14 Nov 2011
In September of this year residents of Essex were invited to complete the Hadleigh Farm Legacy Consultation questionnaire to enable Essex County Council and it partners, The Salvation Army, Castle Point Borough Council and The London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), to incorporate the ideas, comments and priorities of the people using Hadleigh Farm after the London 2012 Olympics Games. The survey was sent to 40,000 local people.
As expected, results have indicated that a large percentage of people, over 60%, already walk and cycle at the site, with historical usage (visiting Hadleigh Castle etc) and natural interests (bird watching etc) also high up in peoples uses with 53% and 38% respectively.
When asked to judge the importance of improvements to various uses for the new legacy site, cycling was seen as the activity with the highest importance; with 9 out of 10 (90%) respondents feeling cycling was either quite important (13%) or very important (77%). Cycling was closely followed by general visitor facilities, with 87% of respondents seeing them as an important improvement to the venue.
Residents were also asked how important they felt it was to retain and develop the mountain bike course at Hadleigh for a range of potential users, from beginners and elite bikers, through to families and group activities. Results have shown that all potential users received a high importance score suggesting that any future use should be accessible to as many types of users as possible.
Councillor Stephen Castle, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games commented:
‘We are delighted with the response we have received from this consultation and look forward to working with the local community and other stakeholders to develop plans over the coming months. As we had hoped the people of Essex are keen to maintain the Mountain Bike course and open the venue up to the wider pubic for a number of different uses. We are committed to making the most of the opportunity of hosting the London 2012 Mountain Bike events to create a legacy for not just Hadleigh but for Essex.’
Essex County Council and it’s partners remain committed to delivering a Legacy from the London 2012 Mountain Bike Events at Hadleigh and all parties involved in the Legacy have committed to three important principles, which will form the basis of these proposals:-
1. The green space will be protected. Proposals will take into account the environmental and historical importance of this much valued green space, ensuring it is sensitively managed and remains open for the enjoyment of local communities.
2. Accommodating the needs of many different kinds of users, such as walking, dog walking, cycling, running, horse riding, engaging with nature & history, etc all of which were identified from earlier consultations.
3. Mountain Bike Legacy. The Olympic Mountain Bike course will be adapted for use by the wider public.
Residents who expressed an interest in participating further in the consultation on the Hadleigh Farm Legacy Venue have been invited to participate in a series of consultation workshops, to enable Essex County Council to understand in more detail the priorities of specific community groups. This input will be taken into consideration as proposals are developed, which are expected to be finalised in early Spring 2012.