Manor Gardens not a done deal says the council

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COUNCIL bosses have issued a strong denial over claims the skate park in Manor Gardens was a done deal.

Last week the Herald reported that an email from a parks and garden council officer detailing specifications for the skate park had been sent out a week before the meeting rubber-stamping the controversial plans even took place.

The email was later recalled saying it had been sent to a number of people in error which only served to add fuel to rumours that the youth facility was already a done deal.

At last week’s meeting all the Liberal Democrat Cabinet members backed Eastbourne mayor Carolyn Heaps’ campaign to put the skate park in Manor Gardens as opposed to Longland Rec in Old Town or Hartfield Square off the Avenue.

The report of a done deal prompted Eastbourne Borough Council to deny the claim and a spokesperson said the email was only advance research.

The spokesperson said, “As part of the council’s planning for the provision of a much-needed teen play facility in the west of Eastbourne, some initial investigations were carried out into the specifications required for a skate park.

“Among those investigations were some detailed questions about the proposal to locate the skate park in Manor Gardens.

“Because there were a number of site options at this location, it was important to try and do as much advance research as possible on these options.

“Similar advance research was carried for other play facility options, such as the Longland Road option, to ensure members had as much information as possible when making their decision at Cabinet last week.

“This research in no way pre-empted the decision made at Cabinet to recommend that the basketball location was the most suitable, and was in fact part of prudent planning so members could best understand the implications and requirements of each location.

“A clear and transparent debate was held at Cabinet and based on that debate, members voted unanimously in favour of Option A, the basketball courts.

“Detailed plans can now be prepared for the skate park which will then follow the standard planning process, including further consultation with local residents.”