Motocross park to be built with M&S site waste

Soil extracted during the development of the new Marks & Spencer store in Ellesmere Port will be used to create a motocross and quad bike park after plans were approved by Cheshire West & Chester Council.

The BASE project will create practice tracks for beginners and more experienced riders and a training circle under the plans put forward by local enthusiasts Andrew and Lyndsey Paul, Graham Lee and Sharon Holding.

Contractor on the M&S store, D Morgan, is supporting the bike park and will use 50,000 tonnes of materials to create the new tracks.

John Dennan, director at D Morgan, said: "This is a great opportunity to be part of such a fantastic local development which will benefit the whole community.

"It has been a very successful and sustainable job – providing an opportunity for us to re-use waste material from the Marks & Spencer site that would have otherwise gone to landfill – something D Morgan has been dedicated to doing where possible for more than ten years."

Andrew Paul said: "This project really comes from a family point of view. Young children cannot currently play outside and we want to change that and give young people something to get passionate about.

"BASE is very much about community. Young people within this area have always ridden illegally and we are working hard to not only provide them with a space where they can ride safely with professional guidance but also give them the opportunity to build up their confidence in themselves.

"We will now look to secure the lease and continue to build up membership numbers before our planned opening in the spring."

Plans for the unused site at Shellway Road in Stanney Grange were unanimously approved by the committee.

An in-school reward scheme and school engagement programme will look to provide an incentive to children who work well in school, providing points to be used at the track. The scheme will also help to tackle school truancy by encouraging young people to stay in school in order to become a member at the park.

Ideas for a volunteer programme to promote a good work ethic are also well underway, where young children will be able to spend time working at the park marshalling, monitoring the car park or cleaning up and receiving free training in return.

Cheshire West and Chester has offered a nearby industrial unit to BASE which could be used to operate first aid and health and safety training. This will also be used as a membership office and enquiry centre.

With outline plans for the motor cross park now approved, BASE, the council and Cheshire Police will continue to work together to create a full working design. Work will now begin on the site with BASE hoping to open the park in the spring.

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