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Page last updated at 08:12 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Olympic venue at Hadleigh Farm set for summer start
Hadleigh Castle
The venue is expected to hold around 3,000 spectators during the Olympics

Work to develop the Olympic mountain biking venue at Hadleigh Farm is set to begin later this summer.

Essex County Council's cabinet member for the 2012 games, Cllr Stephen Castle, told BBC Essex they were close to being able to start the groundwork.

"We have signed the final legal agreements with the Salvation Army and London 2012," he said.

The historic ruins of Hadleigh Castle are tipped to become one of the iconic images of the London games in 2012.

Cllr Castle said the environmental considerations to the local area, as captured by John Constable in 1839, were one of the final hurdles to cross before work began.

"We are carrying out the environment impact assessments and are looking to move forward for planning permission with Castle Point District Council in the Spring of 2010," he said.

"We really want to be on the ground, building the course in the summer.

"The course we are building is very much part of the environment, we are not building a huge velodrome.

"We hope to leave a fantastic legacy venue for mountain biking," he added.

Cllr Castle also spoke of hopes to use the Hadleigh Fire Station building as part of its Cultural Olympiad plans.

""[It would have] exhibitions, artistic performances, the possibility of hospitality and looking at the way the mountain biking industry can engage," he said.

"There are lots of uses for it, very much being a part of the community and allowing people who perhaps don't consider themselves as mountain bikers to also be a part of the game."

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