The man behind a huge cycle park has grand ambitions to transform a disused power station into a similarly state-of-the-art sports facility.
Littlebrook Power Station in Manor Way, Dartford, closed last year after providing energy for almost four decades, but the iconic buildings have yet to be demolished.
Now Tony Mack, who built Cyclopark in Gravesend, wants to see them used to provide the community with a velodrome, bike tracks, indoor football and hockey pitches, a skateboard park, running tracks and more.
He has written to sports minister Tracey Crouch, Kent County Council, Dartford council and Sport England in a bid to drum up support, but is keen for others to hear his plans.
“The power station is being decommissioned and demolished, but at the moment the buildings are still standing and the site has not yet been brought to the market,” said Mr Mack, of Longfield Avenue in Longfield.
“The cavernous buildings could house a range of indoor facilities and the opportunities for a heritage and cultural centre are also dazzling. I would also like to save the chimney because it is an iconic landmark.
“You could have an observation platform overlooking Kent, Essex and London, or perhaps a zip wire attraction could be incorporated. This is a once in a millennium chance to create a unique facility unmatched in Europe.”
Mr Mack believes the station’s links to nearby motorways, airports and train stations makes it an excellent location for attracting visitors from beyond Dartford.
He has called on the site’s owner, RWE, to get involved in the development rather than go ahead with selling it off.
“This is a once in a millennium chance to create a unique facility unmatched in Europe…” – Tony Mack
He said: “Finance is a major problem in these austere times but perhaps RWE could be persuaded to cooperate by granting time needed to complete a feasibility study — maybe individual facilities could be sponsored to help costs. If successful, the rewards could be absolutely spectacular, unrivalled, and create a wonderful community.”
The power station was most recently used to stage the largest emergency training exercise ever held in Europe — the simulation of a building collapse near London Waterloo.
More than 4,000 people took part over four days in early March, with 1,000 casualties, thousands of tonnes of rubble, seven tube carriages and hundreds of emergency service responders.
Cyclopark, meanwhile, has been a huge success since opening in May 2012 and is Europe’s largest cycle park. The £8 million venue, south of Gravesend alongside the A2,
also boasts facilities for runners and skateboarders.