Skate park for Petworth was never going to be a ‘quick fix’

The Sylvia Beaufoy youth centre.
The Sylvia Beaufoy youth centre.
  • Petworth town council chairman Chris Kemp says meetings with the Sylvia Beaufoy Youth club were very positive
  • Youth leaders agree there is a need for skate park facilities in the town
  • Chichester District Council officers stress they are neutral on the siting

PLANS to build the long awaited skate park in Petworth are ‘moving forward positively’ chairman of the town council Chris Kemp has reported.

Despite notes of caution from Chichester District Council (CDC) over siting at the Sylvia Beaufoy Youth Centre, Mr Kemp said it was important to press forward with the only site currently under discussion “and if something else comes up we will move ship.”

this was never going to be a ‘quick fix’ and at least now we have all parties concerned talking and that can only be helpful

“Generally I think we are moving forward positively, this was never going to be a ‘quick fix’ and at least now we have all parties concerned talking and that can only be helpful.”

He said he was particularly pleased to have sat down to discussions with the chairman of the Youth Club Clive Fish and youth coordinator Johnnie Welch.

Leading the bid for a skate park in the town, vice chairman, Roger Hanauer reported on a letter from CDC following discussions with officers.

He said there appeared to be a ‘volt face’ with officers ‘back tracking on one or two things we may have got wrong’.

In an email from Steve Hansford, head of community services, Mr Hanauer reported: “He wanted to make plain officers were neither for nor against the Sylvia Beaufoy site, they want to remain neutral.

“They also wanted to make the point there had been planning permission for the site but because of changes in the interim, particularly the fact the main car park is charged, they felt things had changed to a point where the Sylvia Beaufoy is much more busy and it might impinge on the permission.”

Mr Hanauer also reported the release of the £50,000 held by CDC for the Petworth project was subject to a CDC cabinet decision.

“It’s slightly odd we have had this email which has thrown things up which were not said before,” he told councillors.

But Mr Hanauer said he and Mr Kemp had a good meeting with the youth club: “they had very legitimate concerns about the site. We felt they were fair points.”

The youth club was particularly concerned about having to be a ‘first responder’ in the event of an accident at the skate park which would leave them short of supervision inside the youth club.

“It was a productive meeting and both Mr Fish and Mr Welch recognised there was a definite need for a skate park in Petworth.”

Town councillors, he said also recognised the ‘brilliant job’ the youth club did for young people.

Mr Hanauer reported he was now pressing ahead with two requirements from the district council.

The first was to produced a development plan for the proposed skate park.

The second directive was to prove there was a need for the facilities and Mr Hanauer said he was still working to gather more names for the petition. Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

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