Portishead to 'finally get the skatepark it deserves'?

PUBLISHED: 07:34 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 05 July 2019

Campaigners calling for a new skatepark in Portishead.

Campaigners calling for a new skatepark in Portishead.

Archant

Years of waiting could be brought to an end after Portishead Town Council launched a project which could 'finally' see the creation of a permanent skatepark.

The lack of a wheels park has long been a hot topic in Portishead, but after more than a decade of disputes the town council hopes to at last see the project materialise.

The authority last month voted to spend £1,000 on portable ramps which will be used for a trio of trial events in late-July and August, and there are plans for more events in the future.

The town council hopes the initiative will culminate in the creation of a permanent skatepark.

Cllr Ben Aldridge - who is leading the project - said at the town council's meeting in June he is 'extremely passionate' about seeing skaters' desires met.

He said: "The ramps will be used over the next two or three years while we work in the background to finally get the skatepark this town deserves."

Planning permission for a wheels park at the Lake Grounds was granted close to a decade ago by North Somerset Council, but it refused landlord's consent in 2011.

The decision failed to deter campaigners from fighting for the cause, and a parish poll in 2017 saw almost 90 per cent of voters support the proposal.

A half-pipe installed at Merlin Park by skate shop Sk8 Or Die in December has proved immensely popular, and Cllr Aldridge believes the trial events will further emphasise the town's demand for a permanent solution.

He said: "The poll proved people in the town do want a skatepark. However a lot of water has gone under the bridge.

"The trial events will make sure we know if the children of the town still want a skatepark, which I believe they do.

"These ramps won't be purchased and disappear into the ether somewhere. What we want to do is use them for events throughout the year with groups such as the youth club or the scouts.

"The children of this town are the ones who are going to use it.

"Without their input we can't move forward and go to North Somerset and ask them if we can do the next phase - which is looking to get (landlord's) consent (for a permanent wheels park)."

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