Battle over Action Park nearing end

Echo: Battle over Action Park nearing end Battle over Action Park nearing end

BATTLE lines will be drawn in the fight to keep a popular outdoor activity park open.

Basildon Council and Action Park, off the A127 in Wickford, will go head-tohead in the final stage of a long-running planning dispute.

The council wants to close the attraction, at Bonville Farm, because it has been operating without permission for more than seven years.

Bosses lodged an appeal after they were handed enforcement notices ordering them to close.

More than 2,000 people who visit Action Park, which offers motorsports, shooting and an assault course, have signed a petition urging Basildon Council to keep it open.

The planning inquiry will begin at the Basildon Centre, in St Martin’s Square, today, and is expected to last three days.

A Government inspector will make the final decision in the coming months.

Marie Martin, parkmanager, said: “We are trying to stay positive, but nobody knows what will happen.

We’ve got all our evidence and support ready, and that’s all we can do.

“We’ve been here for quite a long time now, so it would be a real shame if we had to close after all of this.

“We just have to hope the planning inspector will make the right decision.”

The council took action after receiving complaints from neighbours about noisy motocross bikes, rally cars and quad bikes.

There are also concerns about damage to the green belt land, and highways dangers on the A127 from traffic going in and out of the access road to the park.

Action Park organises stag and hen parties, charity fundraising events, and also works with the police to stop motorcyclists using public land.

It also runs an alternative education programme for youngsters who have been excluded from school.

Comments (25)

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9:13am Wed 9 Jul 14

whateverhappened says...

Complaints from neighbours... these should be made public to verifiy legitamy as there are no neighbours, accsess to and from the site is the same as anyother along the 127, and damage to green belt land is not permanent, as say with a dogs home council should bore off..imho
Complaints from neighbours... these should be made public to verifiy legitamy as there are no neighbours, accsess to and from the site is the same as anyother along the 127, and damage to green belt land is not permanent, as say with a dogs home council should bore off..imho whateverhappened
  • Score: 29

12:10pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Robin Reliant says...

whateverhappened wrote:
Complaints from neighbours... these should be made public to verifiy legitamy as there are no neighbours, accsess to and from the site is the same as anyother along the 127, and damage to green belt land is not permanent, as say with a dogs home council should bore off..imho
Noise travels.
[quote][p][bold]whateverhappened[/bold] wrote: Complaints from neighbours... these should be made public to verifiy legitamy as there are no neighbours, accsess to and from the site is the same as anyother along the 127, and damage to green belt land is not permanent, as say with a dogs home council should bore off..imho[/p][/quote]Noise travels. Robin Reliant
  • Score: -2

12:12pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Ian P says...

"There are also concerns about damage to the green belt land," That is a bit rich coming from a Council who takes every opportunity to build on every green open space in their area. At least if the park eventually closes sometime in the distant future nature will return the open space to its former glory, unlike the green areas sold off for building.
"There are also concerns about damage to the green belt land," That is a bit rich coming from a Council who takes every opportunity to build on every green open space in their area. At least if the park eventually closes sometime in the distant future nature will return the open space to its former glory, unlike the green areas sold off for building. Ian P
  • Score: 29

2:36pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

Geezer that runs it needs to send a few trays of pies and crates of ale to the Basildon Centre. Problem solved.
Geezer that runs it needs to send a few trays of pies and crates of ale to the Basildon Centre. Problem solved. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 2

11:04pm Wed 9 Jul 14

ktm jaijai says...

This track is doing no harm to anyone.. It Keeps kids off the streets. Im been going there for the last . 7 months. Turned my boys life around. He has never been this happy. It is looked after. Everyone is so nice and friendly. Everyone is in bits and i really do hope this stays open. It will devistate so many kids hearts. X x
.
This track is doing no harm to anyone.. It Keeps kids off the streets. Im been going there for the last . 7 months. Turned my boys life around. He has never been this happy. It is looked after. Everyone is so nice and friendly. Everyone is in bits and i really do hope this stays open. It will devistate so many kids hearts. X x . ktm jaijai
  • Score: 34

11:13pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Steve_Born says...

