Cambridge Sport Lakes £25m complex a 'step closer'

Plans for Cambridge water sports park Plans include a competition course and triathlon facilities

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Plans for a £25m water sports complex in Cambridgeshire are a step closer after developers agreed to address a number of environmental concerns.

Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust hopes to build the competition-standard park between Milton and Waterbeach.

South Cambridgeshire District Council said work would not begin until it was satisfied drainage and potential traffic congestion concerns were met.

A trust spokesman said it would bring "economic benefits" to the region.

Outline permission for the 220-acre (90 hectares) complex was initially granted in 2007 and it was hoped it might be open in time to be used as a training course for the 2012 Olympics.

The council, developers and landowners have since signed an agreement allowing full planning permission to be granted.

'International significance'

The agreement requires the area to be open to the public and includes a large area of woodland.

A forum must also be established enabling local residents and councillors to discuss any concerns with the developers.

A council spokesman stressed that conditions relating to flood risk assessment, impact on the River Cam and local transport improvements needed to be addressed.

It has given the trust five years to get the project under way.

Mick Woolhouse, executive director of the trust, said the complex - which would also include a fishing lake, BMX track and triathlon facilities - would have "local, regional, national and international significance", and would result in "both sporting and economic benefits".

He said "several million" of the estimated £25m cost had been raised and efforts to raise the remainder would continue.

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