Skate park opinions
I REFER to John Gething's letter of February. He says that at the North Somerset planning meeting councillors disregarded their duty to consider the merits and fairness of the application.
I REFER to John Gething's letter of February. He says that at the North Somerset planning meeting councillors disregarded their duty to consider the merits and fairness of the application. He states that the fact that the landlord had not consented was irrelevant. Clearly this is an important matter to be taken into consideration on any planning application.
He refers to devious actions of the officers of the district council. He failed to mention that one of the town councillors who spoke at length at the Portishead Town Council planning meeting to accept the proposal was the Portishead council's representative to the sub committee to consider the skatepark project on the Lake Grounds. In my view this affected the voting when clearly this councillor was one of the leading members of the applicant. She was therefore able to take part in the discussion and voting. Morally I feel she was wrong, she should have left the room as other councillors did over other matters where they had an interest.
The district councillors were quite correct to refer to other possible sites. They indicated that there was no objection in principle to a skatepark in Portishead but not on the Lake Grounds. I cannot see that the councillors were devious when suggesting the possibility of other sites as they would have clearly known from the applicants and the media that other sites had been considered.
The �4,000 spent on professional fees will not be lost completely since much of the work undertaken could be used on another site.
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The Skatepark working group and their supporters do not speak for the majority of the local population and visitors from surrounding areas who use this grass leisure area. This majority would not agree that the skatepark would blend and be an attraction to the area.
I believe that the police made public their reservations and there had been some discussion about the need for a large fence with lockable gates to secure the skatepark when not in use at night time.
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To say that the councillors completely ignored the effort made by the applicants was incorrect since it was in order for them to consider the views of the whole of the locals of the district and also those of the supervising authorities.
Mr Gething must know that all councillors are aware that planning applications sometimes will be supported by many letters and e-mails that had been canvassed by the applicants, sometimes on pre-printed forms.
It is rubbish to state that the councillors are thwarting the majority. They have a responsibility to take into account all of their electorate and in this case I am sure they took the view that the siting of the skatepark was unsuitable because one assumes that they would realise that the applicants are a minority and the majority would object, in addition, of course there were the views of the owners and Police to consider.
In the North Somerset Times dated February 10 Councillor David Pasley mentioned that the Portishead Football Club has been contacted about the possibility of siting a BMX track and then a Skatepark, this seems an ideal solution.
Beach Road West, Portishead