PLANS have been approved for a new velodrome in Cardiff Bay despite opposition from some cyclists and campaigners.

The new velodrome will be built at the International Sports Village, in the car park just north of the Bayside mass vaccination centre, which used to be Toys R Us.

The 333-metre cycling track will be joined by a new clubhouse and stands, in part of a major redevelopment of the area.

But the controversial plans for the new velodrome have been criticised by some due to the related closure of the existing velodrome in Maindy.

Cardiff council’s planning committee voted unanimously to grant permission for the new velodrome on March 2. Councillors on the committee welcomed the plans, but called for better connections for pedestrians and cyclists with the nearby Cogan train station.

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Councillor Iona Gordon said:

“Getting from Cogan station down to the Pont y Werin bridge is a complete nightmare with the road layout. There’s no crossings and it’s utterly appalling. We need to have a better connection for people walking or cycling from Cogan station.”

Criticism of the plans from cyclists included the distance needed to travel to the International Sports Village compared to Maindy, the new velodrome being a shorter and steeper cycling track, and the loss of the historical heritage of the Maindy velodrome which was built in the 1950s.

Councillors were told not to consider the loss of the Maindy velodrome when deciding whether to grant planning permission, as that will be part of a separate planning application in the near future.

Cllr Keith Parry said:

“I welcome this proposal, I think it looks like an excellent scheme. I don’t see that if this scheme goes ahead, the existing cycle track in Maindy has to be closed down. I don’t see a connection between this development and the need to close the Maindy track.”

The connection between the new velodrome is that the council wants to build a new high school building on the site of the Maindy velodrome. Cathays High School is set to be expanded with a new building and playing fields, with extra capacity for hundreds of new pupils.

Building a new velodrome forms part of the council’s wider masterplan for the International Sports Village, which also includes turning the Bayside vaccination centre into a bicycle shop, relocating a motocross track from Splott to land west of the vaccination centre, and potentially pedestrianising Olympian Drive.

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