A CHARITY wants to turn disused land at Howden Clough into a bigger challenge for off-road bikers.
And today, councillors are being urged to give the green light to the expansion plan from Bumpy – Birstall Urban Motorcycle Project for Youth.
Despite the fact that some of the scheme encroaches on green belt, Kirklees Council planning officers are recommending approval.
“If we get the go-ahead we will start work straight away,” said project manager Carolyne Kenzitt.
Bumpy was set up in 1989 to provide a safe place for young people to practice off-road biking.
Meeting in Dewsbury, members of the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee will hear Bumpy wants to widen its base at Howden Clough. The scheme entails a disused rail embankment being turned into a challenging off-road area with steep trails for more advanced riders.
Officers say the project would do little to harm the landscape.
Ms Kenzitt said: “This will give us a more difficult area for trials competitions and for training.
“We run events for people wanting to get into trials riding and club trials, but this new area would enable us to make much more difficult areas for the more experienced riders.
“But the main reason we want to expand is so we can advance our riders to a standard at which we can compete in high-level competitions.”
She said the scheme would not take up all the embankment which backs on to the Bumpy site.
“We can preserve what is there and map out a circuit,” said Ms Kenzitt. “And this is the ideal time of year for work such as this, before things start growing again. It will also be a good opportunity for a general clean-up.”
Bumpy was launched by Ms Kenzitt’s sister PC Julia Morris. Tired of complaints that off-road bikers were causing a nuisance, she decided to establish a place where youngsters could practice their hobby at a designated site.
PC Morris died in 1991 and a memorial trophy has been set up in her name.
A nine-acre motorbike trails park which hosts on and off-road training and competitions, Bumpy has grown since its inception. From providing activity for troublesome teens, it now works with people of all ages including disabled groups and schoolchildren.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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