Stalled Thetford skate park set to be discussed at meeting

PUBLISHED: 14:29 15 October 2012

Ben Brooks in the air as he skateboards at the mobile skate park set up in Thetford's Market Place in 2005.

Ben Brooks in the air as he skateboards at the mobile skate park set up in Thetford's Market Place in 2005.

Archant © 2005

A meeting will be held this week to try to overcome issues surrounding a stalled skate park in Thetford.

A long-awaited facility for young people behind Breckland Leisure Centre, off Croxton Road, has hit a barrier, despite being granted planning permission earlier this year.

Concerns have been raised about a proposed footpath to the site that runs across Keystone Development Trust land for the nearby innovation centre.

Officials and representatives from Thetford Town Council, Breckland Council, Keystone Development Trust and the Healthy Living Centre will meet behind closed doors on Wednesday in an attempt to find a solution to ensure that a skate park is finally built.

It comes after members of the Moving Thetford Forward board raised their concerns about the scheme, which was due to be completed this summer, at a meeting earlier this month.

A statement from Thetford Town Council this week said the town council was committed to delivering the skate park and funded a project to get the views of skaters for the design of the facility.

“The town council have already agreed to take ownership and management of the skate park when it is built and there have been discussions with the skaters and their parents to form a management committee to manage the day to day issues of running the skate park. Recently it has transpired that Keystone Development Trust and the nearby Healthy Living Centre have concerns regarding safety, the management of the park and the impact on their tenants/patients from noise or nuisance.”

“Further, for the skate park to happen at the current location, Keystone Development Trust will need to issue an easement for pedestrian access over Keystone property. There have also been changes that would have financial implications for the Town Council and must therefore be carefully considered.”

“We know that Thetford’s young people have waited for a very long time for this facility, which is why it is crucial that we get this project right,” said a spokesman.

Neil Stott, chief executive of Keystone Development Trust, said last week that he hoped the issues could be resolved at the meeting.

“It’s about due diligence. We’re responsible to our tenants and to the public and to the users of the space.

“This is not about doing something quickly, it’s about achieving something that will last. We have to make sure it’s done right. I think there are solutions,” he said.

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