THE PROJECT HISTORY TO DATE :
Parish Poll to be held following protests outside Town Council meeting.
Still waiting to hear back from Martin O’Neill about our application for a lease.
July – Dec 2012
The project finds it impossible to arrange a meeting withTony Lake.
Station Road suggestion quashed.
The project has heard that Councillor Terry has, on a number of occasions, voiced an opinion that a site at Station Road be reconsidered. This area was rejected right at the beginning of the project’s attempts to find a site on the advice of Mark Ponsford the council noise officer. He said that housing was too close and similarly located skateparks had been shut down after noise complaints. The project therefore does not think that there is any prospect of a site at Station Road being given planning consent.
Re-submission of application of lease for the Lake Grounds
The project wrote to Martin O’Neill at North Somerset Council with a resubmission of our application for a lease at the Lake Grounds for the purpose of developing a free-to-use wheels park. We informed Councillor Lake and to Councillor Burden of this decision. We now believe that we have made all reasonable efforts to find an alternative location in the town and have worked constructively with the town council to this end. However our best combined efforts for nearly a year have failed to find an alternative site. The need for a free-to-use wheels park in Portishead has if anything increased with the growth of population in the town and we believe there is a duty on North Somerset Council to consider the needs of young people in making their decisions.
Talks between developers and District Council fail to materialize
Councillor David Pasley said at a Town Council meeting that the developer he had been negotiating with was Persimmon Homes and specifically Richard Briggs. On the strength of this information the project contacted Richard Briggs who informed us that, about three years ago, he had been in discussions with officers of North Somerset Council in relation to providing land for a skatepark near the site of the Lidl store . These discussions quickly arrived at the conclusion that the location was not suitable due to noise considerations. Mr Briggs mentioned that a school site had been suggested and there were some discussions about Persimmon helping to fund such a project. This was presumably a site at Gordano School that Councillor Pasley discussed with the school. We were not consulted directly about this site but did contact the school and discussed the site with the planning department. Their initial advice was that there would be significant access issues due to the proximity of the main Clevedon Road. The school also responded that they were not sympathetic to the siting of a skatepark at the school. The project also contacted Carl Hayley, the current MD for Persimmon covering the Portishead development area, to see if there were any current negotiations or land available. He replied that Persimmon have no available land holdings left in Portishead and that they were not currently in talks with the council over a site for a skatepark.
Town Council confirm they can’t find another site
The wheelspark working group reported back to the town council:
This group was first formed as a Chairman’s working group by CllrTerry when he asked Cllrs Clark, Burden and Philpot if they would cast a fresh eye over the issues surrounding the desire to allow for the creation of a New Wheels facility.
The group met with the Skate Park committee and were brought up to date with the group’s site selection rational and the sites that they had considered. The working group asked questions and were broadly in agreement with the selection criteria that had been used.
The meeting closed with Cllr Burden asking some of the Skate Park committee members to take a look at the area of the old Nore Road Golf Course as the Town Council had informed N-Somerset that it was interested in taking over the management of this land under the auspices of the Localism Act. Members of the Committee reported back that the site had real possibilities however the idea could not be taken forward as the District Council had decided to market the land as a concession.
The working group was reformed as a committee of the Council at this year’s AGM and we formally met once with representatives of the Skate Park Committee and with Cll Marilyn Koops. We had a full discussion as to a possible way forward and it was finally agreed that subject to the skate park committee members confirming that land at Kilkenny Field below the Windmill car park was unsuitable the best thing our working group could do was to report to the full council meeting that we have been unable to assist the Portishead skate park committee in their attempt to find a site for a fully engineered concrete skate park in the town.
Town Council saying one thing to us and another to Tony Lake
Project asks Tony Lake about reconsidering Lease application Project emails Tony Lake about his comment that should our further discussions with the town council be unsuccessful in identifying an alternative site he would be prepared to look at a reapplication for the Lake Grounds lease as this is now the situation. Tony Lake says search by the Town Council is not exhausted. Tony Lake (Councillor) wrote: “I believe that sites are under active consideration and therefore the search is not exhausted.” Project complains about secrecy The project replied to Tony Lake ‘If there are active sites as you call them where are they and who is considering them? We certainly have not been told about them and are not involved in any discussions. Please arrange a meeting with relevant councillors and officers so we can make genuine progress.’ Tony Lake says sites must remain secret Tony Lake (Councillor) wrote to the project ‘there are sites under serious consideration but an understandable reluctance to discuss them before viability is established’.
Town Council confirms no other sites available
The project meet with the Wheels Party which concludes it has been unable to find an alternative site to the Lake Grounds and Peter Burden is to report to the Town Council to this effect.
February to July 2012
Project try to keep discussions moving forward, repeatedly asked for a meeting with the Wheels park Working Party to identify any other sites. There was no response and no alternative sites were suggested by the wheels park working group or by any of the District councillors.
Nore Road proposal discussed
Project responds positively to Town Council’s suggestion, visits site and makes recommendations back to Peter Burden along the lines that provided a suite of facilities including play equipment and a BMX track could be provided alongside the skatepark and that the toilets could be reopened then it would be a good alternative to the Lake Grounds. Nore Road proposal dashed by Council Within a few days it was announced that the golf course concession was being re-advertised by North Somerset Council and the outcome of these negotiations effectively ruled out the golf course site.
Refusal of Lease
After due consideration and a referral to the scrutiny panel, Councillor Tony Lake refused to grant the lease. At a meeting Councillor Lake told us that he had been assured by Portishead district councillors that alternative, more acceptable, sites had been identified and were in the process of negotiation. He advised us to seek a meeting with local town and district councillors to identify a suitable site. He also indicated that if within three months there had been no progress then he could be minded to consider a fresh application.
Town Council Wheels Park Working Group suggest Nore Road
Project meets with the Wheels park working group set up by Portishead Town Council and chaired by Councillor Peter Burden and including Town Council Chairman John H Clark. All the locations that the project had assessed as part of the process of identifying the Lake Grounds as the preferred site were reviewed. None of the sites that had been deemed unsuitable by the PSP were considered worthy of reconsidering by either the Working Group or the project. However at this meeting the project was asked to consider the golf course area on Nore Road which has been out of operation for years and was likely to be transferred to the ownership of the town council.
13 January 2012
Press release: Permission for skatepark to be refused.
The Portishead Skatepark Project is today facing up to the likelihood that North Somerset Council will refuse to grant them a lease on land at the Lake Grounds where they hoped to develop a skatepark, ignoring the views of the Scrutiny Panel, set up to examine decisions made by Executive Members, which asked for the refusal decision to be reversed.
Jon Gething, for the project said, “We are bitterly disappointed that six years of hard work by the group supported by hundreds of young people in the town, have resulted in failure. We would like to apologise to the young people of the town, whose hopes we have raised time and time again, for the fact that we have failed to convince the five Portishead District Councillors on whom this decision rests, to let us develop a site at the Lake Grounds. We know this is the best site and would have made a superb and successful facility for the town’s young and not so young bmxers, skaters and scooter riders. We are told that the Town Council have other sites that may be suitable. At present we haven’t been told about these but we are very willing to sit down this week with councillors to look at any new sites and revisit the other 16 sites that we have assessed over the past six years. However we have been told that councillors will not discuss these sites with us until the Lake Grounds site has been refused.”
Jon Gething went on,“Our only wish is to provide a successful new skatepark in a reasonably central location in the Town so, naturally, we are happy to work with the Town Council to find a suitable site. However, after six years, our patience and dedication has been sorely tested by the outcome of the last few weeks and if no suitable site can be found and agreed in the next three months, and the Lake Grounds has been ruled out, then we will disband the project.”
8 January 2012
Radio Bristol Interview – we wouldn’t fit in!
Listen again on Radio Bristol Website, Ali Vowles show 6-9am, but just go to 2.07 – 2.12 for piece about the skatepark and to hear this from Tony Lake:
“I think that the main point is about it’s a family, quiet area, or relatively quiet area, the children play there and there’s tennis and various sporting activities and it was felt particularly the noise of a skatepark and a different sort of group of people that wouldn’t necessarily fit in with the sort of family atmosphere that you get down at the Lake Grounds now. That’s the point that’s being made.”
