Delamere Planning Consultation
I was over in Delamere today and picked up a couple of information sheets concerning a consultation over plans for the forest. There are extensive plans to alter the visitors center, but of more concern are the plans to put in a major log cabin development, up near the old hospital, and put in blue and green grade cycling routes. It looks like there is a significant prospect for the loss of some of the natural riding in the area.
For those, who like me, do a lot of Mountain Biking in Delamere it is probably worth having a look at: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-8R5DRWPosted 6 years ago
As a user of Delamere forest, the new plans look great, lots of new jobs created,in construction and serviceing, a nice new wooden centre, lets hope they can recycle the old one, either for burning for fuel or sold for a new use,then there is the better access to the site for vehicles, abnd parking for coaches.
3 things stand out, the jumps area, will not have any verge parking nearby, nearest car parking will be the existing car park further down the road, verge parking will not be allowed the whole length of the bisecting road from the railway bridge to the junction.This will make us all use the car park whicha charge will most probably be levied.
Nothing on the plans says anything about lighting of the car parks to deter thieves, or allow longer opening hours, of the car parks.
78 wooden chalets are going to be built to get paying customers in at the top of the hill near the jumps area, by the old hospital,along with a ew access road to them.
All the existing structures look to be going with a twin new build centre, so a better bike shop not a wooden container, and a better shop.
Otherwise its a win win situation.I cant wait for it to happen,along with metro link trams from Manchester in the pipeline.Posted 6 years ago
Taking a balanced view, there will be pros and cons associated with the development. The consultation process is an opportunity for stakeholders to put forward their opinion, most developments expect a degree of give and take, in order to get through planning.
I agree the visitors center redevelopment looks good and I like the idea of family biking away from people and dogs. But not at the price of the existing natural trails. There are similar developments in uk , but the forest are bigger, Delamere is a relatively small forest.Posted 6 years ago
But its a designed and designated as a timber farm, for the cultivation of trees, for timber, to which the public have access with permission, the FC are looking for new income streams to support this work,and what they are planning to do will help subsidise the forest for a considerable time, thyve put out a consultation document,for the natives to have a look at,and as per usual all the nimbys join forces to say no, they did the same for ince marshes recycling scheme, and the glass factory, and lost,without change we would have no developement, its not like the FC are going to build an ASDA there.
Roll on the future.
Ps, other forests are available.Posted 6 years ago
People complained when LLandegla was being converted from a tree farm to a mountain biking centre, and now its so popular and drags a lot of walkers,twitchers and horse riders there.
Same with all the redeveloped trail centres and forests.
Like i said the FC owns the forest,just like people own their own gardens, and theyre allowed to do what they like,but at least theyre asking what peeps want, along with puting forward great plans for the area and theyre not banning cyclists and mountainbikers, just upgrading the facilites to the modern age, some trails may be lost but more will be created and improved.Posted 6 years ago
It may be a relatively small forest but it is plenty big enough for everyone, not so long ago it was almost sold off so lets not forget that.
It wont harm many of the natural trails anyway as there are lots of them, i dont see it as a bad thing at all and you can always chuck in a quick blast along a blue/green trail while out on a ride.Posted 6 years agogillycoopsMember
Blue graded trail @ Delamere would be good imho, lets face it after the recent tree harvest any new maintained trail would be a bonus, riding up by the TB hospital has been mullered by it anyway, just incorporate the blue trail into your natural ride & its a winner I reckon.Posted 6 years ago
Having seen the maps for the blue and green trails they do not look that extensive, and will only mean a few of the natural trails being changed. The suggested grades are green and blue, so at least one should be single track. I suppose it all depends on who they bring in to design and build the trails. So could be good for an XC blast when it’s quiet and for winter evening solo rides, when I’m not feeling brave enough to head deeper into the forest.
