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Sittingbourne: Skate park plans submitted for planning permission

By Poppy Jeffery

The Mill is being built to give young people a place to ride their bikes, scooters, roller skates and boards.

It has been in the pipeline for more than five years but now things are moving towards the build getting under way, with planning officers expected to decide its fate soon.

Sittingbourne skaters will soon be able to skate closer to home

Sittingbourne skaters will soon be able to skate closer to home

Outline planning permission has already been granted and it will be built on disused land between the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway and Sittingbourne Retail Park off Mill Way, costing more than £300,000.

Design company Gravity Engineering was confirmed as the contractor in February and has submitted its vision for the area.

There are ramps, rails and a bowl, along with a picnic area, graffiti wall and paved access to the waterfront.

The skate park will be built where these campaigners are standing, behind Halfords at Sittingbourne Retail Park

The skate park will be built where these campaigners are standing, behind Halfords at Sittingbourne Retail Park

It will be run by Faversham-based Brogdale CIC, an organisation which mainly works with young people with disabilities.

A business plan has been drawn up for the area, which is going to be looked after by a manager, who will be employed to run it with help from a steering group and a board made up of young people.

The application states the project will be started with “a strong ethos of trust, self-policing and positive behaviours among users/skaters” in order to attract people away from areas where their skating might be deemed a nuisance.

Skate park campaigners, including Dave Green, pictured on a fundraiser in 2013

Skate park campaigners, including Dave Green, pictured on a fundraiser in 2013

Campaigner Dave Green from Eastchurch, who has been involved in the project since the start, said: “We’ve been waiting for a wheeled sports park for over 40 years.

“This is the best thing that could happen in Swale for young people – brilliant result.

“There is a god in heaven. Thank you.”

How the plans were progressing was also discussed at a full council meeting last month and work has been going on to relocate some newts on the site.

Cllr David Simmons (Con), cabinet member for environment and rural affairs, said: “In addition to the design work, the land has been transferred to the council and the essential ecology works have been taking place. Construction will begin when all the necessary permissions are in place.”

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