6 January 2012
Success as Scrutiny panel say decision is to be reconsidered
Deborah Yamanaka and Mark Canniford called the decision to refuse us a lease in for scrutiny. David Pasley was due to chair the panel but he decided to let his deputy do so instead. This is the information in our press release about the decision:
The plans for a new skatepark at the Lake Grounds made a major leap forward at a meeting at North Somerset Council on Friday. The decision by executive member Tony Lake to deny the project a lease on land we want to develop at the Lake Grounds was rejected by a scrutiny panel. Jon Gething said,” This project is far from dead, in fact its very much alive now after an all-party scrutiny panel with councillors from all parts of the District discussed our plans at length on Friday and decided that the decision to refuse a lease was wrong. They have asked the executive member to think again and grant the lease.” Jon added, “I believe councillors not from Portishead find it very hard to understand what all the fuss is about. They look at the evidence that we have gathered over the last six years and the fact the we have planning consent for the site, they look at the support we have from the police, the town council, and the great majority of residents and to them its a no-brainer.” We need to have a piece of land secured with planning permission before we can launch the major fund-raising campaign needed to raise the necessary funds to build and manage the skatepark. We have also promised that should the park not be successful we will fund its removal and reinstatement. Jon Gething again,”We are very confident that this skatepark will be an outstanding success. However to overcome the objections of a few people and local councillors we are prepared to raise an extra sum of money that will be kept in reserve in event of closure. While we do not believe they will be necessary we have also agreed to install CCTV and engage with the police in a youth activity programme to address issues of anti-social behaviour. We intend the skatepark to be kept grafitti free and we will ensure that this is maintained.” The Project have asked the Executive member, Cllr Tony Lake, for a meeting when we hope to resolve all the issues involved in granting us a lease.
19 December 2011
Calling decision in for scrutiny!
We have asked some supportive councillors to ‘call’ this decision in for scrutiny as this is the formal route of complaint. We now have to prepare our case as to why we think it is an unjust decision. It has been ‘called in’ to the Scrutiny Panel below but we are not thrilled that this is chaired by David Pasley and of course it is a North Somerset Council scrutinizing it’s own decision. Still there are different Councillors on the panel who don’t live in Portishead, so we will remain hopeful.
Community and Corporate Organisation Policy and Scrutiny Panel
The panel’s remit includes – Recreational Services, The Local Strategic Partnership, Community Safety, Crime and Disorder (in accordance with the requirements of the Police and Justice Act 2006), Public Protection Services, Corporate Organisation.
Councillors Jan Barber, Mary Blatchford (Vice-Chairman), Chris Blades, Mark Canniford, Robert Cleland, Andy Cole, Peter Crew, Carl Francis-Pester, Bob Garner, Catherine Gibbons, David Hitchins, Tony Moulin, David Pasley (Chairman) Marcia Pepperall, David Poole, Sonia Russé, Richard Tucker and Deborah Yamanaka
14 December 2011
Application for lease for Lake Grounds refused
Tony Lake, an Executive Member in North Somerset, has signed the Decision notice to refuse to let us have the lease for the Lake Grounds location. The wording is below. (If you want to look it up enter ‘Executive member decisions’ in the North Somerset Council search box and then click Executive Member and then November 2011.
Portishead Skate Park – Lake Grounds, Portishead FR64 EM – PH 14.12.112011/12 scheme 1
NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL
DECISION OF THE EXECUTIVE MEMBER FOR ASSET MANAGEMENT WITH ADVICE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & RESOURCES OF THE COUNCIL
DECISION NO: FR64
SUBJECT: PORTISHEAD SKATE PARK – LAKE GROUNDS PORTISHEAD
The Portishead Skatepark Project (PSP) submitted a planning application for the installation of a skatepark on part of the Lake Grounds, Portishead which, whilst refused by North Area Committee, was approved on appeal in November 2010. Having obtained planning permission on appeal the PSP have approached the Council for permission to lease part of the Lake Grounds for 25 years at a peppercorn rental in order to enable it to commence a programme of fundraising to raise the estimated £225,000 capital costs required to install the skatepark.
Full details regarding the proposal are contained within PSP’s application for a lease.
Consultation has taken place with Streets & Open Spaces and with the 6 Portishead Ward Members. The majority view from the Ward Members is that the Lake Grounds was created by the former Urban District Council as a facility for the quiet enjoyment of all residents of the town and visitors and that there is concern about the threat to this principle by the demands of individual interest groups for space to be allocated to them for their own purpose. The view was that the Lake Grounds already accommodates a wide range of users and fulfils, in its current form, the above purpose and that further development would be detrimental to that purpose. It was also felt that if this lease request is approved for another use it could lead to further demands by other local organisations for dedicated use of other parts of the Lake Grounds.
In conclusion, whilst it is recognized that the Group have a genuine desire to provide a facility for this minority activity, it is considered that the Lake Grounds is not the appropriate location for it given the detrimental impact it would have on the existing use of the area.
DECISION: That officers be instructed to respond to the application received from PSP confirming that a lease will not be granted in this instance for the reasons set out above
2011/12 scheme 2 Reasons: As set out above
Other Alternatives Considered: None
Financial Implications: None
Implications for Future Years: None
Director of Finance & Resources Dated: ………
(Executive Member for Human Resources, Asset Management & Finance Dated: ………
26 November 2011
Public consultation outside Town Council Open Day, Somerset Hall
Unfortunately we missed the deadline to have a stall at this Community event and instead decided to have a moveable display (on a bike) outside for a few hours. We asked the public for ideas of what the project should do next given the current situation of five out of six district councilors opposing our application for a lease at the Lake Grounds. The residents who came to talk to us, old and young, were almost unanimously disappointed in the local Councilors blocking the Lake Grounds location and keen to know what they could do. We handed out slips of paper with Councillors contact details on (from NSC website) so that they might write to them and we understand many did.
Application for a lease for land at the Lake Grounds Portishead:
Following the granting of planning permission for a skatepark on land at the Lake Grounds in Portishead, the Portishead Skatepark Project are now in a position to apply for a lease on the land from North Somerset Council.
ment of the youth engagement strategy as required within the planning consent, the arrangements for removal and reinstatement of the land if required, the arrangements for ongoing management and maintenance, and the capital and revenue funding requirements and how these are to be financed.
2. TERMS OF LEASE
The Portishead Skatepark Project are seeking a long term lease (25 years) due to the permanent nature and high capital cost of the project. This will provide the continuity that prospective funders will need. The PSP are confident that once built the skatepark will enjoy a successful future for many years. However unforeseen circumstances may occur which demands the removal of the skatepark and the termination of this lease. Break clauses at 5 year intervals may be needed to address this. The costs of removal and reinstatement will be built into the capital requirements. (See Section 12 for details.)
3. CONSTITUTION AND STATUS OF APPLICANT
The Portishead Skatepark Project is applying to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation regulated by the Charity Commission with the following objects: To provide free-to-use outdoor skateparks To engage people of all ages but especially girls and boys under the age of 18 in challenging activities aimed at encouraging co-operation, respect for others , self esteem, and physical fitness. To organise regular events to raise funds and provide a competitive environment for users. To develop active user groups to assist with the management and development of the facilities and programmes. To work with the police and other agencies in developing youth engagement programmes to encourage responsible use of the skateparks and surrounding areas. Location of skatepark
The PSP conducted an exhaustive search for suitable sites for a town skatepark. This identified 5 possible locations. A major consultation showed the two most popular sites to be the Parish Wharf leisure centre and the Lake Grounds. Considerable progress was made to develop a site at Parish Wharf until the development of new residential buildings at the end of Parish Wharf made this impossible. After local councillors expressed their opposition to the Lake Grounds site PSP pursued a location at Kilkenny Fields which is close to but not part of the Lake Grounds. Positive discussions were had with Parks and Planning Officers but the proposal was turned down by the Deputy Leader of the council as being inappropriate for an undeveloped area of green space. The PSP was advised to focus on the Lake Grounds and undertook professional assessments of three further sites which again proved untenable for a variety of reasons. Finally the officer appointed by the Deputy Leader of the council to resolve the matter advised that the most suitable site was the one adjacent to the boat house. With this advice leave was given for the PSP to submit a planning application for this location. This was supported by the Planning Department and no other departments raised objections. The subsequent application was refused by the North Area Committee but finally approved at public enquiry in November 2010. Since then alternative sites have been suggested by councillors opposed to the Lake Grounds but no new suitable site that meets the criteria for a successful skatepark has materialised.
