Stopgap site for new skatepark
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.