Skate park consent to be refused?

MEMBERS of Portishead Skatepark Project (PSP) have been left reeling after hearing that landlord’s consent to site a park at the Lake Grounds is set to be refused.

More than �6,000 of fund-raisers money was spent on the planning application to install a skate park at the seafront location, after the deputy leader of North Somerset Council, Elfan Ap Rees, agreed to the planning application going ahead following a report from council officers.

The land is owned by North Somerset Council and although the project has planning permission, it cannot go ahead unless the landlord gives permission.

Executive member for streets and open spaces, Councillor Peter Bryant, has confirmed he is recommending that the authority refuses landlord’s permission in a report to the executive member for asset management, Cllr Tony Lake, who will make the final decision.

Cllr Bryant said: “The Lake Grounds in Portishead is the envy of many towns in the UK. It is a tranquil beauty spot that should be protected.”

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PSP has been searching for a site for a new skate park since 2006, identifying 14 possible locations, of which only two met the criteria set out for successful skate park.

Kilkenny Fields and the Lake Grounds were both suitable, but members of the project say they were advised by council officials that Kilkenney Fields could not be pursued.

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A landscape architect was used to assist the project, after PSP was advised that landscaping would be important when making a planning application for the Lake Grounds.

Cllr Ap Rees said: “Members of PSP were and are very well aware of the opposition to siting a skate park at the Lake Grounds. They were right to engage a landscape adviser for their planning application, as it probably helped with the appeal decision, but in view of the fact that they do not own the land and the obvious local opposition, the employment of the architects had to be at the applicants own risk.”

PSP spokesman Sarah Souter said: “We have acted upon advice given to us by the local authority to get us this far with the project. In the democratic planning process only 31 residents objected, whereas 450 supported the application, so we will continue our fight for a skate park at the Lake Grounds.”

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