Skatepark upgrade set for 2020 as town council told planning permission not needed
PUBLISHED: 11:13 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:13 10 December 2019
Skaters and wheeled sports enthusiasts in Sidmouth have been given an early Christmas present with the news that the town's much anticipated skatepark has moved a step closer.
Sidmouth Town Council has revealed confirmation has been received that they do not require planning permission, paving the way for the facility in Manstone to be upgraded next year.
The Herald reported in October that a planning application had been submitted for the new skate park, but the district council has since confirmed that permission is not needed.
Avoiding a lengthy planning process means the town council can apply for grants from Section 106 - money obtained from developers - and Sport England.
Sidmouth Town Council previously promised to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds into the Manstone site to meet the needs of young people.
Councillor Louise Cole, chairman of the town council's youth provision working group said: "Children and young people in Sidmouth told us that a new skate park was high on their wish list during the Neighbourhood Plan consultations.
"Skate parks are a great asset to any community if they are well designed and in the right place.
"They give young people a social and physical space, somewhere to be outside and active, develop their focus and skills and have fun with their friends, that is good for their wellbeing all round.
"Young people have been involved in the design work and I am really pleased that we can now move quickly to deliver it for them."
A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: "We have looked through the proposal and, given that no part of the works exceed four metres in height or 200 cubic metres in capacity, and as the works are proposed by and for the town council, I consider that the works can be classed as permitted development."
The town council's appointed skatepark consultant and constructor Maverick Industries carried out 'extensive' consultations with local users, the youth centre and residents earlier this year and plans are now being finalised using that information to produce a 'truly top quality' facility for use by all ages and abilities.