New site for Petworth skatepark to be examined

Roger Hanauer and Chris Kemp pictured when they believed the Sylvia Beaufoy car park scheme would succeed
Roger Hanauer and Chris Kemp pictured when they believed the Sylvia Beaufoy car park scheme would succeed
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A new proposal to build a skatepark for Petworth in the Pound Street car park is on the agenda in the New Year.

But it means the loss of 11 car parking spaces in the centre of town and Petworth Business Association and the town’s Vision Group have already raised concerns

Plans for the skatepark which has already missed a generation of users, have been on the cards for 15 years. But successive town councils have failed to find a suitable location.

The favoured site has always been the car park of the Sylvia Beaufoy Youth Centre and permission was granted there some ten years ago, but was never implemented and has now expired.

When the town council revisited the plans their preferred site remained the Syliva Beaufoy car park. There was shock and anger when councillors asked again in February, to use the CDC owned land but were refused on safety grounds.

CDC’s cabinet asked the town council to explore new locations and this led to months of painstaking work during which project leader Roger Hanauer examined some 20 potential sites and drew up a detailed site appraisal.

In October it emerged CDC looked set to consider the bottom of its Pound Street car park, which was one of the town council’s options. It was due to be considered by cabinet at its October meeting but was withdrawn to look at new information.

In their report to the January meeting officers report: “The cabinet will wish to consider carefully the feedback from officers, the Petworth Business Association and the Petworth Vision Group who raise concerns about the loss of parking spaces and the negative cumulative impact of the Petworth Vision proposals and the skatepark proposals both proceeding.

“If the cabinet is minded to agree to the proposal in principle it should be on the basis that lost spaces can be replaced so as to comply with the council’s approved Parking Strategy.”

Recent research showed 96 per cent of visitors used a car to reach the town and only four per cent said ‘plenty of parking’ was a positive aspect of the town.

Petworth Business Association is objecting to the proposals focussing on the strategic importance of Pound Street car park to the town, the impact on parking capacity and the consequent impact on current and future economic growth.

The cabinet will abe asked to confirm allocation of up to £70,000 for the project - £50,000 from the Petworth Leisure Fund and up to an extra £20,000.

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