Portishead set to get new skate park after 10-year wait

Plans to create a new skate and wheels park at the Lake Grounds in Portishead have been given the green light by North Somerset Council.

A 25-year lease for the land at the rear of the boat house has been agreed, subject to funding and planning permission being secured.

WASP, the group behind it, has asked the council for a piece of land of between 800 and 1,000 square metres.

The decision marks a major step forward in a long-running campaign to site a new skate facility at the Lake Grounds.

Planning permission was granted in 2011 but the project did not proceed because North Somerset Council refused to grant landlords consent.

Those against the plan say the lake grounds should be protected from development.

A skate park already exists at Merlin Park in the town.

Over the years numerous locations for a new skate park in Portishead have been considered.

A skate park already exists at Merlin Park in the town.

But as the sport has become more popular in recent years, so has the desire for a bigger and better facility.

“I’d like to give credit to the young people in the town who aren’t young any more and who are still fighting for this skatepark.

Councillor Caritas Charles
The preferred designs is a concrete skating bowl like this set into the ground with a BMX track around the perimeter. Credit: PA

The new facility will also be intended for scooters, rollerblades, and BMX users as well as skateboards.

The preferred design is for a ‘pump park’ which would see a concrete skating bowl set into the ground with a BMX track around the perimeter.

The facility is expected to cost between £160,000 and £300,000 depending on the design.

There’s a lot to do but our goal is to deliver the Portishead wheels park by 2021.

Ben Aldridge, WASP spokesman

Work on a pre-planning application will now begin and local residents will be consulted as as part of the application.

A full planning application will then be submitted.

Funding will be sought from various grant bodies as well as the town and district council and a fundraising campaign will be launched.

If planning and funding can be secured then work on the skatepark will start later this year with a view to an opening in 2021.

WASP spokesman Ben Aldridge said: "It has been a long process and a tremendous effort to get to this point.

"But, at last, the kids of Portishead are going to get a much-needed resource."