Project leaders urged to think again on Petworth skate park

ks180193-3 Mid Pound Street  phot kate'Petworth car park.ks180193-3 SUS-180424-181246008
ks180193-3 Mid Pound Street phot kate'Petworth car park.ks180193-3 SUS-180424-181246008

Skate park project leaders at Petworth have been urged to go back to the drawing board and find another site.

Residents living close to the town centre Pound Street car park have already voiced strong concerns for the plans to build the skate park there.

On Thursday town councillor Neville Fox told a full meeting he sympathised with their concerns.

His major concerns, he said, centred on noise and the safety of children using the car park to get to the facility.

As a former trustee of the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre when there was a skate park there, he said there were issues with extra equipment being imported and placed in the car park, not the park compound. The skate park would also have to be opened and closed in the morning and at night.

There were a number of issues which had not yet been addressed, he told fellow councillors.

“I think we must be very aware of the concerns of residents who would have to put up with these things.”

Project leader Roger Hanauer said the former Sylvia Beaufoy facility was ‘very rudimentary’ compared with the current planned design, which would negate extra equipment being brought in.

He said the facilities would be policed and added: “I absolutely understand the concerns of the residents close to the facilities but our job as a council is to try and embrace the desires of the whole community and look after the youth of the town who have, up to now with the rebooting of the sports ground, been very ill served.”

He said he was aware of the ‘sensitivities’ of the Pound Street car park site: “If we could find an alternative it would be a preference but up to now, there isn’t an alternative.”

The proposal had been based on hard evidence and fully researched, he said.

Council chairman Chris Kemp said the project would not be ‘railroaded through’ and further investigations would continue: “We need to look at it very carefully, it is not set in stone.”