12/06/2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

The mini half-pipe at Llwynderw, Swansea, where a new skate park will be built (pic by Richard Youle and free for use for all BBC wire partners)

Mumbles skatepark to go ahead after land lease transfer

LAND on the Swansea seafront will be transferred to a community council to create a state-of-the-art skate park.

Members of Swansea Council’s cabinet unanimously agreed to lease the land at Llwynderw, where the current mini half-pipe is, to Mumbles Community Council, which is behind the project.

Cllr David Hopkins said the authority would do everything it could to fast-track the process, provided the transfer decision was not challenged.

The cabinet’s previous land transfer decision was challenged by objectors and quashed by a judge before the matter went to trial. It was settled on a technical point over the publication of a statutory notice.

Addressing cabinet members were Jason Williams, chairman of Mumbles Skatepark Association, which supports the development of the Llwynderw project, and Mayals councillor Linda Tyler-Lloyd.

Mr Williams said the redevelopment of the current skate facilities at Llwynderw had “exceptionally strong community support”, and that there was significant concern about how much the project had been delayed.

Cllr Tyler-Lloyd said residents had asked her to request that the skate park was built instead on land by Blackpill Lido, a few hundred yards away, where there were toilets, food outlets and parking opposite.

She said her own view was that the Blackpill Lido site would become “an outstanding integrated family destination” with a skate park and new play equipment which was earmarked there.

Cllr Hopkins said an independent assessment had concluded that Llwynderw was preferable to Blackpill Lido and also to Underhill Park in Mumbles.

He said he had read the cabinet report with “a fresh and open mind” since voting in favour of the land transfer at the first time of asking in January.

The latest land disposal proposal was advertised during the autumn and prompted 1,012 responses, 949 of which were in favour. There were 41 objections and 22 neutral responses.

Cllr Hopkins said he felt the skate park would be a “fantastic asset” for young people in Swansea.

“I think it will be a very sad day if we lose this opportunity to deliver this project,” he said.

The proposal was seconded by Cllr Mark Thomas, who said “it was the right thing to do” given the benefits of outdoor space and play areas.

Cllr Louise Gibbard said she had a lot of sympathy with people who wanted the Blackpill Lido site to accommodate the skate park, but she said thought the independent assessment took it all into account very well.

And Cllr Andrew Stevens said: “I see no reason for us not to approve this report today.”

Members voted unanimously in favour of the land transfer to the community council, which has planning permission for the £360,000-plus project and will underwrite its costs.

The community council has also committed to site maintenance costs of up to £12,698 per year during the 25-year lease.

After the cabinet meeting Mumbles Skatepark Association described the land transfer decision as “good news”.

A post on its Facebook page said: “This has been a long, drawn out and painful process so far, but things are moving forward again.

“We will continue to work with Mumbles Community Council and lobby as much as possible to try to ensure the skate park is realised as soon as possible in 2022, without any further delay.”

Council leader Rob Stewart did not take part in the land transfer decision because lawyers on behalf of objectors had submitted a complaint about him.

Writing on Facebook after the meeting, he said: “Very pleased that Cabinet have given their approval today and this scheme can now proceed.”

 

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