Skate park and village green plans debated

A group of residents have put forward an alternative site for a skate park in Steyning.

Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00 pm

The Friends of Memorial Playing Field (FoMPF) have identified a spot which it says would be more suitable in the Steyning Leisure Centre carpark, owned by Horsham District Council.

The group has already presented its plans to Steyning Parish Council and says it is approaching HDC to take the proposal forward.

FoMPF opposes the parish council’s current plan for a skate park on the Memorial Playing Field, and has applied for village green status on the land. This proposal is due to be considered by West Sussex County Council’s Rights of Way Committee at its meeting on February 26.

FoMPF said in a statement that it hoped to give the Memorial Playing Field ‘the highest degree of protection possible’ and ‘help preserve it for future generations.’

It hopes a successful village green bid would prevent the skate park from being built there.

It said: “The park will be built right in the middle of the view from the town into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“The skate park is in breach of all the public assurances it has given about not proceeding if it exceeded the relevant noise criteria, which it does by a wide margin.”

Steyning Parish Council opposes the village green plan, which it said was unnecesary.

Chairman David Barling said: “The Parish Council has cared for the Memorial Playing Field and spent a huge amount of time, effort and money over the years in order to provide this facility for all of Steyning’s residents, having originally acquired it for that purpose in 1979.

“The discovery recently of the existence of Village Green status for the front part of the field is now causing difficulty for the Parish Council and for clubs and groups that use the Playing Field, and we have no wish to see this extended into the remainder.”