Campaigners apply for consent to build skatepark at Portishead Lake Grounds

PUBLISHED: 07:36 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 07:36 31 October 2019

The committee - Ben Aldridge, Martin Parry, Jenny Parry and Ali Redwood
.

The committee - Ben Aldridge, Martin Parry, Jenny Parry and Ali Redwood .

(C)2016 Jeremy Long / JCLPhotography, all rights reserved

Portishead is a step closer to receiving a permanent skatepark after an application for landlord's consent was submitted.

Portishead Wheels and Skatepark (WASP), jointly with Portishead Town Council, has applied to North Somerset Council for consent to build a facility at the Lake Grounds.

WASP hopes, after years of battles and setbacks, to create a place for skaters to showcase their tricks and socialise behind the boathouse.

The location was chosen via a survey, which also proposed sites at Kilkenny Fields and Pill Park.

If landlord's consent is granted by the council, which owns the Lake Grounds, the project would still need planning permission to go ahead.

Ben Aldridge, town councillor and member of the WASP committee, said: "The location was chosen by the public.

"We put it out to the people and the results which came back from the survey proved it was the best option."

A skatepark, or lack thereof, has long been a hot topic in Portishead, with campaigners putting in years of hard work only to see their efforts blocked in 2011.

They received planning permission to build a concreted skatepark at the Lake Grounds, but were later denied landlord's consent by North Somerset's executive committee.

A parish poll was conducted in 2016, showing overwhelming support for the campaigners' efforts.

And with a much-changed political landscape since May's local elections, with a rainbow coalition taking control from the Conservatives, the skatepark project has regained momentum - and hopes are growing the town will at least get its wish.

Hundreds of youngsters took part in a series of pop-up skating events around Portishead in August and September, which Cllr Aldridge said emphasised the town's desire for a permanent facility.

In preparation of receiving a green light from the council, WASP has registered as a community interest company and set up a bank account, with Cllr Adlridge expecting news in the coming days.

North Somerset has confirmed it has received an application, which will be considered by its officers and executive committee.

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