Can't comment on the bureaucracy, paperwork is paperwork after all. But the reality is it's a real community setup, always friendly and a credit to the borough. I love going mx there. Why not find a sensible win/win 'fine' like some free school days or something like that.
Please be sensible and don't close a well liked local attraction.
Can't comment on the bureaucracy, paperwork is paperwork after all. But the reality is it's a real community setup, always friendly and a credit to the borough. I love going mx there. Why not find a sensible win/win 'fine' like some free school days or something like that. Please be sensible and don't close a well liked local attraction. Steve_Born
  • Score: 22

11:16pm Wed 9 Jul 14

DBrider says...

Yeah, lets close down a well run facility that offers various physical activities for all ages, that puts on events to raise money for charities and keeps Motorcycles off local parks and green lands.
But, hey what do I know.
I think you should think about visiting the place and come see these "overweight soldier wanna bees " show you a thing or two about performing sports that take dedication and high levels of fitness.

I for one use the place regularly to practice motocross and have recently started racing again because of facilities like Action park.
I am also in the best shape I have been for years because of the demands of my sport even though I've played football for 20 odd years.

This isn't a place full of delinquent trouble makers but hard working upstanding citizens who just want somewhere to practice there chosen sports.
Yeah, lets close down a well run facility that offers various physical activities for all ages, that puts on events to raise money for charities and keeps Motorcycles off local parks and green lands. But, hey what do I know. I think you should think about visiting the place and come see these "overweight soldier wanna bees " show you a thing or two about performing sports that take dedication and high levels of fitness. I for one use the place regularly to practice motocross and have recently started racing again because of facilities like Action park. I am also in the best shape I have been for years because of the demands of my sport even though I've played football for 20 odd years. This isn't a place full of delinquent trouble makers but hard working upstanding citizens who just want somewhere to practice there chosen sports. DBrider
  • Score: 38

11:32pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Thurrockrentals says...

I have had a little boy upset today because I have told him that he may not be able to ride this weekend at action park it's makes no sense to close a place like this it's well run,safe,keeps bikes off the street and above all keeps people in jobs and provides lots of kids with a local hobby rather than sitting in there room playing xbox as for soldier wannabe come and have a look you may learn something.
I have had a little boy upset today because I have told him that he may not be able to ride this weekend at action park it's makes no sense to close a place like this it's well run,safe,keeps bikes off the street and above all keeps people in jobs and provides lots of kids with a local hobby rather than sitting in there room playing xbox as for soldier wannabe come and have a look you may learn something. Thurrockrentals
  • Score: 19

11:35pm Wed 9 Jul 14

MrMoosick says...

This is a very good place for people to meet,keep fit and let off steam in a high pressure stressful lifestyle we're forced to live in.I've searched for the place in car with open windows trying to hear signs of the action,eventually getting out a few times to listen....could hear nowt even though annoyingly I discovered I was only metres rather than miles from the place and arrived a bit late.
Motocross was in full blast and all bike are DB tested so how any one can complain of NOISE I just don't understand.Maybe shot guns if used there could be a problem so if this could be shelved and moved to a pit somewhere further out the way,then I can't see a problem for anyone.
Action Park ...we really needed you !
This is a very good place for people to meet,keep fit and let off steam in a high pressure stressful lifestyle we're forced to live in.I've searched for the place in car with open windows trying to hear signs of the action,eventually getting out a few times to listen....could hear nowt even though annoyingly I discovered I was only metres rather than miles from the place and arrived a bit late. Motocross was in full blast and all bike are DB tested so how any one can complain of NOISE I just don't understand.Maybe shot guns if used there could be a problem so if this could be shelved and moved to a pit somewhere further out the way,then I can't see a problem for anyone. Action Park ...we really needed you ! MrMoosick
  • Score: 19

11:38pm Wed 9 Jul 14

adrian13 says...

Action park is a professional and considerately run facility. I bring my whole family there each week. My wife, son and dog. It will be such a shame if this closes down and yet another blow to the hard working classes. What better way to unwind after another weeks hard graft.

