Days before Sir Bradley Wiggins attempts the UCI Hour Record at the Lee Valley VeloPark, the other surviving venue in London to have hosted Olympic track cycling, Herne Hill Velodrome, has secured planning permission for the pavilion that will complete its redevelopment.
Approval of the plans by Hopkins Architects – who also designed the London 2012 velodrome nicknamed ‘the Pringle’ – was granted earlier this week by Southwark Council, which had put the design out to consultation in March.
Besides being the capital’s only remaining venue from the 1948 Olympic Games, Herne Hill Velodrome, which dates from 1891, is also where Wiggins – among others – first experienced track racing, taking to the boards there at the age of 12.
According to the website of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, the current plans are a scaled-down version of those revealed in 2013, which were shelved due to concerns regarding the size of the building, the additional road access that would be required in what is a residential area, and the long-term sustainability of such a facility.
Regarding the revised plans that have now been approved for the £1.8 million project, the trust says: “On the lower floor are changing rooms, showers, toilets, a medical room and a coaches office.
“The upper floor comprises a large multi-purpose room, a kitchen, a small meeting room and a viewing terrace.
“This will give the site much needed shelter, showers, and much needed changing and coaching facilities and secure the long term future and viability of the Velodrome.”
Herne Hill Velodrome Trust chair Hillary Peachey, who in 2010 founded the Save the Velodrome campaign group, told Cycling Weekly that it was hoped the work could be finished by summer 2016, when the venue celebrates its 125th anniversary.
She said:“The funding is all in place from Sport England, the London Marathon Trust, Southwark Council and we’re just waiting on a final grant application from the Mayor’s Fund.
“We’ll definitely be doing some crowd-funding for the extra landscaping we want to do.
“The Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome membership has increased, and getting people signed up to that is really important to help make sure the velodrome remains sustainable for the next 125 years.”
The site is currently operated by Velo Club Londres on behalf of British Cycling, which helped secure the venue’s future in 2011 by taking on a 15-year lease from landowners, the Dulwich Estate, who had said they wanted to redevelop it due to the disrepair the track and buildings had fallen into.
The 450 metre track was resurfaced the same year, funded to the tune of £500,000 by British Cycling.
At the time, Wiggins said: “I have such fond memories of Herne Hill which played an important role in my development as a rider.
“I remember the buzz I got from racing there when I was younger and that really gave me the bug for the sport.
“It’s fantastic to see Herne Hill benefiting from this investment – it’s such an iconic facility not just for the local area but for the whole British cycling scene.
“I hope the new track means more young people head down to Herne Hill to learn the ropes, develop their skills and, who knows, start their journey towards Olympic success.”
You can view the full plans here.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.