Decision day for town centre skatepark expansion plans
A DECISION will be made today on whether a town centre skate park will double in size.
If the plans are approved at a meeting of Bolton Council’s planning committee, the skate park at Dawes Street will be extended across the street and into an empty car park close by — with the footpath to Morrisons diverted.
The plans — which will see the park extended from 637 sq m to 1,275 sq m — were welcomed by local skateboarders.
But some business owners in the area have raised concerns.
In his official report highways officer Martin Mansell has recommended the plans are approved — providing that the council and police are satisfied with security measures.
He also recommended that a plan containing details of litter clearance and graffiti removal is submitted.
Mr Mansell said: “The proposed use as a skate park is considered to provide a valuable resource for recreation in a central location — without causing unreasonable harm to other nearby uses.”
Robert Eckersley, aged 29 is the manager of the nearby Bolton Model Mart in Great Moor Street.
He is concerned about what happens with the skaters when it rains.
Mr Eckersley said: “I think the actual idea of the park is great and it gives the kids something to do.
“But at the moment when it rains the youngsters are dashing across the road — putting themselves in danger — in order to shelter under the canopy at the shops in Great Moor Street and that isn’t great for business.”
He recommended that part of the plans could see a shelter built at the park — but this suggestion has not been recommended by the planning officer.
The skate park was originally opened in 2007 after youngsters campaigned for a place to skate in the town centre.
The council has confirmed there are no plans to charge people for using the skatepark if it is expanded.
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