LETTER: Appalling move to relocate skatepark

I WRITE to say how appalled we are that there are plans to remove the Esplanade skatepark to an obscure place a long way from the children who now use it.

I have several grandchildren who come to see it in Bognor Regis and their first request is to visit this park where we find those children using it to be polite, welcoming and generous in offering the use of their equipment, even bicycles to my young grandchildren.

Why do the council officers want to move the skatepark – to build a cafe?

Older readers will remember Penny Wise, the second-hand shop opposite the Esplanade. When this came up for sale in 2002 we viewed this premises and made a cash offer. Our stated intention was to operate a cafe from this site.

Later on, we saw council officers and elected members were considering an application to convert the site to flats.

We went to the designated meeting and the officers read out a letter from the agents to say they had no interest from anyone considering commercial use, our offer not being mentioned.

As reported, on June 20, 2002, I pointed out my wife and I had offered to buy the premises to have a cafe. We had much correspondence with Arun District Council and in one letter they said there were no commercial properties within 60 metres of the site. They had forgotten the three shops to the east of the traffic lights only 30 metres away.

If the council had sought the facts they should have rejected the application and had a cafe on this site since 2002. Why now do they feel it necessary to evict the children and go to the expense of a new cafe?

Those who are intending destroying a much-used and enjoyed skatepark and intend spending money building a new cafe in an area they said was 60 metres away from the nearest shop should think again, particularly as the Pit Stop Cafe is already adjacent to the skatepark for daytime refreshments and food for the public.

R and J Jones

Victoria Drive

Bognor Regis