SkateBoard Park in Tarvin?

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Twenty members of the public attended the Parish Council (PC) meeting last Monday and raised a number of important issues and all but one of which were considered at the meeting.
The other will be discussed at the next meeting of the Parish Council.

This article covers the issue of how the £30500 should be spent

The £30,500 was deposited by Taylor Wimpey with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) as a consequence of their permission to build 127 houses on land off Tarporley Road. If the money is not spent by 2018 it will be returned to the developer.

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The residents who spoke believed the money offered a golden opportunity to provide a skate-boarding facility for young people in Tarvin, which would be popular (based on the use of other similar facilities elsewhere) and would reduce anti-social behaviour. It was acknowledged that the sum available would not meet the full costs, but other sources of funding could be sought.

The PC acknowledged that the 11-16 age group was the age group least well served by parish facilities. The PC had previously considered the matter but the problem was identifying a suitable skate park site (the PC does not itself own any land).
At first it was felt the site could be incorporated into the Taylor Wimpey development, on land running from Broomheath Lane parallel to the A51 (if suitably landscaped). However, Taylor Wimpey did not incorporate this into its site development plan and subsequently all of this land was used to extend the Tarvin Community Woodland.
The PC also considered the King George Playing Field — provided that the Charities Commission and Fields in Trust agreed — but this was ruled out because of the nearness to houses and a concern that there was not enough space available.
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group subsequently looked at two further sites: first, the field in the angle between the A51 and A54 near Tarvin roundabout, which was ruled out as being too remote and lacking access; and secondly, land at the bottom of Lower High Street, which was unsuitable because it is the flood plain of Salters Brook.

Having failed to find a suitable site, and leaving aside the funding issues, because the PC did not want to lose the £30,500 it has explored other options for using the money with CWaC and Taylor Wimpey. The initial ideas put forward for consideration were:

  • More benches on High Street and Church Street;
  • Replacement floodlights on the bowling green and better lighting along the footpath across the Playing Field;
  • Upgrading the cinder track between Tarporley Road and Cross Lanes, Oscroft, to provide a safe cycle route
  • Buying land in the angle between the A51 and A54 so as to extend the Community Woodland to the Tarvin roundabout

These ideas were published on the community website Tarvinonline and led to local residents voicing concern that the option of a skate park was not being pursued and that the age group the money was intended to help was being neglected. The PC then identified two more possibilities:

  • An outdoor gym/"Trim Trail"
  • Providing bursaries for young people to take part in national initiatives such as Operation Raleigh

The PC has agreed:
(a) to explore the outdoor gym/"Trim Trail" idea, as it would benefit not only the most neglected age group but also the wider community;
(b) to ask the public where a skate park could be located and why
NB it was noted that the Gladman proposal to develop land owned by Church Farm off Tarporley Road included a skate facility alongside other sports facilities. This proposal was refused, no appeal has yet been lodged, and even if there was a successful appeal there would be no guarantee that the house-builder would provide the sports facilities exactly as envisaged by Gladman