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Poole skate park plan back on track
PLANS to open an indoor skate park in Poole appear to be back on track despite a last-minute hitch threatening to derail the whole project.
Tony Hill, the man behind the scheme, hit problems earlier this year when the original site he found at Kinson Industrial Estate in Ringwood Road fell through after securing planning permission.
He found new premises 230 metres away on the same estate and a fresh application was recommended for approval by planners.
The change of use is supported by the head of leisure and children’s services.
But shortly before the meeting, the item was pulled from the agenda. Mr Hill says he was told he would have to contribute thousands of pounds towards two new pedestrian crossings and paths.
The news prompted a storm among Mr Hill’s supporters on Facebook, with many baffled as to why the application had been allowed at the other site without any such conditions.
Ward councillor Brian Clements said: “It was so last minute. It should be a fantastic facility for local young people and it would be super to get it off the ground.”
Mr Hill, now in partnership with his brother Steven, sold his family home to finance his dream. Both men have been hard at work in the new premises.
“The only thing I had to do on the other site was cut steps into the bank. I’m just a private individual and I have put all my money into this,” he said.
Richard Genge, planning and regeneration manager at Poole Council, said: “Considering the age of potential skate park users and the proposed location of the indoor skate park, concerns were raised about the safety of pedestrians crossing this busy section of the road.
“We are currently in discussions with the applicant about how these concerns can best be addressed.
“We have asked the applicant to contribute towards the cost of a pedestrian refuge to make it safer for people to cross and we understand he has already agreed in principle to this. We have not asked for zebra or light controlled crossing.”
Should planning permission be given, Mr Hill will have to pay £9,500 towards a safer crossing before he can open the first phase of the park.