Skatepark decision is ‘victory for common sense’

Chairman of Stamford Skatepark committee, Marc Stanier, celebrating the approval of the group's application to build a new skatepark in Stamford. 'Photo: MSMP181012-008ow
Chairman of Stamford Skatepark committee, Marc Stanier, celebrating the approval of the group's application to build a new skatepark in Stamford. 'Photo: MSMP181012-008ow
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Common sense has prevailed, according to the chairman of the Stamford Skatepark Committee.

It took more than three hours for South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee to hear all those who wanted to speak on plans to build a skatepark on the Recreation Ground in Stamford.

But on Tuesday councillors defied the recommendations of their planning officers and granted planning permission, to the delight of scores of youngsters who sat patiently at the meeting in Grantham.

After the meeting, Stamford Skatepark Committee chairman Marc Stanier, who led the £150,000 project, said: “I am over the moon. Absolutely chuffed to bits.

“I am very pleased with the turnout we had at the meeting and I am extremely pleased at the conduct and behaviour of the young skaters who were there. They did us proud.

“The outcome is a victory for common sense. The councillors realised they would be exposing themselves to risk by granting planning permission, but they saw the longer term benefits and the sheer desire from the community.”

Councillors asked for limits to be imposed on the hours of use of the park and asked for a robust management plan to minimise noise disruption.

But Mr Stanier is confident the conditions can be met.

The committee will now finalise the management plan with Stamford Town Council, which owns the Recreation Ground and submitted the planning application for the new skatepark.

The next step will be to collect the grant money and hand it over to Maverick Industries, the firm that won the contract for the park.

Mr Stanier is hopeful work will begin before Christmas, with the park expected to take eight weeks to build.

He said: “I want to thank all those who took the time to write to the councillors, everyone who came to the rally in Red Lion Square and the people who came to the meeting.

“The show of support has vindicated what we have been doing.”

Stamford town councillor Maureen Jalili (Lib Dem), who spoke in support of the skatepark at Tuesday’s meeting, said: “To say I am delighted would be an understatement.

“This is great news for Stamford and the young people deserve it. They worked incredibly hard raising money and putting the plans together.”