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Newent skate park campaigners hoping for 85-home planning application boost

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 31, 2014

Newent skate park campaigners hoping for 85-home planning application boost

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EXTREME sports fans have been urged to call on a housing developer to back a bid for a skate park in Newent.

Aaron Jones, 37, has renewed a campaign to bring a series of ramps and half-pipes to the town since Gladman signalled its intention to build 85 homes off Ross Road.

Developers are often told to invest in public open space as a condition for planning permission and Aaron, who has launched a Facebook page to call on more support for the campaign, believes this could be the ideal opportunity to realise his ambition.

He said: “Because lives are busy and we are volunteers, the campaign has stuttered a bit in terms of progression.

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“This new development would be pretty close to the town for it to merit being a good location to have a skate park.

“The next generation will always be able to pick skating up and would be a great facility we would have forever. The skate park would attract people to the town who would spend money here so it would be a win-win situation.”

A Build a Skate Park in Newent Page has been launched to galvanise support for the plan, which would reportedly cost in excess of £150,000 to bring to fruition.

The page urges supporters to make their views on the project known to Gladman.

Aaron said a number of events, including jumble sales, a midnight walk and a music festival, have raised several hundreds of pounds so far and the support of grant-awarding bodies will also be sought.

But Aaron hopes Gladman, which is yet to submit a planning application, could be persuaded to fund the development of the park if users agreed to fund maintenance.

An artists’ impression on how the new housing development could take shape has been drawn up by Gladman and includes a sports pitch and a playground near Picklenash Junior School.

District Councillor Len Lawton said: “My fear is that the developer will possibly use this idea of a skate park to tempt the community into supporting an application for 85 homes which currently people are dead against.”

Mayor of Newent, Councillor Roger Beard, said the town council is behind a campaign for a skate park but says there is no need for more housing in Newent as targets have been met.

A spokesperson for Forest of Dean District Council said: “The council has secured an area of land for open space and has carried out a consultation with the community as to the best use of this area.

“We are currently considering the responses to the consultation to help us develop the land to meet the aspirations of the community.”

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