Skatepark group hopes for lease

A SKATEPARK at Portishead’s Lake Grounds could become a reality if North Somerset Council agrees to lease the designated area of land to Portishead Skatepark Project (PSP).

Planning permission was granted in November 2010 for a skate park to be installed between the Lakeside Caf� and the boathouse near to the seafront, however, landlord’s consent is required before work can begin.

Discussions between members of PSP and officers of North Somerset Council have been taking place to establish the basis on which a lease can be issued.

Jon Gething a spokesman for PSP said: “The council’s preferred way forward, which they have followed in Clevedon and Nailsea, is to lease the land to the town council which then establishes and maintains the skate park facility.

“However, with the current financial crisis we are told this approach is not possible for the Lake Grounds.”

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PSP is now applying to become a registered charity which will apply to lease the land directly from North Somerset Council.

As a registered charity it will also launch into major fund-raising to help establish and manage the skate-park.

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North Somerset Council has said that a number of conditions will need to be met before it will consider leasing the land. These include guarantees that no financial liabilities will be laid on the council for the building of the skate park, or for its long term management. It also wants to ensure that PSP will meet any costs if the skate park falls into disuse, for the eventual removal of the facility and reinstatement of the leased area.

Mr Gething says the skate park project is committed to meeting all of these conditions and PSP leaders are expected to make a formal application to North Somerset Council in the near future.

Portishead Skatepark Project has been searching for a suitable site for more than four years and has inspected 17 possible locations, all of which have been rejected.

The recently investigated Gordano School site has also been ruled out by PSP, which say it does not meet the criteria set out for a successful skate park.

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