Land adjoining an existing children’s play area in Prospect Street has emerged as the preferred site for a new state-of-the-art skate park in Horncastle.
Four sites were considered- Prospect Street, Bain Valley Park, Horncastle Playing Fields and land off Jubilee Way.
Confirmation of the location ‘was included in an initial feasibility report’ presented to town councillors at their monthly meeting last Tuesday.
The report - drawn up by a team of town councillors - outlined the need for a ‘top quality free to use sports facility’ in the town.
It went on to state the aim was to provide a skate/bike/park/track to ‘embrace’ all wheeled sports, incorporating an outdoor gym which would appeal to people of all ages.
Backing for the facility came from an extensive public consultation - and the town council’s own campaign to complete a major project for the benefit of Horncastle.
Coun Matthew Wilkinson, a member of the project team, told councillors Prospect Street was the ideal location.
He referred to the report which said the site might become available as part of an asset transfer between current owners East Lindsey District Council and the town council.
The report calls for responsibility/ownership of the site to be transferred to the town council as soon as possible - or ELDC to agree to lease the land for a ‘peppercorn rent.’
Coun Wilkinson stressed the project was still at a very early stage and hinged on a number of factors including securing the site, planning permission and funding.
He told councillors the final cost could be anywhere between £100,00 and £250,00, depending on what facilities and equipment are included.
Coun Wilkinson stressed ideally the facility would offer as wide a range of activities as possible and would not just be a skate park.
The report highlighted a number of potential sources for funding - including the lottery.
However, it also mentions increasing the town council’s precept to provide contributions directly from residents.
Coun Wilkinson confirmed the precept was an option.
The report recommends if Prospect Street fails to materialise, the council should consider the Playing Fields - the site of a former skate park.
However, the report noted the Playing Fields are a more isolated location with a higher potential for vandalism.
Coun Angela Burchall said she was sure the ‘whole town’ was behind the project.
However, Coun Dominic Hinkins suggested residents in the Prospect Street area might have concerns about the new facility being located so close to their homes.
Coun Wilkinson said the project team was aware of the concerns but pointed out the site was a ‘big space’ which was already used by a lot of younger people, some of who congregated in and around the play area.
He said: “We are not creating a space for recreational use. We are enhancing a space.”
Councillors agreed to back all the recommendations in what Mayor Coun Brian Burbidge described as a ‘fantastic report’. Coun Burbidge confirmed the preferred site was a key part of on-going talks with ELDC about a transfer of assets to the town council.