My main reason for starting this thread was to highlight the plans to other mountain bikers who use Delamere, as it came as a complete surprise to me. From experience it is better contribute to the consultation than sit on the side lines and complain later.Posted 6 years agotwotonpredatorSubscriber
commercially this is a great idea for delamere. given it’s location, it really doesn’t need to cater for mtb at all from a cash viewpoint. although a red would be possible (similar to cannock)a blue is a family friendly compromise.
as long as they don’t pinch the best natural bits for the blue then this would be welcome from my viewpoint. mix it up a bit. currently, a 30km tour of delamere on a rainy december evening can feel like a lot like 40km anywhere else. a bit of armoured trail would be amazing for tired legs.
is delamere large enough for all that they are proposing? probably not.Posted 6 years ago
Curlie, this is the full plan:
If the link does not work it’s document 07b on the fc website.Posted 6 years agosmartaySubscriber
I like Delamere what i dont like about the above is the CONTROL aspect. When I ride Delamere I enjoy the ” off piste” routes and as far as the price of the parking at the central/ cafe area its a joke.
I/ we park of the road running through the forest this allows you ride when it suits you rather than be tied to gate opening/ closing times.
I believe that we are subsidising the FC through the till prices at the cafe… or is it that I’m out of touch with parking prices. Llandegla doesnt cost this muchPosted 6 years agoikimbunzaMember
This idea has been discussed at length by local riders and it tends to generate responses which are relatively positive through to vehement opposition. I live 300 yards from the northern end of the forest so i guess i’m somewhat biased but there we go…
I like the idea of the new visitor centre. The current one is struggling to cope in terms of numbers at busy weekends and the parking provision is inadequate. If they look at the road layout at the same time then that would be great as there have been some near misses on the access road with drivers going too fast past the railway bridge.
I guess my concern is one of ‘control’. I can see us losing access to many of the informal trails which really define riding at Delamere. The Kingswood area will become off limits to maintain security for the lodges so areas like Waterloo and Toms Tunnel will be almost impossible to ride. I worry that riders will slowly be restricted to riding on the purpose made trails with access removed from the informal stuff. Its this creeping management i worry about.
If this was a proposal for a new visitor centre and improved parking management then fine. I think most local riders would rather they gave the purpose built trail idea a miss. Its a small forest and nothing like Cannock or Llandegla and should be treated as such. I hope the FC don’t try and force too much into too small a space.Posted 6 years ago
The only thing that concerns me is the security around the holiday cabins, i just hope that they dont fence off that whole area and that you can still go around the perimeter of the forest which is always a good default route, the run down the fence up near the hospital is a favourite of many.Posted 6 years ago
I dont think we will lose much in the way of natural trails even though it is a relatively small forest, there is plenty of it for everyone, parking doesnt worry me.
Also, the proposed blue route looks like it could be fun, it goes on a good route and as said before, can be incorporated into a ride and used for a good blast out of the mud etc.steverSubscriber
Like i said the FC owns the forest,just like people own their own gardens, and theyre allowed to do what they like
We own it, they’re just looking after it for us. I happen not to like the plans, other views are available. The whole place struggles to be more than a couple of miles wide and a couple long in each direction. It’s already slightly overdeveloped for me, the new plans would bring more people into less space. The space that’s left would be increasingly sanitised.
The powers that be have a habit of grooming the soul out of our semi-wild places. (I’m more than aware that it’s not a natural environment.) If that makes me a NIMBY I’ll wear the badge proudly.Posted 6 years agohackosMember
I am a native and know the forest layout better than most. Anyone who’s MTB’d there knows that the natural singletrack and freedom to go anywhere you like is the good stuff. It’s nothing like the size of Cannock and a whole lot flatter. Freedom to roam is also the one thing that Delamere’s got that Llandegla doesn’t have.
The holiday village will effectively make the northern tip of the forest out of bounds or just unappealing. Gradually we’ll be penned back as it expands over the years.
Keen on blue and Green loops? I suppose they are good for newbie riders, kids and families. If that’s what you look for in a ride, come visit now. There’s already plenty of tame riding on waymarked trails if that’s your thing.
Delly is well known to be great for a blast but it’s not big enough or hilly enough to make anything much better than family friendly trails. Anyone who compares Delamere to Llandegla is sadly mistaken. So far as I know they’re proposing to make some smooth bits where mud should be and build some shops. Not perform a geological miracle.
There’s a meeting at 7pm Manley Village Hall on Friday 2nd March where you can voice opinions.Posted 6 years agodavedoddMember
I ride at Delamere a reasonable amount, especially on a Monday night, when the superbly guided cake fest rides are carried out.
