership over and are able to enjoy.”