'Perfect site' for new Portishead skatepark identified

PUBLISHED: 07:24 06 April 2018 | UPDATED: 07:35 06 April 2018

The land near Majestic Wine is considered a possiblity by WASP. Picture: Google.

The land near Majestic Wine is considered a possiblity by WASP. Picture: Google.

Google

'Positive' discussions have taken place about getting a new skatepark in Portishead.

A potential location off Harbour Road is being pursued, which Portishead Town Council’s vice chairman believes is a ‘wonderful’ opportunity to resolve the long-running saga.

Portishead Wheels And Skatepark (WASP) has been liaising with the town council and North Somerset Council to try to find a solution.

While North Somerset is happy to support one at Slade Road or Merlin Park, WASP is not happy with the locations. Merlin Park is not within 15 minutes of the High Street, as requested in last year’s parish poll.

WASP prefers the Harbour Road site or Kilkenny Fields.

But WASP’s Geoff Hardman said hopes of starting ‘afresh’ with North Somerset were dealt a blow though when it refused to entertain the possibility of building at Kilkenny Fields.

He said: “To say I was annoyed is an understatement. We are back at square one.

“We can’t proceed further until we have got a plot of land.”

The site behind Majestic Wines is believed to be owned by four companies, but its size means it is not suitable for major redevelopment. Enquiries are now ongoing to see if it could be available to WASP.

Town council vice chairman Peter Mitchell said talks had been ‘positive’.

He said: “We have a possible site at Majestic and I think we will all agree it’s a perfect site. It’s a wonderful opportunity.

“We will get there but it won’t be easy.”

Any skatepark plan would be dependent upon landowners’ agreement and if underground utility supplies pass under the site.

WASP has ruled out pursuing a skatepark at the Lake Grounds. Both Cllr Mitchell and Mr Hardman said at the town council’s recreation committee meeting on March 28 the idea of using concrete on former marshland was a ‘non-starter’.

The area received planning permission in 2011, but the scheme stalled as North Somerset Council blocked it from being built on its land.

Former town council chairman Ros Cruse backed Harbour Road as a would-be skatepark location.

She said it is a busy area and away from housing and therefore was a sensible place to build one.

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