More than 250 skaters, parents, teachers and public figures gathered in Stamford yesterday (Sunday) to show their support for a skatepark project.
The Stamford Skatepark Committee organised a march from Red Lion Square to the Recreation Ground to show the level of backing for the plans to build a new £150,000 skatepark.
The plans for a concrete bowl park on the Recreation Ground will be considered by South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee Tuesday next week.
Planning officers have recommended the application be refused because of the noise it would create. The skatepark committee organised the march to show how much support the project has in Stamford.
Skatepark committee chairman Marc Stanier said: “The aim was to show the district council and the public the level of support and in that sense it was mission accomplished.
“We were joined by vicars, school governors, teachers as well as skaters and ex-skaters so it was quite a mix.
“No-one could really understand why we are expected to get turned down.”
The report to the development control committee says the visual impact of the park would be minimal and the site management plan is acceptable. But it says an independent noise report predicted the level of noise generated would be unacceptable.
A total of 226 letters were sent to the district council in support of the skatepark plans, while 42 were sent objecting to the scheme.
Marc added: “The point of yesterday’s march was to show support, because a lot of people won’t be able to get to the meeting.”
The committee started raising money for a new park after the old wooden ramps on the Recreation Ground were taken down in May 2008 because of safety concerns.
Businesses, charities and individuals pledged thousands and the committee reached its £150,000 target last year. But if the planning application is refused, the committee is concerned all its good work raising funds will have been in vain.
Marc said: “If it gets turned down that money just disappears. We don’t have it in a bank account to invest, it has been pledged.
“If the application gets refused Stamford doesn’t get that money to invest in its young people.”
The committee hopes to get as much support as possible at the development control committee meeting, which takes place at the council offices in Grantham at 1pm on Tuesday next week.
If enough people show interest, the committee will hire a bus to take people to Grantham. Call Mark on 07739 040248 if you would like to go.