Stop­gap site for new skatepark

The Oban Times - - NEWS - sneil@oban­ SANDY NEIL

A ‘TEM­PO­RARY’ site for an Oban skatepark has been wel­comed by coun­cil­lors amid calls for an ideal, long-term site next to At­lantis Leisure.

The Oban Com­mu­nity Skatepark Project un­veiled its new name, The Res­o­lu­tion, and its new sta­tus as a con­sti­tuted group, at Oban Com­mu­nity Coun­cil on Mon­day.

Ear­lier this month the group an­nounced on its new Face­book page: ‘Things are moving at pace and we are ex­cited to be able to tell you that a very com­mu­nity-spir­ited lo­cal busi­ness­man has of­fered us the use of a tem­po­rary site. We will be pro­gress­ing with a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion soon.’

The site, near Oban Li­brary, leased by the lo­cal busi­ness­man, was re­vealed at Oban Com­mu­nity Coun­cil on Mon­day. Group mem­ber PC Claire Brown, a Po­lice Scot­land youth de­vel­op­ment worker, said: ‘He is not tak­ing any money for it.’

Group vice- chair­man Kevin Irvine, as­sis­tant de­vel­op­ment worker at Lorne Re­source Cen­tre, said: ‘Neil MacIn­tyre has given us the land by the rail­way bridge, but we have to put a fence around it. This might only be a tem­po­rary place, some­where for the kids to go in the sum­mer.

‘I know peo­ple on the is­lands who love skat­ing. This could be an amaz­ing thing for young peo­ple.’

A de­lighted coun­cil­lor Elaine Robertson deemed it a ‘good site be­cause it is not sur­rounded by houses’. But com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor Dun­can Martin, step­ping in as act­ing chair­man in Marri Mal­loy’s ab­sence, ad­vised: ‘Any­where near a rail­way be­comes a night­mare [ be­cause of] the regulations.’

Coun­cil­lor Neil MacIn­tyre agreed: ‘I will be de­lighted if you get in there, but I do not think it will be long-term. It is an awk­ward site be­cause of the rail­way and what busi­nesses are plan­ning to do down there.’

Coun­cil­lor Iain Ma­cLean, who has been as­sist­ing the group, said: ‘This is a stop­gap mea­sure un­til some­thing else comes along.’

PC Brown said a grass pitch be­side At­lantis Leisure would be the ideal site. ‘From a po­lice point of view, you have CCTV down there, lights,’ she said. ‘How­ever, we have been met by closed doors.’

Coun­cil­lor MacIn­tyre ar­gued: ‘I can­not see a bet­ter area for it: you have a swim­ming pool, show­ers. It is a crack­ing, big area. That bit of grass does noth­ing for the com­mu­nity. You have a lovely piece of grass do­ing noth­ing, that can quite eas­ily be turned into some­thing.’

He ad­vised the group to push for that rather than ‘ wast­ing time’ on the rail­way site.

Oban com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor Ge­orge Berry also ad­vised the group to push for the At­lantis Leisure site: ‘Ev­ery brick in At­lantis was paid for by the com­mu­nity in Oban.’

Coun­cil­lor Roddy McCuish sup­ported the idea, too, say­ing: ‘At­lantis gets a mil­lion pounds ev­ery year from the coun­cil. Does At­lantis own the land?’

Coun­cil­lor MacIn­tyre con­cluded: ‘If the coun­cil owns it, there would be no is­sue.’

The site iden­ti­fied for the tem­po­rary skatepark.

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