Bund would be a scar on landscape

I write regarding the article published in the County Times on February 8. You published Steyning Parish Council’s artistic impression of the skatepark they wish to build on the Memorial Playing Field, Steyning.

The Friends of Memorial Playing Field were concerned that the parish council’s imagery presented a false impression and so commissioned their own professional visualisations.

The Friends’ used the actual figures and information shown in the parish council’s planning drawings. They have produced properly scaled scientific images rather than a mere artistic impression. Short of building the skatepark, these are the best preview it is possible to get.

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Our images (one of which is included above left) show that because of the sloping site, far from the gently rounded mound in the parish council’s image of the same bund, the huge spoil heaps surrounding the skatepark will be a scar on the landscape, towering above the MPF in an incongruous and unnatural manner.

As the bunds will be ridden by BMXers and very difficult to mow they will soon be mud-heaps covered with straggly grass rather than the beautifully manicured slopes shown in the Parish Council’s images.

The MPF, which frames the view of the South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, now enjoys protected Village Green status as well as being in the South Downs National Park. The Friends’ images show in the starkest terms how this protected landscape will be despoiled by the parish council’s insensitive proposal.

The height of the bunds also means that natural, casual, supervision of children using the skatepark will not be possible. RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has confirmed it sees the bunds as posing significant risks to health and safety.

The planning process is currently in disarray as problems for the parish council’s project mount and for a second time the planning committee meeting has been postponed. The meeting scheduled for March 19 has been re-scheduled for April at the earliest.

In the meantime the Friends are pressing on with their alternative scheme for a skatepark at the Steyning Leisure Centre car park which has been very well received by all consultees including RoSPA.

Gill Muncey, treasurer, Friends of Memorial

Playing Field