THE proposed location for a skate park on Lancing’s Beach Green has been opposed by residents and business owners.
Last Tuesday, November 17, a consultation, chaired by Lancing parish councillor James Butcher, was held at the Parish Hall, in South Street, to engage with the public on a planning application for a new skate park facility.
Although the public voted in favour of a skate park on Beach Green, off Brighton Road, the majority asked for the current location, opposite The Perch café and gym, to be reconsidered.
After the meeting, Lancing resident Emma Purnell said building a skate park outside The Perch and close to the beach hut-style public toilets would not make it visible to authorities and discourage residents from using the area.
She said: “I’m concerned it will encourage anti-social behaviour. This is a slap-dash approach the parish council is bulldozing without any thought.”
Frances Smith, of Lancing Regeneration, who collected 500 signatures in support of building a skate park on Beach Green, said the current location was ‘an accident waiting to happen’.
“That whole area is chaos; there are cyclists speeding along, there are children there, dog walkers and people going over to the new lavatory block,” she told the Herald.
Mrs Smith said the consultation was ‘brilliantly’ chaired by Mr Butcher and hoped the council would take their concerns into consideration.
“Adur District Council has just spent £100,000 on three new lavatories – as part of the regeneration. The skate park will be in front of that and some women said they would feel too intimidated to use them,” she said.
The parish told residents that the facility would not be lit at night, to discourage use during that time.
Mrs Smith said: “Also, The Perch want to do weddings, but people won’t want to have a wedding with a skate park there.”
Alex Hole owns The Perch, which opened its doors earlier this year, and has proven a popular spot for Lancing residents to have coffee, get some exercise and watch the world go by. He said a skate park outside the front of the building would lose him business.
After the meeting, he said: “It’s 20 yards from our front door. People will find it quite intimidating.
“We have two weddings which will pull out if it goes through and we will lose out on a lot of money.
“We’re pro having a skate park and if we move it 100 yards away it won’t have any effect on us at all.”
Mr Hole claimed the police had not been consulted about the plan.
Adur district councillor Keith Dollemore told the Herald that he was against the proposed location, but added there was no such thing as a ‘perfect place’ for a skate park.
He said: “The vast majority believe it should be on Beach Green but they thought it was the wrong location. I would include myself in that. My understanding is that the parish will take the feedback from that meeting and they will consider further.”
Parish councillor Carol Albury told the Herald the proposed site for the skate park would be relocated as a result of the consultation.
She said: “If we move it elsewhere, which it will be, it won’t be so high because the winds and the elements will make it extremely difficult for them to use.
“Although we have put in the planning permission for the site just below The Perch, we will obviously be planning to change that.
Mrs Albury said the parish council will be working closely with the Lancing Regeneration Group, The Perch, principal community officer for West Sussex County Council Lydia Schilbach, and landscape architect David Pope.
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