GOVERNMENT GIVE GREEN LIGHT TO PLANS FOR NEW ICE RINK AT SMALLBROOK

The Secretary of State for Communities, Housing & Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has decided not to call in the planning application for the proposed ice rink and leisure centre at Smallbrook near Ryde.

On 17th December, the Isle of Wight Council’s Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for the new facility, but – because of an outstanding objection from Sport England – the application was referred to the Secretary of State, to consider whether to call it in for his own determination.

On 20th January, the Government’s Planning Casework Unit wrote to the Isle of Wight Council advising that the Secretary of State had – despite Sport England’s objection – decided not to call-in the application. This meant that the Council could proceed to issue planning permission, which it did on 23rd January.

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The Smallbrook Ice & Leisure Centre will be a major, all-year-round attraction that will improve the health and wellbeing facilities available to the local community. The centre will provide a full-size ice rink for recreational, figure skating and ice hockey, 2 multi-sports courts for netball, volleyball, basketball, badminton or croquet as well as the 3 dedicated tennis courts.

Speaking following this decision, Bob Seely MP has said:

“Having previously raised my concerns – about Sport England’s objections – with the Government, I am pleased that the Secretary of State has now given the Isle of Wight Council the green light to issue consent, in line with the Planning Committee’s resolution.

“Sport England’s objection, whilst well-intentioned, was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the status of the land on which the facility is proposed to be built. The land is not a playing pitch, and consequently no loss of a sporting use arises from this development. To the contrary, this new facility will improve sporting provision on the Island – and in particular will secure a replacement ice rink to meet the existing local need.

“With the Secretary of State’s decision, common sense has now prevailed – and I hope that Sport England will now work constructively with the promoters of this new facility to enable it to come to fruition.

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“I must also congratulate the Ryde Arena Community Action Group for their tireless work in campaigning for the re-provision of an Island-based ice-skating facility after the regrettable closure of the rink on Ryde Esplanade, and the Planning Committee for having the foresight to support these proposals.”

Cllr Dave Stewart, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council added:

“In December, our Planning Committee made a clear decision in favour of this new ice rink facility. The Secretary of State has stated that planning decisions should be made at a local level wherever possible, and I am therefore pleased he has accepted the resolution made by elected members of the Isle of Wight Council last month.

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“With planning permission now issued, the Council will work pro-actively with the promoters of this facility to resolve any outstanding issues (including highways). We want to see the Smallbrook Ice & Leisure Centre built and open as soon as possible, providing a much-needed boost to the Island’s sporting offer.”

Cllr Vanessa Churchman, the local member (Havenstreet, Ashey & Haylands), who spoke in favour of the scheme at December’s Planning Committee also added:

“This is great news. I will now be working with colleagues to ensure that the speed limit on Ashey Road is reduced to 30mph in order to comply with the conditions accompanying the planning consent.

“This is very timely as the Council and Island Roads are looking to improve the Smallbrook roundabout, and – along with a lower speed limit – this has the potential to improve road safety in this particular location, both for those accessing the Smallbrook site and road users more generally.”

Island Echo understands that funding to improve Smallbrook roundabout has now been approved and works are expected to commence later this year.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
7 Comments
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Mary
Mary
1 year ago

What about doing the old one up instead of spending on new one

Rob
Rob
Reply to  Mary
1 year ago

no room to expand on the old one, if they do this right it will be worth it

Fiona
Fiona
Reply to  Mary
1 year ago

The old rink has deteriorated so much that repair would be too huge a task

Jean
Jean
1 year ago

Will it be another white elephant ?

Az-zahra Aziz
Az-zahra Aziz
Reply to  Jean
1 year ago

NO, likely a new Supermarket, once this goes broke, and all the massive housing ruining Ryde forever takes place.
Watch and learn.

Howard
Howard
1 year ago

This is great news for all on the island. Let’s not be so negative, people who obviously have not followed the story should not comment. Looking forward to taking the wife ice skating.

Centro
Centro
1 year ago

Your illustrious MP hasn’t checked his facts again. He quotes. “Sport England’s objection, whilst well-intentioned, was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the status of the land on which the facility is proposed to be built. The land is not a playing pitch, and consequently no loss of a sporting use arises from this development. To the contrary, this new facility will improve sporting provision on the Island – and in particular will secure a replacement ice rink to meet the existing local need.
Surprising statement when pictures have been taken recently of Ryde School using it. Why would that be? Because it is probably drier than any other playing field on the island due to the drainage system put in nearly about 10 years ago and funded by the taxpayer. That was to enable the field to be used for community use, not just Ryde School.

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