Petworth skatepark plans are '˜heading in right direction'

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Petworth Town Council's plans to provide a skate park in the town are '˜heading in the right direction' reported chairman Chris Kemp.

There was anger and frustration over Chichester District Council’s (CDC) refusal in February to allow Sylvia Beaufoy Youth Club land to be used.

Town councillors launched a strong campaign against the ‘no’ decision.

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A behind closed doors meeting was held with CDC cabinet member Gillian Keegan who pledged to find space for the skate park in one of the car parks.

Later town councillors said they believed there was a new spirit of cooperation to work in partnership and identity a suitable site.

Preferred contractors were appointed to build the long awaited skate park after fresh hope the stalled plans were back on track.

Project leader Roger Hanauer announced in May the working group had gone through an approved process and chosen Wheelscape.

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And on Thursday he told town councillors after a request from CDC officers, Petworth’s site options appraisal had been reworked and would now be presented to CDC Cabinet in September. “Thereafter the ball is in their court.”

Mr Kemp said he believed all the ‘protesting and wiggling’ carried out by the town council including a petition and a public meeting to show the strength of feeling in the town, had paid dividends.

“We are now going through the site options appraisal process and I am afraid it all takes time.

“We are hitting the summer holidays and September is the earliest we are going to get them to make a decision.

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“On the upside we are definitely heading in the right direction.

“We do have some serious commitments from Chichester District Council - this is a happening animal.”

Mr Kemp warned town councillors they needed to take the advice of CDC officers.

“They want to make sure district councillors understand the decision they are being asked to make and we want a skate park as soon as we can get it,” he said.

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