Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Demolition starts at cycle track

A derelict cycle track in Leicester is being demolished after years of uncertainty over its future.

Since the velodrome on Saffron lane shut in 1999, debate has continued about whether to re-invest in it or put the land to other uses.

But the city council said repeated acts of vandalism and anti-social behaviour had forced it to act.

No plans for the site have been confirmed but up to 250 homes could be built on the area.

Sporting loss

Andy Connelly, the city council cabinet member responsible for culture and leisure, said: "Since the velodrome was closed it has caused a great deal of distress and annoyance to local residents.

"The vandalism and arson attacks became so frequent and problematic that we took the decision to demolish the site.

"It is hoped that this will bring an end to the anti-social behaviour at the site and help local people have a more quiet and peaceful life."

But Liberal Democrat councillor Dale Keeling thought it was a real loss for the local area.

"Myself and local residents have fought extremely hard to get the city council to invest in the velodrome and spend money in the area and make it once again a sporting facility.

"It would have been worth the money. It was always meant to be a sporting facility."

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