Decision due on new Sidley BMX and skateboarding facilities

Proposals for new skateboarding and BMX facilities in Bexhill are set to go before Rother planners this week.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 1:11 pm

On Thursday (September 9), Rother District Council’s planning committee is set to decide on proposals to build both a new skateboard park and a freestyle BMXing area at Sidley Recreation Ground off of Canada Way.

As part of the same plans, which come from the council itself, an existing BMX race track is to be replaced with a ‘competitive-standard’ upgrade.

In a report to be considered by the committee, a council planning officer said: “The proposal has the potential to provide state-of-the-art sport and recreation facilities for the community and others, and as such would be consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework and Core Strategy planning policies.

“The facilities would be for use by the local Sidley community, the wider town as well as attracting outside users from other areas.

“Within the planning balance it is recognised that the proposal may have the potential to impact upon the amenity of residents living within the vicinity of the recreation ground, particularly from noise disturbance and from the lighting that is proposed as part of the application submission. 

“In this regard the potential impacts have been assessed by Environmental Health and it has been confirmed that subject to mitigation the proposals would be acceptable.”

As well as being recommended for approval, the proposals have seen a significant amount of support from local residents, with many arguing it would provide a much-needed local facility.

Even among supporters, there were concerns raised around the amount of parking available nearby, particularly given the potential for out-of-area visitors and the level of residential housing surrounding the recreation ground.

There were also two letters of outright objection, which raise disquiet around the loss of green space and the potential for disturbance from noise, light and anti-social behaviour among other concerns.

Both the skatepark and the BMX race track are to be floodlit, however the BMX practice area will not be.

During the same meeting, councillors are also to decide on a separate application (also from the council) to upgrade the pavilion building with wheelchair access and WC facilities.

For further information on the skating and BMX proposals see application reference RR/2021/1759/P. For details on the pavilion proposals see RR/2021/1874/P.