Harbour site to stay open until new skatepark is built?

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Senator Steve Pallett has said he thinks Ports of Jersey – who own the site – will allow it to continue to be used as long as they see the project to construct a new one moving forward.

In May, the New North Quay skatepark was closed, after CCTV captured people throwing concrete blocks into the nearby marina and climbing up scaffolding onto a temporary roof on the adjacent Maritime Museum building – in what was just a small number of health and safety-related incidents.

It was reopened shortly after by Ports of Jersey under the condition that a new one would be set up. The company put £50,000 forward for the project but said that the current park would be shut on 1 September.

Now, a report drafted by a specialist consultant is due to be published within the coming weeks and a skatepark designer has been been appointed.

Senator Steve Pallett said: ‘We are in the process of drafting a report from PMR leisure and getting feedback from the stakeholders in regards to the need for a park. There are also site appraisals that have been performed on the various sites.

‘Once everything is done it will go to the Jersey Skatepark Association which has around 400 members – we need to show it to them so we can say what the report sets out and then we can go public.

‘We also want to speak to the key neighbours in the proposed areas so that we do not get off on the wrong foot.’

Senator Pallett added that the process could not be rushed and it was important the project was completed properly the first time around.

‘I think mistakes have been made in the past which have caused it to be where it is now. There was an opportunity to sort this out ten years ago and it got missed,’ he said.

‘This is why we have got to have a clear and defined need and evidence-based report and get all of our ducks in line to get enough evidence together for a site before we build anything.’

The Senator, who has political responsibility for sport, also said that he was hoping to have a new park built by Autumn 2019.

‘This is going to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds which we are not going to get straight away but I think when we draw up plans people will show support,’ he said.

‘Summer 2019 is a nice place to aim for and I think that would keep Ports of Jersey onboard. We should have something in place for the second or third quarter of next year.’

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