Planning application number: BH2012/01598 now looks like it won’t be considered until at least 8 August due to the continuing furore and plethora of objections.
The absurdity of the situation is that here is a plan to move the skatepark north that was conceived by Labour, pursued by the Conservatives, and delivered by the Greens – in other words the entire council is behind it, and now a dozen of those self-same councillors who have all endorsed the plan are now going to sit in judgement and decide whether to grant permission for it to proceed! Why wouldn’t they? None of them have objected to the crazy idea up to now.
Are the seven opposition members going to have the balls (and the organisational ability) to give the Greens a bloody nose and make them re-think their Grand Meisterplan with the skatepark left where it is? Don’t hold your breath, despite the grounds for refusing the application being clear, straightforward and entirely legitimate: that to build the skatepark in the new location would radically alter the character of The Level, both north, and south, and would be an entirely inappropriate development in the Valley Gardens Conservation Area. It’s bad enough that the much trumpeted “heritage” element of the HLF bid – the restoration of some of Bertie’s Bits – should in fact destroy the very soul of MacLaren’s design: that the whole of the south end be entirely devoted to children. But to add insult to injury by wrecking the north end as well! It still doesn’t get any easier to contemplate.