Big push for skatepark plans at Petworth

The area in Hampers Green which was  proposed for the skate park.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130434-5
The area in Hampers Green which was proposed for the skate park.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130434-5

PETWORTH’S new town council chairman is making a big push to find a site for the long-awaited skatepark.

Chris Kemp told fellow town councillors time was running out to spend the £50,000 set aside for the project: “I think it would be a crying shame if we couldn’t spend that money for the youth of the town.”

He said he had met officers at Chichester District Council to discuss money earmarked for the town through contributions from developers who had 
built there. The £50,000 was still set aside: “But we stand a huge change of losing it,” he said, as the cut-off point was looming.

“They would consider letting us use it for some other recreational purpose, but it may take some persuading.”

He told members: “I would dearly like to see a town council which picks up this thistle and runs with it.”

The skatepark was originally planned at the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre, but it was not supported by the youth club there as it was considered unsafe in an area of the car park.

District councillor Eileen Lintill, who is also secretary of the youth club, said she had never supported the plan because of the dangers: “Also we have had lots of antisocial behaviour there that we are now getting to grips with.”

Another disadvantage of the site, she said, was there was no room for expansion.

A proposal in 2012 to site it at Hampers Green faltered after complaints from residents and failure to reach agreement with landowners, the Leconfield Estate.

“It’s a real shame the estate will not permit it,” said Cllr Lintill.

“It’s not a great big thing, it could be quite neatly tucked in.”

Mr Kemp said: “The fixation skate parks attract the wrong sort of person is wrong. Some antisocial behaviour is caused by the fact these poor kids have nowhere else to go.”

Tony Sneller said he would take on the project and a meeting was being held with Lord Egremont.