Two locations for Cranbrook’s first skatepark selected by town council

Cranbrook is on the way to getting a new skatepark. Picture: Terry Ife

Cranbrook is on the way to getting a new skatepark. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Cranbrook’s long-awaited skatepark looks set to be built on one of two sites earmarked by the town council.

Dignitaries agreed they would be happy with either location, both north of Cranbrook’s proposed leisure centre, at their meeting on Monday (September 17).

They hope to submit a planning application by the end of the year, with construction starting as early as possible next year.

The two options are both adjacent to the education campus, on the same side of the road.

One is north-west of the leisure centre site, on land between the areas designated for town centre development termed as TC5A and TC6.

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The other is north of the leisure centre on the parcel of land termed as TC6.

These options will be discussed informally with the developers and members of the district and county councils at the end of September, with the preferred site to be put forward to the district council in the first week of October prior to the formal planning application.

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East Devon District Council had set a target of 2,250 homes in Cranbrook to be occupied before the skatepark should be built. The occupation rate is currently around 1,900.

However, the meeting heard that the developers are happy to move forward with the skatepark and around £200,000 funding for it was allocated two years ago.

At Monday’s meeting, councillors expressed their frustration with the delays in getting the skatepark built.

In his report to the meeting, chairman Councillor Kevin Blakey explained that the district council planners are unwilling to make a decision’ on its location for fear that this would ‘impinge’ upon future town centre development.

He added: “They are concerned that future development would have to be designed to fit around the skatepark, and they would prefer to have a plan that does everything at once.”

But his report also points out that the ‘endless procrastination is causing some serious discontent among some residents who see an ever-increasing contingent of young people with nothing to do, and the subsequent anti-social behaviour’.

Cllr Ray Bloxham said these days, a skatepark for young people is an ‘essential part of any modern town’ and the need to provide it outweighs other factors.

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