RESIDENTS and a councillor have given their initial thoughts on plans to create an outdoor velodrome in Ruthin, the first to be built in North Wales.

Planning permission was lodged with Denbighshire County Council last month to create a new external outdoor velodrome development, with associated features, within the playing fields of Ysgol Brynhyfryd.

Proposals include:

  • Installation of cycling track measuring 333 metres in length and seven metres wide, with balustrade safety fencing to run around the entire length of the track with a 1.5-metre-wide spectator concourse on the outside of the balustrading.
  • A four-metre-wide porous macadam access road, that is fenced and gated at the leisure centre/school end.
  • Natural turf infield area to provide a pitch. The playing area of the pitch to be 73m x 54m not including run off.
  • Natural turf sports pitch to the west of the velodrome with a playing area measuring 95m x 60m.
  • A Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) with associated fencing located to the side of the velodrome, to include three tennis/netball court areas.
  • A bike store unit and building with an internal working space for events and an exterior bike maintenance canopy. 

The applicant is Denbighshire Leisure Ltd.

Jon Harland, County Councillor for Prestatyn Central, told the Journal and Free Press: "It's a fantastic facility if (and when) built. Sometimes, planning permission is given, but years later, they are still to come to fruition.

"I have a few concerns about the active travel aspects to the sports centre itself. I'm hoping that improvements into the approaches by cycle, which are almost non-existent at the moment, would benefit the school as well.

"There is a small business building proposed that is lacking in environmentally friendly features. This needs some attention to bring it into line with future thinking on materials and sustainability.

"The only other point of concern is whether Welsh Cycling (WC) can put enough resources into the facility to maximise its use. The circuit at Marsh Tracks, Rhyl, has been an example of a track that survives well on its own, but could be so much more vibrant if WC had thrown as much into it as they consistently put into their South Wales facilities."


The development would be supported by £2.3m of funding from Sports Wales and Welsh Cycling.

One resident, as part of the consultation, said: "If the velodrome goes ahead, I am extremely concerned that the sporting opportunities that are currently offered to the students of Ysgol Brynhyfryd would be limited thus having a negative effect on their physical activity and enjoyment during their time in high school.  

"Currently they have a football pitch and rugby field. These are two fields that are versatile which can also be used for athletics, rounders, cricket etc as well as football and rugby. Taking half of the facilities away and limiting it to cycling is not fair. Children excel and have interest in different sports, not everyone would enjoy cycling.  

"I am aware that there is a sports pitch located in the middle of the velodrome but presumably would not be able to be used when the cycling track is in use.

"If Ruthin needs a velodrome there are plenty of other more suitable sites other than taking half of the green areas that the children of Brynhyfryd currently have and enjoy."

Another resident also voiced concerns about it being built at the school: "The stated operational hours for the velodrome are 9am until 10pm Monday to Friday, which overlap school hours. The only car parking proposed for the development is that currently within the school, which is heavily used during school hours and would not be available to users of the development. Operation of the development for non-school use should, therefore be restricted to non-school hours. Failure to do this would create  parking problems on the surrounding streets, a problem that has occurred previously."