Seashell is to submit detailed plans for a new, inclusive cycle track and learn to ride school for its children and young people and the local community as part of the £50m masterplan project.

This week will see the Trust apply for planning permission for a 2km, off-road trail which will snake around the edge of the site with three different routes for people to try and enjoy, and a special learn to ride track. The scheme is designed to help children and young people with complex needs, their families and friends, to get biking. The track and learn to ride school will also be open to the local community and people will be able to come and learn to ride and enjoy the trail.

Seashell’s Chief Executive and Principal Jolanta McCall, said of the scheme: “We are absolutely thrilled to reach the milestone of being able to submit a planning application for this exciting cycle track. “It will bring a fabulous new facility for both our children and young people and the local community.

The Learn to Ride track has been designed by specialists, Playscheme, as a safe space for young riders of all abilities to come and enjoy the opportunity to develop their riding skills and in turn, their confidence and wellbeing. There will be a combination of different surfaces, pathways and working traffic lights for riders to navigate, along with replica road signs and markings to follow. The Learn to Ride area will have scaled streetlights both to extend the hours of use and allow learner riders to experience riding at night.  A shelter with seating and workstations will overlook the track and provide a perfect place for users to stop and take a break, or families to sit and watch the action.

Alongside the Learn to Ride track, plans for a 2km site-wide, off-road trail are being submitted, with three different routes to be explored by the children and young people. The initial, green route will be suitable for shared pedestrian use, as well as being capable of accommodating the wider adapted bikes used by Seashell. The tracks will be in a stone to dust finish, reflecting the usual surface of an off road trail, but will also include ‘rumble strips’ for an additional sensory experience.

And for a more challenging experience there will be two additional routes built off the primary green route. The red and blue routes will provide a wider range of interest and sensory stimulation and Seashell will have specialist cycle coaches to help improve everyone’s skills and ability. These trails will use common off-road features such as berms, a type of raised shelf, rock drops and rock armour, interlocking rocks designed as uneven terrain, all intended to challenge and thrill the riders. Longer term the plan is to have a inclusive bike library and repair and maintenance facility.

The application will be submitted this week and the cycle track is expected to open in summer 2022.