Derby nature reserve cycle track gets go-ahead

A curlew sandpiper, photographed at The Sanctuary Curlew sandpipers use the council-run Sanctuary nature reserve

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A cycle track will run through a Derby nature reserve despite concerns over its impact on wildlife.

The track will be linked to the city council's new £28m velodrome and will be built on part of The Sanctuary nature reserve.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said it was a "great pity" that the council had approved the plans.

But Labour councillor Sara Boulton said the new facility would only take up a "slice of the land".

Councillors voted on the cycle track planning proposal on Thursday night, and it was passed by six votes to five.

'Sad day'

Ms Boulton, chair of Derby City Council's planning committee, said: "In actual fact it's only a slice of the land, it's 18% of the total area of The Sanctuary that will be made up of this close-circuit cycle track.

"We listened to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and a [council] environmental officer, and it wasn't an easy decision."

Tim Birch, a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Conservation manager, said: "It's a very sad day for Derby city in terms of the wildlife that will now be impacted.

"It's a great pity that a local nature reserve that was established by Derby City Council will now be destroyed by that council."

Local ecologist Nick Moyes said: "It's not the end of it, we'll have to go away and have a think about that one."

However, Peter Turner from Derby Mercury Cycling Club, who is also a member of the wildlife trust, said: "I see both sides of the issue.

"I think the actual effect of people cycling on the track has been over emphasised.

"Cycling is quiet, we're not noisy and I don't see that as being such a big issue for the birds as made out."

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