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Steyning skate park plans removed from agenda

JPCT 070113 Phil Bowell - made an MBE for services to British Industry and the Bahrain Community. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130901093351

JPCT 070113 Phil Bowell - made an MBE for services to British Industry and the Bahrain Community. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130901093351

Two controversial Steyning skate park applications were removed from this week’s planning agenda, but a parish councillor has said they are ‘not giving up’.

As Horsham District Council’s Development Control Committee met to review this month’s agenda items on Tuesday April 15, two planning applications to build skate parks in Steyning were found to have been struck from the list.

Steyning Parish council’s plan to build a skate facility on the Memorial Playing Field has been removed, even though it was recommended for approval (subject to conditions) by the planning officer.

On this occasion, HDC pulled the plan from the agenda to consult further with the South Downs National Park’s ecology officer.

Chairman of Steyning Parish Council, Phil Bowell, said: “It’s unfortunate - its another month and it’s been a long time anyway. As far as we’re concerned there’s nothing sinister. It’s a shame, but we’re not giving up.”

The parish council’s plan is set to be considered by the committee at their next meeting on May 20.

Also removed is Friends of Memorial Playing Field’s (FoMPF) proposal to build a skate park in The Steyning Leisure Centre’s car park.

The application was recommended for refusal by the planning officer based on the Crime Prevention Design Officer at Sussex Police’s report, which raised concern that the proposed site could result in damage to vehicles, complaints of loitering and acts of anti-social behaviour.

However, Chairman of FoMPF, Peter Comber, wrote a letter to HDC’s planning department highlighting ‘numerous deeply troubling aspects of the officers’ reports’ for the parish council’s plan.

These concerns include lack of publicity and consultation, noise in the Village Green, health and safety, and crime and disorder, among others.

The group’s letter claims that the noise issue is ‘an absolutely crucial new factor which has not been considered in the officer’s report nor consulted on with the Crime Prevention Officer nor made known to the people of Steyning’.

It has not been confirmed why FoMPF’s application was also pulled from the agenda.

In November last year, a poll of the Local Government Electors of the Parish of Steyning was taken on the question: ‘Do you want Steyning Parish Council to provide a skatepark in the Memorial Playing Field..?’ 53.7 per cent voted ‘yes’, and 46.3 per cent voted ‘no’.

 

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