A PROPOSED cycle park held up for two years is a step closer now it has been agreed that visitors will be able to use nearby toilets. 

The velo park which will feature a one kilometre, six-metre wide closed track, and raised jumps, was approved in March 2022 and described as a “facility that will be of regional and potentially national importance” and “further enhance Abergavenny’s reputation as one of the most successful cycling towns and destinations in Wales.” 

But the plans have been delayed due to the potential impact of visitors using the toilets which would lead to increased levels of phosphorus in treated water entering the River Usk.

When the plans were passed, by Monmouthshire County Council’s planning committee two years ago, it was proposed to use portaloos for daily use and additional ones for larger events. The portaloos would then be taken off site for disposal. 

However as Welsh Water has now upgraded the nearby Llanfoist wastewater treatment plant, environmental regulator Natural Resources Wales is satisfied it can accommodate greater demand and the development can be connected to the main sewer. 

Planning officer Phil Thomas told this month’s planning committee that visitors to the park will use the toilets at the council’s One Planet recycling centre that is next to it. 

“They will have access to the existing facilities at the One Planet Centre that is adjacent to the site, about a 30 second walk from the proposed car park,” he said.

“Welsh Water has no objection and on this basis the condition there is a foul drainage strategy is no longer needed.” 

The committee was also told a green infrastructure management plan covering trees, grassland, protected species and how areas will be managed at the council-owned Racecourse farm site, south of the A465 Heads of the Valleys road and close to the McDonald’s drive through, Brewer’s Fayre restaurant and Foxhunters Care Home, has also been agreed. 

Natural Resources Wales has also requested the previous 9.30pm cut off time for lighting be changed to “after dusk”, to protect otters, and a separate condition restricts lighting within 20 metres of the river and onsite ponds and watercourses between dawn and dusk. 

Access to the park will be from the existing access road to the One Planet Centre and the car park will have space for around 80 vehicles. 

Labour councillor Tony Easson, said he recalled when the application was previously discussed it was suggested that a second access could be created from the Llanfoist to Llanellen road.

But committee chair, Conservative Phil Murphy, said it had been decided that wasn’t justified as there were only likely to be a “few times a year” it would be required due to potential congestion. 

Steven Garratt, Labour member for Overmonnow, said: “I was there on Saturday and there were no queues at the recycling centre.” 

The committee approved the application with the updated details provided and Mr Thomas said the approval and report would be forwarded to the Welsh Government for a final decision after it said it could consider calling in the previous permission and deciding it itself. 

The council’s Mon Life leisure service had made the application and is funding the £490,000 project with money from section 106 legal agreements that have required contributions towards community benefits from developers. 

Abergavenny, home town of double Olympic cycling medallist Becky James has long had a reputation for pedal power, attracting some of the biggest names in the sport - such as Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas - to national championship races and tour stages, as well as hosting its own ‘Festival of Cycling’ for many years.