Planning issues delay new skate park build

Visualisation of the proposed new skate park at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre.

Work on a £250,000+ project to construct a new concrete skate park in the grounds of Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre could finally get under way within the next few weeks, subject to planners at South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) granting approval following a protracted evaluation of the town council’s planning application.

At the time funding was secured for the project in early 2014, the council said it was hoping to have the new facility up and running in time for the community festival in June 2015, but by the time a contractor was appointed to build the park, the projected completion date had already slipped to the end of September.

The planning application for the new park was eventually submitted in mid-June, at which time the council said it expected work to “start immediately after the school holidays” and be completed by Christmas. However, following negative comments received from SGC’s landscape architect, who saw the proposal as “trying to shoehorn too much into a too small space”, the design had to be re-worked.

Additionally, objections from a small number of local residents concerned about potential noise levels from the new skate park (which would be closer to their properties than the existing park), led to the council being asked to commission an acoustic survey at a cost of £1,500. The results of that exercise were inconclusive, with the experts concluding the construction of a 2-metre acoustic barrier to the south of the site would ensure there was “no material adverse impact upon neighbouring residents whilst the proposed skate park is [operating] at maximum capacity”. However, correspondence aired at a town council meeting in October suggests that SGC will not insist on the construction of an acoustic barrier, but will instead impose a condition that requires one to be retro-fitted should any “substantiated statutory noise nuisance complaints” be received within a year of the park opening.

Additional conditions likely to be imposed are that the park is only used between 8am and 9.30pm, approved signage showing the opening hours is displayed and a 24-hour CCTV system is installed.

The town council’s budgeted expenditure on the project has now risen to £286,000, due mainly to additional costs associated with re-instating the car park on the site of the old skate park and installing a converted shipping container to provide storage and a small social space for use when detached youth workers are in attendance.

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

POSTSCRIPT: Planning permission for the new skate park was finally granted on 6th November. A total of 17 conditions were imposed – these are detailed in the decision notice (available to view on the Documents tab of the planning portal page).

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