Don't let the anti fun complainers succeed in taking away the one thing we look forward to each week.
Action park is a professional and considerately run facility. I bring my whole family there each week. My wife, son and dog. It will be such a shame if this closes down and yet another blow to the hard working classes. What better way to unwind after another weeks hard graft. Don't let the anti fun complainers succeed in taking away the one thing we look forward to each week. adrian13
  • Score: 19

12:03am Thu 10 Jul 14

uncle-festa says...

Amazes me that people like Nowthatsworthknowing can make a totally mindless and clearly uneducated stament like that, Oviously you have never been there. You had one part correct when you mention Soldiers, except not wannabees as there is infact a group of serving Paras that visit the site enjoying themselves when on leave from serving in Afgan etc. Action Park is a great place for famillys to go together and have fun and enjoy some great times giving the children the chance to do activitys that are not available in many places and certainly not anywhere else local. Its a well run safe place for people of all ages to enjoy sport, far better than before when people would ride through the streets and sea wall....
Amazes me that people like Nowthatsworthknowing can make a totally mindless and clearly uneducated stament like that, Oviously you have never been there. You had one part correct when you mention Soldiers, except not wannabees as there is infact a group of serving Paras that visit the site enjoying themselves when on leave from serving in Afgan etc. Action Park is a great place for famillys to go together and have fun and enjoy some great times giving the children the chance to do activitys that are not available in many places and certainly not anywhere else local. Its a well run safe place for people of all ages to enjoy sport, far better than before when people would ride through the streets and sea wall.... uncle-festa
  • Score: 17

6:01am Thu 10 Jul 14

jenf12 says...

We travel an hour and a half to use this safe well run facility. The council's in the UK are shutting more and more of these facilities which will only force some riders to ride illegally causing nuisance and more damage to local areas. Action park does fantastic work I wish the locals could see this and support local business which if closed will put more people out of work and probably more problems for the local community with illegal riding.
We travel an hour and a half to use this safe well run facility. The council's in the UK are shutting more and more of these facilities which will only force some riders to ride illegally causing nuisance and more damage to local areas. Action park does fantastic work I wish the locals could see this and support local business which if closed will put more people out of work and probably more problems for the local community with illegal riding. jenf12
  • Score: 14

6:24am Thu 10 Jul 14

Kaz-la says...

As my son rides at action park frequently I for one am devastated that this is happening to a motocross track that gives so much pleasure to children & adults of all ages, the mx world is like family kind, friendly & a great place to be, the people that want to shut this track down should come & see how many kids & adults this will devastate not only are they all talented in this sport thanks to action park they are off the street doing a sport they love in there local community take away this great track & these talented riders have no
where to ride. Sport is important for kids & adults no matter what sport & we as a family love this place.
As my son rides at action park frequently I for one am devastated that this is happening to a motocross track that gives so much pleasure to children & adults of all ages, the mx world is like family kind, friendly & a great place to be, the people that want to shut this track down should come & see how many kids & adults this will devastate not only are they all talented in this sport thanks to action park they are off the street doing a sport they love in there local community take away this great track & these talented riders have no where to ride. Sport is important for kids & adults no matter what sport & we as a family love this place. Kaz-la
  • Score: 11

7:22am Thu 10 Jul 14

whateverhappened says...

Is this not a new council that "listens to the people"
Is this not a new council that "listens to the people" whateverhappened
  • Score: 5

7:46am Thu 10 Jul 14

scottdearman26 says...

Noise? Is having a dual carriageway and a motorway each side of the facility not loud? Pretty sure cars make noise...
And pollution... If you take 10 minutes of cars and measure how much co2 they make, that'll be more than the bikes do in a month...
Noise? Is having a dual carriageway and a motorway each side of the facility not loud? Pretty sure cars make noise... And pollution... If you take 10 minutes of cars and measure how much co2 they make, that'll be more than the bikes do in a month... scottdearman26
  • Score: 7

8:14am Thu 10 Jul 14

Andy#33 says...

