Skate park decision could be reconsidered

A DECISION to refuse consent for a skate park at Portishead’s Lake Grounds may be revisited following a meeting today (Fri).

In December, North Somerset Council decided to turn down an application from Portishead Skatepark Project (PSP) to lease land at the site where the group hoped to create the facility.

However, this decision was called in for analysis by councillors Deborah Yamanaka and Mark Canniford, who felt the introduction of a skate park would mean people of all ages could enjoy the Lake Grounds.

PSP has worked for years find a site for a skate park and, in November 2010, planning permission for it to be created at the Lake Grounds was granted on appeal.

The last hurdle the group had to overcome was permission from the land owner – North Somerset Council – to lease the land for 25 years at a peppercorn rent.

But, the authority’s executive members Tony Lake and Peter Bryant, and director of finance and resources, Phil Hall, signed off a decision in December to refuse permission.

However, at a meeting of the council’s community and corporate organisation policy and scrutiny panel this morning, a vote was passed to ask them to reconsider their decision. Six voted for the motion, five voted against and five abstained.

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In their reasons for calling in the decision, councillors Yamanaka and Canniford stated: “With the general cuts in expenditure, including planned severe cuts to youth spending, a volunteer group is prepared to install a much-needed facility in the town.

“We have moved on from the Edwardian age when the Lake Grounds were built.

“Providing the skate park would mean all age groups had facilities at the place known as the jewel in Portishead’s crown.

“Why then has North Somerset Council refused to lease the ground?”