5. DESIGN OF SKATEPARK
The PSP is proposing to develop a concrete skatepark largely sunk into the raised area of land adjacent to the boat house on the Lake Grounds at Portishead . The design will consist of three sunken areas with various obstacles and ramps suitable for bmx bikes, in-line skates, skateboards, and scooters. A plan of the proposed facility showing the operational area, adjoining small play area, bunding, landscaping, fencing, and access gates is shown at Fig. 1. 3-dimensional sketches of the proposal are shown at Fig. 2 and Fig. 3. The area over which a lease is required is bounded by the new fencing around the proposed skatepark and occupies around 19% of the existing fenced area.
The design criteria for the park specifies that the park:
_ should be suitable for users of all abilities from beginners to experienced users
– suitable for sports wheel chair users
– provide activities for spectators who want to be active but not participate in the wheeled activities
– provide informal seating for spectators and users
– maintain access around the boat house for people walking around the lake and for activities associated with the boat house
– be visible to visitors using the promenade but largely screened from residents along Lake Road and Beach Road West
– encourage users to access off the promenade and discourage access from the play area and the lakeside
6. SPECIFICATION OF MATERIALS
An example specification for the concrete skatepark provided by a skatepark company is appended at the end of this application.
7. PROPOSED SITING, ACCESS, AND LANDSCAPING
The details of the landscaping can be seen in the three drawings shown in section 3. The design has been developed to minimise the impact of the skatepark on the Lake Grounds. It is using in-situ sprayed concrete to construct sunken bowls rather than the surface mounted frames used elsewhere in the district. With the addition of a grass bund on the eastern side of the area and extensive additional landscaping the skatepark will be largely invisible to residents and users of the Lake Grounds. The smooth flowing shapes of the skatepark will make it intrinsically attractive as in these parks in Saffron Walden and Midsomer Norton. The operational area will be fenced using the same style of bow-topped fencing as is used around the area at present in order to blend the new facility into the existing space. The choice of trees and shrubs for the landscaped areas will match existing provision where possible and will make use of native plants to maximise the wildlife benefit. The siting of the skatepark has been chosen to avoid the removal of any existing trees or shrubs. The following cross sections indicate the landscaping north/south and east/west. It also highlights the sunken and low nature of the development. The main access to the facility will be off the promenade to separate skatepark users from other users of the play area. Two additional picnic tables will be provided close to the facility for families using the skatepark. The skatepark is sited close to Esplanade Road with uninterrupted views to allow casual supervision by passers by and visibility for the police when driving past. The siting also provides easy access for emergency vehicles. The design of the skatepark includes ramps and jumps with a range of difficulty to ensure that the facility is suited to users of all ages from young scooter riders up to adults. It will also be accessible to sports wheelchair users who wish to take part in wheel sports.No shelters have been provided because of concerns about anti-social gatherings. Skateparks are not used in poor weather conditions because the slopes become too slippery. Shade is available close to the skatepark under nearby trees. The siting of the skatepark has been chosen to minimise the loss of green space and leave the maximum amount of space for other users of the area. The design proposes the re-siting of the existing concrete picnic table to free up more open space for informal games. No lighting is planned for the facility so after construction the facility will consume no energy apart from occasional maintenance. It is anticipated that most users will travel to the site on foot or on their wheels so energy from transport use should be low. Providing a good facility within Portishead will avoid many out of town journeys by users going to other towns to enjoy their sport. As far as possible local contractors will be used for the construction phase to minimise energy use.
A CCTV camera will be mounted adjacent to the skatepark with views over the skatepark and along Esplanade Road. This will be connected to the North Somerset control room and will be monitored by them.
9. YOUTH ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME
The PSP, working with the local police, have initiated a network of youth providers in the town. This network will meet regularly to plan and coordinate youth activities. A wide range of local organisations are participating in this initiative as indicated on the network diagram. Once the skatepark has been built it will form a key element in this programme encouraging responsible use of the skatepark and providing a wide range of events, training, and coaching connected with wheel sports.
9. ONGOING MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE
The PSP will subcontract from North Somerset Council the routine inspection and removal of litter from the skatepark. Concrete skateparks have low maintenance costs but the PSP will ensure that any damage or wear and tear is repaired promptly. The PSP will enforce a zero tolerance policy on graffiti and will promptly remove any graffiti applied to the skatepark. All ongoing management and maintenance costs will be met by the PSP.
10. CAPITAL COSTS
Once a lease has been agreed with North Somerset Council a tender will be issued for the construction of the skatepark and a contractor will be chosen. With a firm price agreed for the skatepark construction the PSP will embark on a programme of fundraising to raise the necessary capital funding. It is anticipated that the capital costs will be in the region of £225,000 including a contingency for the removal of the skatepark at the end of its life (see below). Applications will be made to the following organisations (amongst others): Community buildersCommunity spacesBiffawards Landfill Tax Credits (various operators)Big Lottery Fund Awards for All Garfield Weston Charitable Trust Charitable Trusts (various) Barclays Spaces for Sports Local parish and town councilsNorth Somerset Council Police Community Trust Hydrex
11. REVENUE COSTS
It is anticipated that annual revenue costs of around £6,500 will be incurred as follows:
Routine inspection £1,250
CCTV costs £2,000
Repairs and maintenance £1,000
Insurance (damage to CCTV,signage) £1,000
Insurance (3rd party liability) £1,250
Rent (assume peppercorn) £1
The PSP will hold a series of events and specific fundraising activities each year to raise the necessary funds for annual revenue expenditure.
12. REMOVAL OF SKATEPARK AND REINSTATEMENT
The District Council will not wish to take on any liability in the event of the eventual closure of the skatepark for whatever reason. The skatepark project will therefore ensure that it has sufficient funds to pay for the removal and reinstatement of the park in the unlikely event that the park is forced to close.
Plymouth City Council recently removed a concrete skatepark, similar in size and construction to the one we have planned, in order to redevelop the site. They have advised us that the costs of removal of the skatepark structure was around £15,000. Adding a further £10,000 for reinstatement and landscaping and a contingency gives a projected cost of £25,000.
The capital fundraising will include this amount within the total to be raised.
Youth Engagement Plan
The project organised a first meeting with local Police to set up a Youth Engagement Plan at St Barnabas Children’s Centre. Areas of discussion covered: >
What facilities are available for young people?
Whatother facilities are needed in Portishead?
How should we set about obtaining such facilities? How do we engage young people in this process?
The PSP created this initiative as, in the Planning Agreement for the new Skatepark, it agreed to produce a Management Plan that included Youth Engagement. Representatives from the district and local Police, Portishead Open Air Pool, Gordano Valley Church Youth Club, Portishead Youth Forum, Portishead Town, Portishead Skatepark Project, Northerncare Girls Home, St Peter’s and St Nicholas Churches attended and representatives from Gordano School (Head and pupils) and Bahai Faith would like to attend future meetings.
Merlin Park extension
Cllr David Pasley proposed that £15K be set aside for repairs to Merlin Park and to look into adding another ramp. The project is pleased to hear that Merlin Park may be extended as we believe satellite skateparks are needed in the town as well as a larger, more central skatepark. Two of our project members Dan and Charlie are helping the councilors with this.
Town Council Latest Wheelspark Working Party
The youth of Portishead have waited over six years to find a site for a skatepark and in order to finally resolve the issue of a suitable location members of the Portishead Skatepark Project are happy to work with Arthur Terry’s Chairman’s Working Party to review all potential locations in the town, providing we can agree a short time frame and have suggested reporting its findings back to Town Council in October. The project is continuing with submitting our request for Landlord’s consent at the Lake Grounds location for which we have planning permission, and the support of the public, the police and the Town Council.