In a day and age when the media is full of teenage ASBOs, youth stabbings, cyber-bullying, teen gangs and myriad other problems associated with the youth of today, it defies belief that you would want to close down Action Park. Clearly, those in charge of making the decision haven't spent any amount of time there, else they would have witnessed many, many happy kids of all ages and races and of both genders joyously lapping the tracks, hanging out in a safe environment with their friends and families. Motocross is a sport for families to enjoy together, but if you close Action Park, the nearest track that allows kids to ride is more than 90 miles away! I can't believe you would want to close down such a valued site. It's a jewel in the Essex countryside, a haven for kids who would otherwise be hanging about on street corners and no doubt falling in with the wrong crowd. These kids have a passion in life, a hobby they adore, a sport that keeps them fit and focused, that teaches them about safety and concentration, coordination and sportsmanship, not to mention all the budding young mechanics and engineers out there who lovingly tend to their prized bikes - why would you want to take that away from them? Please, please reconsider closing Action Park. It's needed so badly and valued so highly it'd be a heartless crime to close it down.
In a day and age when the media is full of teenage ASBOs, youth stabbings, cyber-bullying, teen gangs and myriad other problems associated with the youth of today, it defies belief that you would want to close down Action Park. Clearly, those in charge of making the decision haven't spent any amount of time there, else they would have witnessed many, many happy kids of all ages and races and of both genders joyously lapping the tracks, hanging out in a safe environment with their friends and families. Motocross is a sport for families to enjoy together, but if you close Action Park, the nearest track that allows kids to ride is more than 90 miles away! I can't believe you would want to close down such a valued site. It's a jewel in the Essex countryside, a haven for kids who would otherwise be hanging about on street corners and no doubt falling in with the wrong crowd. These kids have a passion in life, a hobby they adore, a sport that keeps them fit and focused, that teaches them about safety and concentration, coordination and sportsmanship, not to mention all the budding young mechanics and engineers out there who lovingly tend to their prized bikes - why would you want to take that away from them? Please, please reconsider closing Action Park. It's needed so badly and valued so highly it'd be a heartless crime to close it down. Andy#33
  • Score: 12

8:36am Thu 10 Jul 14

jasonstyer says...

Something I posted on Facebook a while back, for ignorant people...
Ah here goes... From a motocross dad's point of view... To all those people that are trying to close tracks around the country just because the noise annoys them or similar, please understand that it is not only our passion, but that of our kids. We basically sign a disclaimer every time our kids ride, that death or injury may occur, it is the worst feeling to have to sign that sheet of paper every time, knowing that it might be the last time you will ever spend with your child. But with the passion they show, you can't help but sign it (I don't expect you to understand this if you have never ridden), but if you take away all the tracks, there will be no place for our kids to practice and they would be entering competitive races with little to no experience. Please consider, that while you might be getting your peace and quiet, you may have indirectly been involved in causing injury or even worse killed a child who is doing what they love, because they have not been able to go down to his or her local track to practice. I know that it is something that I would not like lingering in the back of my mind... This is not just for the motocross community, but for anyone who feels that kids should not be discriminated against just because they are following their dreams. I know it might not be as quiet as a bunch of kids walking past your house kicking a football against your wall even though they have football fields and parks all over, but you don't close down your whole street just because they do it. Please consider that kids who play traditional sports have facilities everywhere to practice, but closing a motocross track will most likely end up forcing some mx kids to ride illegally in the streets. Yet again, indirectly forcing them to break the law and even worse cause death or injury while breaking the law. We do not want this for our kids, and just wish society can see the logic in their actions... Please, if you feel the same way, even if you're not a motocrosser, sign any petitions you can find and support your local track.
Something I posted on Facebook a while back, for ignorant people... Ah here goes... From a motocross dad's point of view... To all those people that are trying to close tracks around the country just because the noise annoys them or similar, please understand that it is not only our passion, but that of our kids. We basically sign a disclaimer every time our kids ride, that death or injury may occur, it is the worst feeling to have to sign that sheet of paper every time, knowing that it might be the last time you will ever spend with your child. But with the passion they show, you can't help but sign it (I don't expect you to understand this if you have never ridden), but if you take away all the tracks, there will be no place for our kids to practice and they would be entering competitive races with little to no experience. Please consider, that while you might be getting your peace and quiet, you may have indirectly been involved in causing injury or even worse killed a child who is doing what they love, because they have not been able to go down to his or her local track to practice. I know that it is something that I would not like lingering in the back of my mind... This is not just for the motocross community, but for anyone who feels that kids should not be discriminated against just because they are following their dreams. I know it might not be as quiet as a bunch of kids walking past your house kicking a football against your wall even though they have football fields and parks all over, but you don't close down your whole street just because they do it. Please consider that kids who play traditional sports have facilities everywhere to practice, but closing a motocross track will most likely end up forcing some mx kids to ride illegally in the streets. Yet again, indirectly forcing them to break the law and even worse cause death or injury while breaking the law. We do not want this for our kids, and just wish society can see the logic in their actions... Please, if you feel the same way, even if you're not a motocrosser, sign any petitions you can find and support your local track. jasonstyer
  • Score: 8

