Funding still available for skate park proposed in Petworth

Pound Street Car Park was considered as a possible location for a skate park but has now been ruled out
Pound Street Car Park was considered as a possible location for a skate park but has now been ruled out

Petworth Town Council has been reassured that £70,000 will still be available when it finally decides on a location for its long-awaited skate park.

The skate park saga has been rumbling on since 2001, when £50,000 was allocated from the Petworth Leisure Fund to pay for the project.

Over the years, parts of the Sylvia Beaufoy and Pound Street car parks have been considered as possible sites.

In 2017, Chichester District Council’s cabinet agreed to the latter as long as no more than four parking space would be lost.

A meeting this week revealed that a total of eight spaces would be lost to the skate park and the town council had turned its attention to a different site – though the exact location was not given.

Leader Tony Dignum said: “This thing has been going on certainly for as long as I’ve been on the cabinet, and various sites have been chosen in Petworth and found, for different reasons, to be unsuitable.

“It now appears that the Petworth Council share our view around the inappropriate use of part of a car park for skateboards – it’s bad for the skateboarders and bad for car parking and the car parkers.

“It’s good to know that they are looking at another location after the first two car park ones had been rejected.

“What they have asked us is to reconfirm the financial support that was allocated to the car park.”

Trying to find a home for the skate park has been something of a balancing act for both councils as they weighed the need for recreation in the town against the loss of parking spaces for business and tourism.

Joining Mr Dignum in assuring the town council that the money would still be there when needed, Eileen Lintill (Con, Petworth) said: “Petworth is a quite difficult place – it’s a beautiful place but it has a park wall that stops you going anywhere around most of it, so it’s quite difficult to find spaces for this.

“I’m really pleased that there’s the potential for an alternative site, and I would support the town council in looking at that site.

“I could not support it going into a car park, for various reasons.”

There was laughter when she added: “I would hope to see this concluded within my lifetime.”