Town Council Youth Forum
An opportunity set up by the Town Council for young people to have their say. The project was well represented as of the five young people there, 3 were skateboarders and 2 were bmxers.
Lease turned down before we apply?
The project was surprised to read press reports saying our application for a lease at the Lake Grounds would be unsuccessful before we had sent it in. North Somerset Council executive member for streets and open spaces, Councillor Peter Bryant, is recommending that Portishead Skatepark Project (PSP) is refused landlords permission to site the skate park on a section of land between the childrens’ play area and the boathouse. Mr Bryant will now put a report to executive member for asset manager, Councillor Tony Lake – who will make the final decision – recommending consent is refused. Mr Bryant said:
“I have looked at this issue at some length and I believe that the Lake Grounds would be a totally unsuitable site for a skate park like this. The Lake Grounds is a serene area with a boating lake and more gentile activities like sailing and cricket. This makes it a particularly pleasant place to be. To allow a skate park here would destroy that peace and have an adverse affect on local residents. Portishead already has a skatepark which has fallen victim to vandal attacks and is a meeting point for anti social behaviour. There are other sites available in the town which would be far more suitable.” (The project ask asked him to name these).
Mr Pasley said: “This is good news for residents at the Lake Grounds who had concerns about the introduction of a skate park. I have always maintained that the Lake Grounds was not the right place for a facility such as this.”
User Group Meeting
A User Group was held at North Weston Hall.
Town Council supports bid for lease
At a full town council meeting the councilors voted to back plans by the project to ask North Somerset to lease it the land for the project. An unprecedented number of young people made up the 42 members of the public attending and as well as some adults, two young people spoke about the project:
Daniel Richardson a young resident of Portishead then asked members to fully support the Skatepark Project. He stated that he had been aware of the efforts of the project group to find a site for the past four years now and now that a suitable site had been identified it should be supported by the Town Council. Daniel stated that he had visited numerous skatepark facilities in the past years and had not heard of any specific public order difficulties at any of them.
Peter Davis a young resident of Portishead and a member of the Youth Parliament, urged members to show their support for the location of the Portishead Skatepark at the Lake Grounds site. He said that the young people of Portishead needed more facilities and should be listened to and supported in providing facilities for them.
The following resolution was passed on a majority vote. Councillor Palsey requested that his vote against the resolution be recorded, and Councillor Cameron requested that his abstention be recorded.
‘Portishead Town Council supports the application made by the Portishead Skatepark Project in gaining landlord’s consent and seeking a lease for the skatepark at the Lake Grounds. The Town Council will write to North Somerset Council stating that support, the letter to include that the Town Council support the application on the understanding that the Skatepark Project will be formed into a legal entity with charitable status prior to any such permission being granted’.
David Pasley’s Lake Grounds survey
Despite two open days, a democratic and well publiced planning process, much press coverage and much leafleting and in the Lake Grounds area, Local councillor David Pasley, who represents the Lake Grounds ward, maintained Lake Grounds residents hadn’t had a chance to express their views about our plans. He carried out a survey amongst local residents asking their views about a skate park at the Lake Grounds. He says around 120 properties were surveyed, and around 80 per cent responded, with 86 per cent of people saying a skate park was inappropriate at the site. He has refused to share the data or details of area surveyed or even be specific about numbers with the project.
BMX trip to Motion Indoor Skatepark
Local BMXers took themselves off to Motion in Bristol, desperate for some decent ramps to ride. Well done Dan for organising it.
Facebook page set up by skaters for the project see: portishead sk8
Gordano Head, Gary Lewis, comments on Skatepark at Gordano Speculation
Head of Gordano School confirmed that no decision will be made on whether or nto to site a skatepark on its grounds until council leaders decide whether the facility can be installed at the town’s Lake Grounds and said it would be interesting to know if the funds are conditional on the siitng of the sakepark on the school grounds or are available for yong people in the town regardlss of the site. The speculation over a potential skatepark at Gordano has been initiated by David Pasley who cannot reveal the secret developer who would be prepared to pay for a skatepark to be constructed in the school grounds. The project is currently trying to secure landlord’s consent (North Somerset Council is the Landlord) to use the land. It then plans to ask Portishead Town Council to take over the site from North Somerset Council and then lease it to them to use for the skatepark.
Skatepark to seek support of District Council
Following the Appeal Decision the project’s next step will be to secure the support of the District Council in allowing the skatepark to be developed on Council-owned land. In Clevedon and Nailsea the district council has leased land for skateparks to the town councils. The Portishead Skatepark project will be talking to the town council shortly to see if a similar arrangement can be negotiated. Once these preliminaries have been sorted out then the task of fundraising can begin.
23 November 2010
Planning Permission granted for Lake Grounds as we win the appeal!
The Planning Inspectorate’s Appeal Decision following the hearing and site visit held on 2 November 2010
R Eagle BA, an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, made the decision to allow the appeal, and grant planning permission for the construction of a free to use public skatepark including fencing and landscaping at Land at Lake Grounds, Esplanade Road, Portishead, Somerset BS20 7HB in accordance with the terms of the application, Ref. 09/P/1856/F dated 8 October 2009, subject to the following conditions:
1) The development hereby permitted shall begin not later than three years from the date of this decision.
2) The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans: Location Plan 08/02/PSP – 06A and General Arrangement 08/02/PSP – 05D.
3) No development shall take place until details of a landscaping scheme have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority and these works shall be carried out as approved during the months of October to March inclusive following completion of the development.
4) Any trees, hedges or plants shown in the landscaping scheme to be retained or planted which during the development works or within a period of 5 years from the completion of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the local planning authority gives written approval to any variation.
5) No development shall take place until details of the concrete to be used in the construction of the skatepark have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
6) No development shall take place until surface water drainage details have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
7) No external means of lighting shall be used on the site unless details of the lighting have been first approved in writing by the local planning authority.
8) The use hereby permitted shall not be commenced until a monitored CCTV System linked into the NSC System and with infra red capability has been installed and is operational, in agreement with the Council’s CCTV Control and the Avon and Somerset Constabulary Crime Prevention Design Advisor. The camera shall be retained and maintained in accordance with the approved details, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority.
9) Prior to the commencement of the use hereby approved, a management plan between the skatepark user group and the Avon and Somerset Constabulary (and involving any other designated bodies as appropriate) which sets out measures to mitigate and reduce crime related issues on the site, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The approved plan shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and shall be made available for monitoring purposes by the local planning authority.
18 Sept 2010
Project has stall at Town Council Open Day
Feedback about the project was generally very positive with many comments very positive about the Lake Grounds site. We were able to get across our message that the Lake Grounds was still being pursued through appeal as the best site although we would not at this point rule out Gordano.
13 Sept 2010
Project questions Chief Executive of North Somerset Council about press reports on Landlord’s consent
Dear Mr Turner,
The Portishead Skatepark Project was set up over three years ago to look at the feasibility of finding a site and raising funds to build a new skatepark in Portishead. We are sure that you are aware that after much public consultation, after many conversations with both North Somerset officers and members and after approval from Portishead Town Council we submitted a planning application for the Lake Grounds. This was refused and we are currently awaiting an appeal hearing in November. This week’s Mercury newspaper carried a front page article stating that “North Somerset Council, which owns the land, has said that it will not grant Landlord’s permission” for a site at the Lake Grounds. The article continues with a quote by Councillor Pasley stating that North Somerset Council will not grant landlord’s permission for the site regardless of the outcome of the appeal. We have in the past been assured by North Somerset Officers that landlord’s consent would not be used unreasonably to frustrate plans for the skatepark provided planning permission was granted. With this in mind can you please confirm the following- 1) If landlord’s consent for a skatepark at the Lake Grounds has been formally discussed by North Somerst Council. 2) If this is the case, can you please provide minutes of the meeting. 3) What process was undertaken, ie. were officers reports requested, the names of those who were part of that decision making process etc. 4) Why, out of courtesy if not professional obligation, Portishead Skatepark Project was not consulted or indeed informed of this decision. 5) Why landlord’s consent would be denied before it was even formally requested by the Portishead Skatepark Project, bearing in mind we were told that we would first need planning permission. If this is not the case and landlord’s consent has not been discussed and decided upon can you please suggest ways in which North Somerset Council and it’s councillors may correct the public misunderstanding created by the article.
