Disappointment as Thetford Academy principal sticks to objections over skate park
08:10 12 May 2014
Plans for a long-awaited skate park in Thetford have been dealt another blow after the principal of the town’s largest school said he is sticking to his objections - despite concessions from the scheme’s applicants.
Adrian Ball, principal of Thetford Academy, has said he will not back plans for a facility to be built just yards from his school, on Joe Blunt’s Lane, as Thetford Town Council awaits a decision on its application to Breckland Council.
Corinne Fulford, chairman of the amenities committee for the town council, had previously told Breckland’s planning committee that she would aim to address Mr Ball’s concerns, after he raised objections in January over security and the park’s management.
After working on amendments to the project, Ms Fulford and town clerk, Maurice Howard, spoke to Mr Ball at a recent meeting at the academy in the hope of persuading him to back the scheme.
But Mr Ball said he would not be backing down.
“It was a productive meeting and some of the concerns I had about supervision and people passing through our car park have been resolved.
“When the new plans go in, I’ll acknowledge the work that has gone in and that it’s gone some way to alleviating our concerns.
“But I just don’t think it’s the most suitable place for the park with it being by the school,” he said.
Ms Fulford told Thetford Town Council’s annual meeting that she had been”disappointed” by Mr Ball’s stance.
“It is perhaps disappointing to note that he will still be objecting to the site based purely on the proximity to the academy, even though many of the users will of course attend the academy.
“We have a very high population of young people in the town, many of their parents were asking the town to deliver a skate park when they were teenagers themselves,” she said.
The new plans will go back before Breckland on June 9.
What do you think of Mr Ball’s objections? Let us know by writing to Andrew Fitchett at firstname.lastname@example.org