8:51am Thu 10 Jul 14

Hathi67 says...

Damage to the Green Belt Land - Who are they kidding, the council are beyond a joke. This is a brilliant place for all to go to, it is very well run and the staff are happy in their work. So what if they have not got the "paperwork" in place.

I think the only reason the council want to close it is to have the land themselves to build more houses!!!

Members of the council, "LEAVE ACTION PARK ALONE", We need places like this, Most of you councillors have no idea what people want.
Damage to the Green Belt Land - Who are they kidding, the council are beyond a joke. This is a brilliant place for all to go to, it is very well run and the staff are happy in their work. So what if they have not got the "paperwork" in place. I think the only reason the council want to close it is to have the land themselves to build more houses!!! Members of the council, "LEAVE ACTION PARK ALONE", We need places like this, Most of you councillors have no idea what people want. Hathi67
  • Score: 3

9:20am Thu 10 Jul 14

Charmoto says...

My two sons have been riding here for just over a year as we got turfed off our local motocross spot via council and police and was told we would get a section 59 if we returned.so we have been taking them here where it safe proffesionaly run has first aiders onsite .i think by shutting action park down it will encourage children/teenagers to ride on roads and places where they shouldn't and not be safe and cause disruption to others.There are not many places that cater for all ages and keep our kids off the streets and safe and out of trouble.Some people use the activities here for precious family time.As for the entrance to the park it is no different to some of the turn offs along the 127.By closing this park down it will upset alot of children and families who value their quality time here at the weekends.
My two sons have been riding here for just over a year as we got turfed off our local motocross spot via council and police and was told we would get a section 59 if we returned.so we have been taking them here where it safe proffesionaly run has first aiders onsite .i think by shutting action park down it will encourage children/teenagers to ride on roads and places where they shouldn't and not be safe and cause disruption to others.There are not many places that cater for all ages and keep our kids off the streets and safe and out of trouble.Some people use the activities here for precious family time.As for the entrance to the park it is no different to some of the turn offs along the 127.By closing this park down it will upset alot of children and families who value their quality time here at the weekends. Charmoto
  • Score: 1

9:28am Thu 10 Jul 14

dannyjoyce says...

I would be lost without this track a few years back I become a amputee n was told I wont ride again due to my injuries I was offerd no counciling or rehabiltion schemes I was left in the dark I discovered action park mx track where a great team of guys that was willing to help me in my sittuation so theses last few years action park has been like a rehabilitation scheme I was never offerd they got me me back riding
Basicly give me my life back if the trak was to close id be at square 1
I would be lost without this track a few years back I become a amputee n was told I wont ride again due to my injuries I was offerd no counciling or rehabiltion schemes I was left in the dark I discovered action park mx track where a great team of guys that was willing to help me in my sittuation so theses last few years action park has been like a rehabilitation scheme I was never offerd they got me me back riding Basicly give me my life back if the trak was to close id be at square 1 dannyjoyce
  • Score: 7

9:50am Thu 10 Jul 14

wobballs says...