13 Sept 2010
Update of project’s view on Gordano location and ongoing Appeal process.
Our stance to date has been that we would not rule out Gordano as a site but it does not match the criteria as well as the Lake Grounds and so this remains our first and best chance at developing a long-term successful skatepark. As the appeal has been lodged we are going to allow ourselves another seven weeks to see the outcome as this in no way jeopardises the possibility of Gordano being a second, if not compromised choice. The project has spoken with both Graham Silverthorne before he left and the new headmaster, Gary Lewis and Both felt that the matter has been over-reported as at this early stage the possibility is being considered by governors who are willing to talk further but not commit in any way until much more information has been considered. Although the political agenda has been set by both Cllrs Pasley and Baker refusing to include the Project in these discussions I agree that we are here to ensure that the youth of Portishead get what they need and deserve and not involve ourselves in the political element. To this end the Project has offered the newHead and Governors any information that we have to help them make an informed decision whether we are as a project involved in these discussions or not.The Project is going to resist giving into brow beating to abandon the appeal despite inaccurate press coverage as we have nothing to lose by pursuing the best choice through appeal and making it clear to the public that Gordano would be given full and fair consideration if that fails. We do still have the support of all of those who registered support through the planning process, the town council and other North Somerset Councillors.
15 Sept 2010
Press release from project about Gordano suggestion
The Portishead Skatepark Project fully welcomes both the efforts of councillors and the decision of Gordano School to offer a part of it’s land for youth and community facilities. However, the Lake Grounds site more thoroughly meets both social and safety criteria (including ROSPA and British Standards) therefore it would be short-sighted not to pursue the Lake Grounds as our first and best site. We are currently in the process of appealing the planning decision against the Lake Grounds and feel it appropriate to await that decision before considering alternative sites. July 2010 Grounds of Appeal The project appealled against the decision to refuse planning permission for the skatepark at the Lake Grounds. The stated reasons for refusal were that the skatepark would detract from the character and appearance of the Lake Grounds and it would have an unacceptable impact on the living conditions of residents due to noise. Both these matters had been addressed comprehensively within the application and in the report to committee which recommended approval. The Skatepark Project paid particular attention to these factors, employing a well established and experienced landscape architect to carry out the design work and consulting intensively with the Council’s noise officer in developing the design for the site. No new evidence was presented to invalidate the professional judgement of the planning case officer or the noise officer. The committee failed to address the application on its merits; arguments put forward by several councillors were not relevant or legitimate reasons for refusal; several councillors held prejudicial positions with regard to the application; the majority of councillors failed in their duty to act impartially or represent the wish of the electorate.
Project meets District councillors to try to move project forward
Members of the Portishead Skatepark project met with local District Councillors last week to discuss the way forward and a number of alternative sites were proposed by the Councillors in an effort to get over the impasse at the Lake Grounds. These included some sites already explored such as Kilkenny Fields as well as a number of new locations. Councillors told the project that they would make enquiries with relevant officers in the Council to try to identify those sites that would best meet the criteria the Project have set for the new skatepark and that stood a good chance of receiving both planning permission and Landlord’s Consent.
Tony Mosely for the Skatepark project told us,”It was a good meeting and we were pleased that the local district councillors are positively supporting our efforts to get a new skatepark in the town. We are looking forward to further meetings in the near future where hopefully progress can be made.”
The Skatepark Project are however concerned that with the best will in the world it may not be possible to find an alternative site that sufficiently meets all the criteria. A huge amount of work will be needed to take the project to completion once a site has been agreed. Between £150,000 and £200,000 will need to be raised and the Project will need to be assured that the chosen site will meet the needs of a wide range of users and be family friendly to justify this level of expenditure.
Tony Mosely again “We are committed to working with District Councillors to find a suitable location but, as we have already discovered, finding a site that we know will be successful in the long term and that can get through both the planning process and gain landlord’s consent is very difficult. We have therefore decided that in order to keep all our options open for the future we will be appealing against the refusal of planning permission for the Lake Grounds location This is our fallback position and certainly does not mean that we will not consider the other sites being discussed.
For the sake of Portishead’s growing population of young people we must set aside our differences and work constructively together to make the skatepark a reality”
24 Feb 2010
Project organised booking of Bristol’s Indoor Skatepark, Motion, for the skatepark group who had a great time. Project is still working hard to give the young people of Portishead a healthy outlet for their energies.
Planning Application Refusal
The planning application was refused by North Somerset Council after only one Portishead Councillor, Cllr Jolley, supported the proposal despite it being officially supported by the Town Council and despite more than 400 expressions of support being sent in response to the planning application while only 17 objections were sent. The application was also recommended for approval by North Somerset planning officers who said that it met all the Council’s planning criteria.
Tony Mosely, the chairman of the Portishead Skatepark Project, said “Several councillors said that it was the wrong location. However they know that we have looked at every possibility in the town and the Lake Grounds ended up being the only site that was available that met all the requirements of a successful skatepark. If councillors are serious about wanting to see facilities for teenagers in the town then we now expect them to come forward with a suitable site that meets the necessary criteria, in other words where the land is available free of charge, in a central accessible location, at least 100m from housing, overlooked by other visitors, and where we have a realistic prospect of getting planning permission. If they cannot do this then they are saying to the young people of Portishead that they don’t matter.”
Tony added, “naturally, if the Council do not find a new site, we will be appealing against this decision and we believe that we will win at appeal because there are no genuine reasons for refusal.”
The Portishead area councillors voting against the skatepark were: Nigel Ashton, Felicity Baker, David Pasley, Alan McMurray, Arthur Terry, and Reyna Knight. Councillor David Jolley voted for the skatepark.
Town Council’s own report in Portishead Paper
” Skate Park: The main attraction at December’s meeting was the submission of a Planning Application to build a Skate Park at the Lake Grounds. An unprecidented number of residents asked to speak during public participation at the beginning of the meeting. Eight spoke on the Skate Park Planning Application and one updated the meeting on Portishead in Bloom. All eight who expressed their views on teh Skate Park were in favour of the Park; however they split into six in favour of the proposed Lake Grounds location with two against. Following a passionate debate by members of the Town Council, the vote was taken adn by 8 to 5, the Council decided to recommned that the District Council approve the Application, this confirmed the Planning Committee’s recommendation of the previous week.”
Portishead and North Weston Town Council approve plans by 8 votes to 5
At the full Town Council meeting on 9th December at the Folk Hall the council voted to have no objections to the plans by 8 to 5 votes. Thanks to Paul Maltby, Kenneth Smith, Shelagh Wall speaking for Tina Cant, Tony Mosely and John S Clark for speaking in Public Participation time. Thanks also to the huge number of young people that came along to show support – a very unusual event for these meetings.
We were pleased to hear Inspector John Owen speak so positively about the project and to reitterate that we were continuing to discuss the plans with the police to find a solution.
Voting for the skatepark were Cllrs Mason, Hazelton, M Cruse, Wright , R Cruse, Parker, Howells and Stanley (Council representative on Project Committee).
Voting against were Cllrs Pasley, Knight, Miers, Way and Walters.
Town Council Planning Committee approve plans by 6 votes to 4
At the meeting of the Town Council Planning Committee the councillors voted to have no objections to the plans by 6 to 4 votes.
Police concerns about the plans
You may have read in the press that the Police have some concerns about the plans for a skatepark in the Lake Grounds and the issue of anti-social behaviour by non-skaters and late at night when the skatepark isn’t going to be used. We were pleased the planning process was delayed by a month to enable us to continue our very constructive discussions with the Police were pleased to find a way for them to support the planning application with assurances over CCTV and a management group.
Portishead Skate Park planning application finally submitted for a brand new skate park at the Lake Grounds in Portishead. The proposed skate park is to be located close to the promenade near the boathouse and will comprise two concrete bowls and a street area sunk into the ground with a raised bank for seating. The area will also receive extensive landscaping to ensure it blends into its surroundings. We have employed a landscape architect to help us design the new park and we responded to concerns raised at the public consultations about noise and aesthetics. We believe we have arrived at a design which respects the Lake Grounds setting. The planning application is the opportunity to demonstrate this to the North Somerset Councillors.”
