Should £28,000 be spent on public art in Southwater?

The closed skatepark in Southwater
The closed skatepark in Southwater

A £28,000 piece of public artwork is to be built in Southwater, to the dismay of councillors who are desperate for funds to fix a skatepark.

£27,737 has been provided by developer, Bovis Homes, to provide public artwork within its development of 131 homes east and south of Millfield, as part of its Section 106 agreement.

Southwater Parish Council objects to this provision as it is searching for funds to refurbish the village skatepark which is damaged to an unuseable state.

Councillor Peter Buckley said: “There are better uses for that money than a piece of artwork a lot of people won’t see.

“The skate board park is top priority at the moment. The kids love it and it draws people into the village.”

Mr Buckley explained that the parish council wanted to get the money for the skatepark as children had been risking their safety by attempting to use the equipment.

“We were trying to persuade HDC the park was a piece of artwork in a way,” he explained, “because it could be seen by some as a beautiful structure to look at.”

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “A sum of £27,737 is to be provided by the developer amongst other contributions associated with the Bovis Homes development to be used towards the provision of public art on the site and/or the equipped play area.

“It is intended that further consultation, including with Southwater Parish Council, is to be undertaken on precisely how and where the contribution is to be spent.”