I think some body in the planning department did not get a bung! Besides the people in said planning department of Basildon council, exactly how many of the people was born and bread in Basildon or even live here! And these are the people making decisions about our homes and and place's of work! 80% get turn down of all planning applications before they get to the council community! By the planning office! And is everybody forgetting the cockpit up in oak road a fue years ago! Witch started with 1 said planning officer letting a small amount of pickys stay! How well did that turn out? There is no common sense in anything Basildon council dose!
I think some body in the planning department did not get a bung! Besides the people in said planning department of Basildon council, exactly how many of the people was born and bread in Basildon or even live here! And these are the people making decisions about our homes and and place's of work! 80% get turn down of all planning applications before they get to the council community! By the planning office! And is everybody forgetting the cockpit up in oak road a fue years ago! Witch started with 1 said planning officer letting a small amount of pickys stay! How well did that turn out? There is no common sense in anything Basildon council dose! wobballs
  • Score: 0

11:06am Thu 10 Jul 14

Mattster says...

Thats 2000 people with more money than sense or do the action park only mug the Stag and Hen parties.
Thats 2000 people with more money than sense or do the action park only mug the Stag and Hen parties. Mattster
  • Score: -7

12:46pm Thu 10 Jul 14

southey 34 says...

Cant believe that the council are considering closing down yet another track. This is a great place well run and great for all ages. I have been riding for a few year and there just isn't enough tracks around this part of the country. Surely by closing the track will greatly increase the amount of money and time spent by the council and the police chasing up the reports of illegal bike riding on fields and woodland. Keep them off the streets and on the tracks were it belongs. Surely councils local authorities can see just how much revenue these tracks create maybe they should be looking at how to help fund these tracks instead of trying to close them down. This seems to be the only country that is against the sport.
Cant believe that the council are considering closing down yet another track. This is a great place well run and great for all ages. I have been riding for a few year and there just isn't enough tracks around this part of the country. Surely by closing the track will greatly increase the amount of money and time spent by the council and the police chasing up the reports of illegal bike riding on fields and woodland. Keep them off the streets and on the tracks were it belongs. Surely councils local authorities can see just how much revenue these tracks create maybe they should be looking at how to help fund these tracks instead of trying to close them down. This seems to be the only country that is against the sport. southey 34
  • Score: 2

5:58pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Captainstrange says...

Action Park offers a fantastic recreational facility and is very well organised and looked after. It isn't doing any harm being there, if anything, it's the exact opposite. They do more for the local community and schools, than people are actually aware of. I have been riding there for a few years now and I really enjoy going there. We're so lucky to have something like this local, the council should be be in support of this and all the good it's doing, not trying to tear it down and destroying all the work that has been put in. I will be extremely disappointed, as would so many others if it was to be closed down. I can't help but think that, none of this would be happening right now, if it was a football pitch.
Action Park offers a fantastic recreational facility and is very well organised and looked after. It isn't doing any harm being there, if anything, it's the exact opposite. They do more for the local community and schools, than people are actually aware of. I have been riding there for a few years now and I really enjoy going there. We're so lucky to have something like this local, the council should be be in support of this and all the good it's doing, not trying to tear it down and destroying all the work that has been put in. I will be extremely disappointed, as would so many others if it was to be closed down. I can't help but think that, none of this would be happening right now, if it was a football pitch. Captainstrange
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Sun 13 Jul 14

davidh1066 says...

Despite positive comments on the facilities at Action Park which I do not doubt are enjoyed by many - it is a sad fact of life that because the due process of planning was not gone through it gave those with an opposite view no opportunity to voice their opinions.
Despite positive comments on the facilities at Action Park which I do not doubt are enjoyed by many - it is a sad fact of life that because the due process of planning was not gone through it gave those with an opposite view no opportunity to voice their opinions. davidh1066
  • Score: 1
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