Details of the planning application with a full Design Statement can be seen at the Public Library in Portishead and on the North Somerset Council website. The application reference is 09/P/1856/F.
Saturday 8th August 2009
A very successful second consultation event at the proposed location for the skatepark with over 45 people taking the opportunity to see the revised draft plans, to see the skatepark area pegged out including the height of the bunding (banking) and to discuss the project with members of the committee including Julie Lewis, Police Community Support Officer.
27 July 09
First consultation on the draft plans for a skatepark at the Lake Grounds.
The project’s first consultation event on 9th June was through an Open day at the Folk Hall in Portishead. It was very successful with over 120 visitors and people said they were pleased to have an opportunity to see, discuss and comment on the draft plans. Many concerns and suggestions were made both in person to members of the committee and in writing which we will be considering with our architect Jo Johnson.
Wednesday 1 July 2009
Sound monitoring at Lake Grounds.
To enable us to monitor the sound of a skatepark we installed a temporary grind box in the proposed area of the Lake Grounds and invited a blader and three skateboarders to make as much noise as possible.
We monitored the noise outside the nearest property by the cafe and by the cricket pavilion. The skaters utilised the tarmac path as well as the grind box and although the occasional sound was audible, it was not significant and the project were reassured that when the bunding is in place, any sound will be minimised for residents.
20 June 2009
Project rejects extending Merlin Park Skatepark
Letter sent to local press from Project Chairman, Tony Mosely, and appeared in North Somerset Times 1st July 2009:
“We have learnt that some local Councillors have been canvassing residents of Merlin Park with the suggestion that the small skatepark there be extended, as a viable alternative to the Lake Grounds proposal. The project team is clear that Merlin Park is completely unsuitable for a large wheelsports facility as it lacks toilets, is too far from the centre of the town and would not have enough informal supervision.
The Portishead Skatepark Project would not consider developing the facilities at Merlin Park even if the Lake Grounds location is rejected.
The best location for the new facility is the area near the boathouse on the Lake Grounds. Failing this the site at Kilkenny Fields would be acceptable as no other available sites in the Town meet the basic criteria for the development of a successful skatepark.”
9 June 2009
Design update with Jo Johnson
Skating and riding members of the committee meet the architect to discuss the latest plans.
First draft plans for skatepark at Lake Grounds:
We have commissioned a landscape architect, Jo Johnson, to produce these plans so that we can consult the residents of Portishead about them prior to putting in a planning application to North Somerset.
16 May 2009
Project invite local councillors to view Chepstow Skatepark
Councillors Ros Cruse, Dennis Miers, Colin Howells and also ex Cllr Sue Haysom took up our offer to visit Chepstow Skatepark to see a concrete skatepark and discuss their concerns with our Landscape Architect. 5 May 2009 Users send in their designs Great lot of designs from you all which will be used to help come up with a draft design for planning.
28 April 2009
Design meeting for user group
Over 30 came to the meeting including some new faces and it was a success with lots of ideas shared and questions asked of Jo Johnson, the Landscape Architect. Everyone was very excited about the prospect of a new skatepark in Portishead. Next step is for users to send in their ideas for the park – see events for how to do this.
15 April 2009
Green light for skatepark planning application at Lake Grounds
Press statement on planning application, presented to Portishead Town Council on 15 April 2009
The Portishead Skatepark Project has received the go-ahead from North Somerset Council to submit a planning application for a skatepark to be sited on the Lake Grounds between the children’s play area and the boating shed.
This follows over two years of intensive investigation of alternative sites around the town and lengthy public consultations. Tony Mosely who chairs the project said “ We are delighted that at long last we can move ahead with designing the skatepark that the young (and not so young) people of Portishead have been asking for.
The planning process will give everyone the opportunity to see what is being proposed and make their views known whether for or against. We will be showing off the plans at a public consultation at the Folk Hall on June 9th between 3.00pm and 8.00pm when we will be able to answer any questions and concerns people may have.” The proposed skatepark will be a concrete bowl construction incorporating features for skateboarding, BMX riding, in-line skaters, and scooters. The site is already well screened with existing trees but an extensive landscaping plan will be developed to ensure that the skatepark blends in with the Lake Grounds. Tony Mosely added “Siting the park near the existing children’s play area will allow families with children of all ages to enjoy the Lake Grounds together and will ensure that the skatepark is both well used and well supervised”
In an extensive consultation carried out in January 2007 the Lake Grounds was the second most popular site after the Leisure Centre which had to be rejected because of noise concerns. The Lake Grounds location meets all the established criteria for skateparks being in an existing well used park with plenty of facilities nearby and well over 100 metres from the nearest housing.
This is the Press statement on our proposed planning application for a site on the Lake Grounds that the Skatepark Project presented to Portishead Town Council on 15 April 2009 and also dates for the next user group meeting to contribute to the design of the park and an open afternoon/evening to view the plans.
Further note: Our decision to pursue a location at the Lake Grounds was made after we submitted a reportfrom our Landscape Architect on three possible locations to Cllr Ap Rees (Wyndham Way, Opposite Open Air Pool and Kilkenny Fields). The report suggested Kilkenny Fields was suitable.
Cllr Ap Rees remained opposed to Kilkenny Fields and asked one of his officers to look impartially and professionally at the options in Portishead’s main park, the Lake Grounds. Following the officer’s recommendations, on 16th March 2009, Cllr Ap Rees said he had no objection to us putting in a planning application for the site between the boathouse and the children’s play area.
Young user group trip to Motion
We party booked Bristol’s indoor skatepark ‘Motion’ for an evening and restricted entry to under 13’s. As a result the younger riders and skaters could practice in a quieter atmosphere and take their time plucking up courage to drop down the huge ramps. A great time was had by all.
User group sent the giant Christmas card (shown left) to Cllr Ap Rees.
Fri 12th Dec
A horrible cold and wet evening but we still managed to put the stall up and sell your old dvds, games etc and raised £102.
Fri 5th Dec
Skatepark Group Meeting
Skatepark Group meeting at Scout hut with visit from Duncan from Wheelscape Skateparks who have just built Filton park. Also watched DVD’s of our November trip to Birmingham’s Creation Skatepark.
22 Oct 08
James’ big hopes for his small change
James Perry, a Gordano pupil, collected over £150 in small change to donate to the project.
8 Nov 08
Big Band and Gospel Choir concert raises over £1500
The UWE Big Band and
Gospel Choir played to an appreciative audience of more than 250 people at Gordano School and the concert and raffle raised over £1500 towards the project. Many thanks to all the shops and business who provided printing, raffle prizes and refreshments.
1 Nov 08
Project Trip to Birmingham’s Indoor Skatepark
The project organised and subsidised a trip to Birmingham’s huge indoor ‘Creation’ skatepark for 40 riders and skaters. After seven hours of solid riding, everyone declared the trip a success! Birmingham were able to see what a huge talent we have in Portishead. We were delighted that PCSO Julie Lewis came along to get to know the local young people and she said “I was really impressed with the way the young people behaved and interacted with each other. There is real talent for this skilled and energetic sport in Portishead and it is such a shame that they don’t have a decent local skatepark where they could practice”.
REVIEW OF THREE SITES SENT TO CLLR AP REES
We commissioned a report of the three current location options from Jo Johnson, a landscape architect with considerable experience in skatepark design and construciton
5th Oct 08
BMX Comp/Jam at Merlin- a success
Over 20 bmx bike riders aged between seven and seventeen were riding the ramps, girls as well as boys. It was a fantastic success, and was the idea of local rider James Perry who organised the competition and presented the prizes. All proceeds were to the project.