I’m afraid I get a little bit depressed every time this type of action is brought up. I agree with Steve in that the forest is already over commercialised for it’s size. It already has a nice cafe (with a second one at the station, and the superb one at the farm near Manley). It already has easier family friendly trails that are marked. It also has the most expensive parking I’m aware of, and I also struggle to see where those parking funds go to.
The forest is being severely cut up and thinned at the moment. I’m fine with that, it’s a pain in the arse when it’s being done, (as those out with me on the superbly guided cake fest last night will testify to) but new trails will evolve from that. New trails don’t evolve from the removal of areas.
And its okay saying other forests are available, but where are they? My other nearest one is at Hanchurch nr Stoke, or Llandegla, which is a different animal.
No I just wish they’d leave it alone and allow it to be a plain old working forest that we can all enjoy as we do now.
Sorry if that’s different to others views but it’s my opinion, and my opinion’s always right 😉Posted 6 years ago
my opinion’s always right
haha, I do know exactly what you mean, i dont have a problem with a little green and blue route being lobbed in, or the wild trail etc. the bit that i do think about is the plan for cabins. The more you think about it the more odd it is, just the whole services to that lot will be crazy, road/lighting/security/sewers/gas etc etc
What are the chances of this actually going through anyway? or is it simply being pushed through regardlessPosted 6 years agosnowpaulMember
another long term user 25+ years of delamere – I know Dave Dodd and echo his thoughts = the northern area up near the old hospital has some superb trails – ones I and my friends have developed over the years – this will be the start of ending access to this part of the forest – I do not want easy tracks there – already enough fire roads which are only really busy at weekdays – I night ride there 2 / 3 times a week and its superb for its wet singletrack – all for a new centre etc but I want to know that access to cabin area wont be adversely affected…
not that many forests in this area that allow such good riding…
paulPosted 6 years agonickingsleySubscriber
I can only take so much and
twice in the same post is just tooooooo much.
Where’s your (ss) humility ?
Main concern is the number of cabins (some are 2 storey) and the extent of development around them, fencing off for security, subsequent need for a social centre with a bar, pool table, Sky, gym,….. and then more cabins…..
It’s not that clear to me how much replanting there will be around the cabins either?
I’m not against development per se but wouldn’t it be better to put the cabins on the outskirts of the forest eg south of the road to the VC and keep the forest as ….. relatively unspoilt forest for everyone to enjoy?
Interesting times…..Posted 6 years agovelocipedeMember
Native here – 3 times/week user for 20 years….
I’m relieved that this isn’t the Center Parcs development that has been rumoured for years to be happening at the Marley Tiles site! If that happens AS WELL as this – then I fear for our riding at Delamere at all!
My family rides on a Saturday morning have been curtailed in thelast 12 months simply because access to the forest from our end (through the Whitelfields car park) is just too busy – I really do fear anything that either attracts more users or hems users into a smaller area will make things even more difficult.
I am all for progress, but Delamere is a small place and the developments in recent years (better cafe, Go Ape, bike hire, more parking) have already done enough, in my opinion, to fill up a limited resource.Posted 6 years agosnowpaulMember
I am going to this meeting and I will email my concerns re access to that area. I dont particularly want ths to go ahead but I am not sure the FC will listen when it sees £…. and lets face it it needs it…
Any buildings up there will adversely affect the feel to the area in my opinion – I ride there a lot as its generally quieter and I enjoy the trails – especially the perimeter ‘ scoobie ‘ and what we call ‘ ho chi min ‘ that ace bit that runs up to the perimeter scoobies…
Doing away with the verge parking sucks as a lot of people park there and thus depriving the FC of more £….
The caravan site near Hatchmere and also Fishponds one has brought a lot more people in – i guess there must be a demand for the log cabins then I suppose – but why stick them up so far away from the ‘ wonderful ‘ rail links and any pub etc for food… Are these cabins really going to be filled up all year round? All the infrastructure is going to detract from the forest environment…
Plus the green / blue route and nature trail – sounds a bit disney world…. theres a lot of fire road already – its not neededPosted 6 years ago
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