Isle of Wight ice rink plans 'in danger over costs'

  • Published
Media caption,

The Isle of Wight's junior synchro teams competed in the 2019 British Championships despite having no local rink

Campaigners have warned that a planned ice rink may not be built, despite the granting of planning permission.

The Isle of Wight has not had ice skating facilities since Ryde Arena closed in 2016.

The island's council approved a new rink near Smallbrook Stadium on 17 December, even though a council report recommending the scheme be rejected.

However the island's skating club said planning conditions attached to the consent could be "extremely costly".

Image source, SILC
Image caption,
The proposed £3m sports centre would include an ice rink, indoor courts and a climbing wall

The new rink, near Ryde, would be part of a £3m multi-sports centre including indoor tennis courts and a climbing wall.

The applicant, Dr Zyrieda Denning, said she would put £1m of her own money into the project, with a view to opening by June.

However Isle of Wight Ice Skaters, which supported the plan, said there was a "danger" the development would not go ahead.

Image source, Andrew Nordbruch
Image caption,
The previous rink, Ryde Arena, closed in 2016

Spokeswoman Nichola Roe said: "A lot of the planning conditions, involving infrastructure, could be extremely costly. They're a steep hill to climb.

"Problems could be ahead for the developer, such as site drainage, which could throw a spanner in the budget."

Ms Roe added that there would be a "huge push" for donations, with local schools being asked to fundraise in return for free skating sessions.

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Sport England said the development would cause the "significant loss" of a playing field

She said campaigners were also negotiating with the council over safe traffic access.

Isle of Wight Council previously said the planning approval could not be formalised until it had consulted ministers, because of a challenge from Sport England.

The public sports body has said the development would mean the "substantial loss" of a playing field.

Island Speedway, which operates at Smallbrook Stadium, has opposed the plan, which it said could force it to incur "unsustainable" costs from traffic management work and disruption to an annual scooter rally.

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