The following richly deserved their prizes:
Best 1 minute run (over 14) – Mike Milnes
Best 1 minute run (under 14) – Ben Maltby
Furthest jump – Mike Milnes
First to 360 the spine – Ben Maltby
High jump – Will Midgeley
Best trick (over 14) Chris Derrick
Best trick (under 14) Jack Challenger
Low jump – joint winners Freddie Watts and Tom Clee
See this Flickr page for some general photos of the event http://www.flickr.com/photos/portisheadsk8/
28 Sept 08
Police support the our project
North Somerset Times article: “Police join skate park group Portishead police have thrown their weight behind the town’s proposed skate park and are calling for an end to the stalemate. Sergeant Terry Scoble and Police Community Support Officer Julie Lewis have recently joined the project group. Sgt Scoble said: ‘The police in Portishead fully support the proposals made so far by Portishead Skatepark Project. As part of our community policing we are in touch with youjg people in the town every day and a large percentage of the youth has a keen interest in skateboarding and BMXing. We support any youth activity and understand the frustrations the young people are experiencing over PSP. We have taken the step of joining the pro0ject and hope to make a positive contribution. A few members of the public have expressed concerns about anti social behaviour occurring wherever the park goes but we have no evidence a tall to suggest a project like this encourages such behaviour. PSP has investigated 14 different sites for the project over the past two years and the one that has met all the criteria and has proved the most popular choice with the young people is Kilkenny Field, however North Somerset’s deputy leader Councillor Elfan Ap Rees has deemed the site unsuitable. Young people in Portishead have raised more than �6,500 for PSP but serious fundraising including applications for grants and lottery funding cannot begin until a suitable site is agreed.”
10 Sept 08
PSP visit Bristol’s BMX and Skateboarding Event
Portishead Skatepark riders took part in the two day Urban Arts Revolution Project 360 at the Lloyds Amphitheatre in Bristol.
21 Aug 08
Old Putting Green site suggested by Cllr Ap Rees
Cllr Ap Rees has suggested a location on the Lake Grounds opposite the Swimming Pool and we’ve asked him to assist us in evaluating this site.
10 Aug 08
Location re-evaluation including Avon Way and Victoria Square
The project looked carefully at a map of Portishead back in January to find possible locations for the skatepark. 14 sites were considered in detail and after much deliberation we decided to pursue the Kilkenny Fields location. Please read the attached file to see the map and why Avon Way, Victoria Square/Wyndham Way and the other locations did not meet our criteria. There are a number of issues with the Wyndham Way location, chiefly that we would have to buy the land at considerable cost. Kilkenny Fields remains our preferred location as it is the only site that meets national and local criteria. We welcome other suggestions, and will continue to look at any other potential sites as we are not giving up on finding a site.
Rear of Open Air Pool location discounted
In our efforts to examine every possible site, we looked at an area behind the outdoor pool in Portishead, near Battery Point. Although it is big enough and far enough away from houses, it is a local nature reserve and an important archaeological area so we are not pursuing it any further.
Kilkenny Fields deemed unsuitable by North Somerset Council
Why are we disappointed? We wrote to Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council asking for his support – here’s our letter, his reply and the full report – please read it to find out what we proposed and which sites were considered.
11 April 2008
Dear Councillor ap Rees
The Portishead Skatepark Project has reached a critical stage in its ambition to create a new skatepark for the growing population of young people in our town. After nearly two years of hard work we have finally identified a location on Council owned land in Portishead and we now need the in-principle of the district council to allow us to progress to the next stage of the project which is to carry out formal assessments of the impacts of the proposed development and apply for full planning permission. We understand that you are the Executive Member responsible for this area of Council policy and it will be your decision whether to grant this permission or not.
The details of the decision we are asking you to make and the background and details of the project are contained in the report included with this letter. We sincerely hope that given the detailed investigations that we have made, the need for this facility that we have demonstrated, and the extent and strength of public support that we have gained that you will decide to support this project and allow us to progress quickly to the next stage.
Tony Mosely, Chairman, Portishead Skatepark Project
…and here’s his reply:
Dear Mr Mosely
Thank you for your letter and enclosure of 11th April 2008.
As no doubt you are aware, this proposal has raised considerable issues and objections and the suggested site at Nore Road is clearly not acceptable. I have asked officers and local District Councillors for alternative ideas but cannot promise an early answer.
Can I suggest you discuss the issue with the Town Council.
Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, Deputy Leader of the Council
21 Jun 08
National Bike Week – Police Skate Ramps at Gordano School.
We had a stall and game to help people see where Kilkenny Fields are and to discuss the project. Some of our user group turned up to use the cycle ramps and take part in the treasure hunt and cycle skills workshop.
14 Jun 08
Coconut Shy and Raffle raised a fantastic total of £154.81. Winning raffle tickets were drawn by Harriet, one of the Carnival Princesses. Members of the group joined in the Carnival Procession led by Alex, on scooters, bikes, blades and skateboards.
During the day almost 300 people were asked if they thought a skatepark should be built in Portishead and whether Kilkenny Fields was an appropriate site. Only five people objected to it. The skatepark project was encouraged by these results, but not surprised because they reflected informal comments made by residents whenever the subject was discussed.
6 June 08
Meeting with Liam Fox, MP
Tony Mosely, our Project Chairman met Liam Fox MP at his constituency surgery to ask for his support for the Skatepark and to ask him to look into why Cllr Ap Rees rejected the Kilkenny Fields location proposals.
27 May 08
Half term trip to Motion
Fantastic time had by Portishead children at half-term at Motion Indoor Skatepark.
All ages trip to Motion Indoor Skatepark
A second trip to Motion was just as successful as the first but this time with users ranging in age from 9 to 21.
The older ones helped the younger riders and skaters and everyone had a fantastic time.
9-12’s Young Users trip to Motion
The project continued to highlight the need for a new more challenging and central skatepark in the town when it arranged for a new generation of skaters to visit Motion indoor skatepark in Bristol.
The trip allowed youngsters aged from aged 9 to 12 years old to practice new and existing skills, helped by local skateboard enthusiast, Robin Bell. Over 20 skaters enjoyed the evening, those newer to the sport being encouraged by the more experienced skaters to try things they hadn’t before in a quieter athmosphere including drops from 12 foot ramps on scooters and back flips on roller blades.
Carols on the Quay raise £315.00
We would like to thank all the carol singers and audience at the Carols on the Quay Christmas event for their generous donations which totalled £171 plus a big thank you to Jenny Williams of the Galley for donating the raffle ticket money totalling £144.
TOWN COUNCIL SUPPORT KILKENNY FIELDS LOCATION ‘IN PRINCIPLE’
At the Portishead and North Weston Town Council meeting of 12 December 2007 the Town Council responded to the report with agreement to the first three recommendations (slight amendment to No. 1 – removing word “fully”) and added a fourth:
Portishead and North Weston Town Council:
1. Supports the efforts of the Portishead Skatepark Project in its efforts to establish a new skatepark facility in Portishead.
2. Gives its in-principle support to the PSP in pursuing the assessment of a location at Kilkenny Fields as a suitable location for this new facility.
3. Urges North Somerset Council as landowner to provide all necessary assistance to the PSP in its endeavours.
4. Feels that there could be alternative sites that have not been fully explored and would urge that a further assessment be made. The Town Council would prefer a more central site.
Skatepark location discussions with Town Council
Many meetings have been taking place with town and district councillors to try to secure a site for the skatepark and at last we can report on some progress. In November our project submitted a report to the Recreation and Works Committee of the Portishead and North Weston Town Council asking for their support to pursue Kilkenny Fields as a possible location for the skatepark. The report includes information about the other sites that we consulted on last November and also about the future issues that need to be addressed before we can proceed with this location, including planning permission.
Oct to Dec 07
Skatepark Grand Draw raises over £1700.00
Well done to all of you who sold tickets for our Grand Draw raising over £1700.00! Thanks to everyone who bought them, to all the traders who donated prizes and also sold tickets. Particular thanks go to Freemans for donating the Plasma Television and to Summit for selling so many tickets. Thanks too to Sue Mason (shown left with John S Clark), Chair of Portishead and North Weston Town Council for drawing the tickets.
£2000.00 donation from Rotarians
The Portishead Rotary Club donated a massive £2000.00 this month towards our project and wished us every suceess.
£402.50 raised packing bags at Waitrose
Thirteen skaters and riders volunteered to pack customers bags at Waitrose on 27th October and raised a fantastic £402.50. Thanks to Danny, Emma, Tim, Ben, Tom, Lucy, Jack, Dan, Nathan, Josh, Matty, Freddie and Sam. They will each have a free ticket for our Motion trip when we organise one in the new year. Big thanks to Waitrose too for letting us do this.
