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Will Bideford’s skate park be moving to the football ground?

PUBLISHED: 09:04 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:17 02 February 2018

The proposed site of Bideford Skate Park. Picture: Google

The proposed site of Bideford Skate Park. Picture: Google

Archant

Councillors are being asked to approve a new location for Bideford Skate Park, and authorise the development of a planning application to secure £50,000 funding for the new park.

Bideford’s skate park could be moving into a new home at the football grounds, if councillors approve the move on Monday.

A report to Torridge District Council’s full council meeting is asking members to approve the new location on the redundant tennis courts.

The skate park was originally proposed to move to the cattle market site near Riverbank House after councillors proposed to allocate £50,000 towards the relocation in December.

However, investigations of this site found demolishing the existing waste area and working around sewage works would be too expensive.

In his report to the council, TDC commercial and leisure services manager, Sean Kearney, said: “Since the report of December 4, 2017, and following extensive consultations, a more suitable, cost effective and safer location has been identified as the redundant tennis courts that sit within the Bideford Football Club grounds.

“The newly proposed site is far easier to develop and would allow for a much better return for investment in terms of the provision that can be delivered.”

Mr Kearney said with consent a full planning application would go before TDC’s plans committee on April 5.

He added: “The redundant site is currently, unofficially, utilised by the Bideford Football Club and the adjacent car wash business without the permission of the council for car parking.

The new ramps installed at Bideford skate park in April last year. The new ramps installed at Bideford skate park in April last year.

“In the immediate vicinity of the sports ground there is ample parking to accommodate the parking requirements of these users and it should also be noted that when football matches are usually played (evenings, Saturday afternoon or Sunday) parking on the adjacent Pill car park is free.”

As well as £50,000 from TDC’s capital investment fund, the council has also secured £50,000 funding from Sport England and £100,000 from section 106 agreements towards relocating the park.

But for the Sport England money to be utilised, the project must begin in April this year.

In April last year, new ramps were installed at the current park at Bank End, after it was closed for health and safety reasons.

It is understood the new park will feature concrete ramps and Councillor Phil Pennington, lead member for community, culture and leisure, said the new park would be ‘unlike any other in Devon’.

Bideford AFC told the Gazette they would be discussing the plans at a board meeting next week, with car parking and potential vandalism among their concerns.

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