Skatepark plan moves forward

The site of the proposed skatepark
The site of the proposed skatepark

THE CONTROVERSIAL bid to put a skatepark in Manor Gardens has entered a new chapter as a planning application has been submitted.

The Parks and Gardens department of Eastbourne Borough Council has applied for planning permission and the decision will be made at a meeting of the planning committee in the forthcoming weeks.

The plan includes renovating the existing surface and boundary fencing in the basketball court behind the Gildredge Park Cafe and building seven pieces of skating equipment, which will be steel framed with Skatelite ramp surfacing.

The proposals have been dogged in controversy with young people and the town’s mayor Carolyn Heaps saying the former basketball court is ideal for a skatepark but opponents protesting that Manor Gardens should retain its tranquil and peaceful reputation and the skatepark should be built elsewhere.

Outline plans to put the skatepark in Manor Gardens – as opposed to Longland Rec in Old Town – were given the green light earlier this month by the council’s Cabinet committee.

Upperton Conservatives and opponents of the scheme are now urging anyone against the proposals to make their views known by writing to the council.

A spokesperson at Eastbourne Borough Council said this week a final decision would be made by councillors on the planning committee and not by officers under delegated powers.

He said, “The planning application to convert the basket ball courts to the rear of the café in Gildredge Park to a skate park has now been submitted.

“The proposal is to relocate the existing basket ball courts onto the adjacent tennis court. This would enable the skate park to be located in the court immediately to the rear of café within the centre of the park.

“Details of the proposed scheme can be viewed on the planning pages of Eastbourne Borough Council’s website under reference EB/2011/0521. The council has consulted extensively on this submission, including posting a number of planning notices throughout Manor Gardens and Gildredge Park with the details of the application.”

Anyone wishing to make comments on the draft proposal should do so in writing to the planning department before October 7 or via the council website at