Police ramps at Avon Way
PCSO Debbie Charman brought the Police ramps to Avon Way play area after school on Friday 5th October and about thirty young skaters and riders turned up to use them.
About 30 families braved the weather and enjoyed the hunt. Thanks to everyone who helped on the day, to the cake makers, to Ron Piper who lent us the gazebo and to Coleman, Redcliffe Removals and Jump for the prizes.
Portishead winners at Nailsea’s Competition
The afternoon of Saturday 21st July 2007 saw the fifth Nailsea Community Skateboard and Rollerblade festival take place at the town’s Millennium Skate Park. Many skaters from Portishead took part and won prizes. Well done to Tom and Ben, Craig, Matt, Ryan and Freddie. See the photos on the official website or click on the photos below to englarge.
£102.00 raised packing bags at Somerfield
Tom M and Tom K worked hard for three hours packing bags in Somerfield and raised a whopping £102.
£152.00 raised bag packing at the Co-op
Josh, Abby , Dan, Jack, Lucy, Ben, Sue and Helen packed bags for two hours in the Co-op and raised £152.00 – a fantastic mornings work
£150.00 raised at Portishead Carnival
About 15 User Group members took part in the Carnival Procession on 16th June, scooting, skating and blading behind the Pink Cadillac carrying the Carnival Princess! They had a lot of fun. The Project was represented on the Carnival Field and many people wanted to know more. The stall had a very popular coconut shy and sold sweets and drinks making a profit of about £150.
Unfortnately we are unable to proceed with our plans to have the Skatepark on the land adjoining the leisure centre, which was the most popular location, as it is too close to the new flats that are being built. We are now looking at both the second choice (the Lake Grounds) and the third choice (Bristol Road Football Club) to find out which is possible.
3rd User Group Meeting
On 22nd May the User Group met at the Youth Centre and there was a good turnout. Plans were made to take part in the Carnival and every future user of a skatepark was challenged to raise some money individually or with their friends towards the skatepark. Two boys are bag packing in Somerfield on 30th June for tips, some others are thinking of skating to Edinburgh! Police PCSO Charlotte Slocombe offered to bring the portable skate ramps to Portishead and discussed the local policy of zero tolerance. Phil Williams invited everyone to take part in Nailsea’s Fifth Annual Skate Festival.
Hydrex and many other Local Companies support the skatepark
Many local companies have generously agreed to support the skatepark project with donations, with raffle and auction prizes and with offers of practical help and a full list appears on the links page.
A special big thank you goes to Hydrex who have offered to supply the plant and labour needed to carry out the groundwork associated with the skatepark, help worth many thousands of pounds.
Swimathon raises £300.00
Two teams swam magnificently on behalf of the Skatepark – well done to all of them. The Rotary Club of Portishead organised the event and gave us all we raised and more resulting in a genourous donation of £300.00.
Big thanks to the swimmers: Daniel and Billie, Craig, Henry, Tom and Daniel, Robin, John, Vivien and Emma. Everyone swam enthusiastically and the Skating Crocs (oldies plus Emma) did 76 lengths. the highest number in our 35 minute session, The Dolphins did about 64 and were either 2nd or 3rd. “It was great to see the younger ones swimming so well and with such determination” Viv.
Jon raises over £300 for the skatepark
Lib Dem Councillor (as was) Jon Gethin (pictured above with daughter Amy) ran the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 25 March on behalf of the Project and raised over £300 for the Skatepark – a fantastic achievement.
Location survey results
Extensive consultation with the residents of Portishead resulted in most votes being cast for the skatepark to be located on the land adjoining the Leisure Centre, marked on the Google picture to the left with our logo. The Lake Grounds location came second. The project is now seeking advice from various North Somerset Council departments over land ownership and other issues.
‘We want a skatepark’ in the Evening Post
On Sunday 18th February dozens of young people, parents, grandparents and friends gathered in Portishead to raise awareness of their project: to build a new skatepark in the centre of Portishead to be used by bikes, rollerbladers, scooters and skateboards. John Thompson interviewed several people and a photo and article appeared in the Bristol Evening Post the next day.
Second Skatepark User Meeting
Cllr John Clark updated the group about the progress being made on finding a location for the park and we discussed taking part in the carnival and running some training sessions. The group watched the first draft of the Motion video and some interviews were re-recorded by Geoff. Then everyone with a bike, skateboard or blades enjoyed the sports court for a few hours.
Portishead’s skaters and riders make video at Motion
Over 40 skaters, riders, bladers and scooterers from Portishead travelled to Bristol’s Motion Indoor Skatepark on Monday 12th February to make a video to help get funding for a new skatepark in Portishead.
Geoff Holloway did a fantastic job filming everyone from the beginners trying out the huge ramps to Portishead’s own Motion team member, Dom Jones, doing backflips. Robin Bell interviewed lots of you about how keen you all are on your sport and how much you need a new skatepark in Portishead. Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time and it was great to see Cllr John S Clark there enjoying the spectacle. Watch youtube clip of ‘PSP movie”.
Council reject funding proposal for Skatepark
A group of skaters and riders from the Project attended the Portishead and North Weston Town Council meeting on 17th January and their spokesperson, Robin Bell, asked them to help fund the skatepark. The council was split on the proposal for funding made by Cllr John S Clark and it was narrowly rejected. Since the Town Council started off the project by setting up a Working Party last September, it was very disappointing for all there that they did not back their support for the project with funding.
The first Skatepark User Group meeting
A fantastic 51 people turned up to the first meeting for all skateboarders, bladers, BMX and scooter riders at the Youth Centre on 9th January.
There was terrific enthusiasm for the project and dozens of ideas were brainstormed to raise money for the park. Many signed up to take part in the Swimathon, to help make a video about the project to help attract funds and to help leaflet residents of Portishead.
Successful Victorian Evening raises £101.90
Our stall at the Victorian Evening selling second-hand PC, Playstation games, DVDs, Videos raised the first £101.90 towards the park. During the evening we began our Portishead Residents Consultation about the park and it’s location by interviewing over 300 people. They were asked which location they preferred: Lake Grounds, Leisure Centre, Bristol Road, Village Quarter or Nore Road Picnic Area.
A survey was undertaken of all Junior, Special, PRU and Secondary schools in Portishead in order to find out how many people might use the park and what they would ride if they did. 655 survey forms have been returned so far and the results are encouraging: 430 young people would use the park, 35% of these are female and over 47% would use it at least once a week.
The young people were also asked to donate old DVDs, Videos and Computer/PS2 games to sell at the Victorian Evening and we were amazed by the response.
With the agreement of the Town Council the Skatepark Working Party became the ‘Portishead Skatepark Project’ (PSP) with it’s own management committee and not controlled by the Council. There would also be a Skatepark Users Group open to all local skaters and riders.
It was decided to aim to raise £100,000 from Town and District Councils, grant making Trusts and Companies, local businesses and also by the young people doing their own fundraising.
The first task was to find a suitable location and the following were suggested:
- Lake Grounds, near the boat hut
- Leisure Centre, seaward end
- Village Quarter, near the new school
- Bristol Road Football Club
- Nore Road, start of coast path.
These locations have been publicised in the North Somerset Times and prompted many letters to the paper both for and against the park and suggesting locations.
Skatepark Working Party formed
John S Clark proposed that the Portishead and North Weston Town Council establish a Skatepark in central Portishead. The Town Council approved the idea and a Working Party of councillors, parents, young people and representatives from the Police and Rotary Club was established.
Primary Children petition council for skatepark
Local primary school children petitioned North Somerset Council to use some of their £340,000 Lottery money to fund a skatepark in Portishead.
Skaters lobby Councillor for skatepark
Councillor John S Clark visited the Youth Club to meet some skaters and riders and realised there was great enthusiasm for a new skatepark in Portishead.
Skaters write to the council asking for a skatepark
Two skateboarding teenagers wrote to the Portishead and North Weston Town Council urging them to build a skatepark in Portishead.