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Next Generation Youth withdraws bid for Whitchurch skate park

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Originally Published: Jan 8 2009
by Gill Broad
From: Whitchurch Herald

IN a surprise move, plans for a skate park at Sir John Talbot’s School in Whit- church have been withdrawn – but the scheme is still very much alive, say skaters.

It is the latest twist in the controversial skate park saga, which began when plans for the facility on Whitchurch Jubilee Park fell foul of town councillors.

The group behind the scheme, NGY (Next Generation Youth), then applied for a skate park to be sited at the town’s secondary school, but members have decided to ‘recharge their batteries’ before taking the planning application further.

NGY spokesman Mike Ralph said: “We have had to withdraw the application as we need to get assurances for the school and we have had no time to do this.

“We are a voluntary group and our members have been busy recently.

“Although some members have been unenthusiastic after our application for the Jubilee Park was turned down it is still all to play for.

“We definitely want a skate park and the school is the next best option after the Jubilee Park.

“The planners are happy with it, but the school needs assurance on certain matters.”

On hearing the planning application has been withdrawn, Julia Gallacher, who lives near the proposed site at the school, queried what would be done with the funds held by NGY.

“It occured to me that a lot of public money has been given to the project in good faith,” she said.

NGY holds a fund of about £16,000 for the scheme, given by bodies including Shropshire County Council, North Shropshire District Council and the Harry Richards and Frank Greaves funds, which help projects in Whitchurch.

Mr Ralph said: “Some money has been given to us with conditions attached and this would have to be returned.

“We are not going to do anything with the money until we decide whether we are moving forwards or not, and we will discuss this at our AGM in March.”

He said a rumour the fund would be transferred to a skate park scheme in Ellesmere had been taken out of context.