Thetford skate park commitment from those involved

A team set up to try to resolve issues around a long-awaited skate park has pledged its commitment to delivering the project.

The park, which was granted planning permission in June this year, was due to be completed this summer on land behind Breckland Leisure Centre in Thetford.

However concerns were raised at a meeting of the Moving Thetford Forward panel earlier this month which centred around access and management of the park.

As a result a meeting was held last week between representatives from Thetford Town Council, Keystone Development Trust, the Thetford Healthy Living Centre and Breckland Council in a bid to try to resolve the problems.

Chief executive of Keystone Trust, Neil Stott, said: “All parties recognised there were a number of issues with the current site but the key thing is all are committed to the delivery and want to find the best possible solution for the skaters and the parties.”

Moving Thetford Forward panel member, and Thetford Town councillor, Corinne Fulford said that all organisations apologised to the young people of Thetford.

“I’m looking to resolve the problems at the site but I’m being pragmatic and looking at other sites as well,” she said. “I’m working on it actively and providing as much research as I can to go before full council and we’ll know a little bit more then.”

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Details of the issues remain unclear but some areas of concern were outlined in letters to Breckland Council planning officials prior to permission being granted.

In a letter from Keystone, which owns the Innovation Centre close to the proposed skate park, Mr Stott said the trust had a “number” of concerns including the impact on tenants from noise or nuisance from the skate park, as well as people travelling to and from the building.

He added that the safety of the public when travelling across Keystone land was a worry, and urged the “eventual owner” to develop a “robust” management plan for any incidents arising from public access.

A spokesman for NHS Norfolk and Waveney, which owns the Healthy Living Centre adjacent to the Innovation Centre, also wrote that the PCT had not had a chance to contribute to the proposals and that there needed to be an agreement about pedestrian and emergency access routes, as well as acoustic screening and a security scheme.

A statement released by acting Thetford clerk Susan Glossop, after the October meeting, said: “There have been substantial changes over the past two years which have led to the current issues.

“A project team is now being formed to actively look to resolve the issues with the existing site, whilst looking at any potential new sites.

“All parties are keen to see a skate park built and have agreed in principle a way forward, subject to necessary approvals.”