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Home   Medway   News   Article

Hoo bike track under threat as Medway Council considers plot

03 January 2014
by Nicola Jordan

Deangate MX, run by Phil Harris on a five-acre plot at the back of his home in Hoo St Werburgh, has continued to be an overwhelming success since it was given a temporary reprieve a year ago.

Phil Harris is taking on planners to keep the track in his garden in Hoo

Phil Harris is taking on planners to keep the track in his garden in Hoo

But now, with temporary permission running out, Mr Harris has to return to planners to get the go-ahead to continue his venture which currently operates nine months of the year on alternative Saturdays and Sundays.

Mr Harris, a keen biker, bought the field at the bottom of his garden in Dux Court Lane so that his three sons could practise on it.

But within a year, membership had increased from 70 to 265 and meeting days now attract spectators including interested residents who live on the Hoo Peninsula.

Mr Harris said: “I didn’t expect this but it’s great and adds to the atmosphere. We have members from London, the home counties and the south coast but I’m pleased to say the vast majority are from Medway.

“There is no doubt we are providing a service. Medway Council does not offer anything like this.”

Land owner Phil Harris runs an off road bike track for local kids

Land owner Phil Harris runs an off road bike track for local kids

He said he was also greatly reducing the number of bikers who illegally ride on private land in the area.

He said: “I am happy with the basic operating model. I think some people may be worried that we expand and get louder, but at the moment this is not the case.

“I want to improve the track and improve facilities for our riders. I want to cater for small riders and beginners. I also want to have some small quad bikes, but sessions would be very quiet due to engine size.”

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments belowHe is always looking at ways to reduce noise levels, which could only be heard by neighbours some distance away when the wind was in the wrong direction.

Mr Harris said: “Of course, I am doing everything we can to reduce any noise all the time. I certainly did not start this to upset anyone.

Mr Harris said he had not personally received any complaints over the last year. When the venture initially came under scrutiny of planners the council received 38 letters of support and one against the track.”

The retrospective application is under consultation with a decision due in the spring.

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