Ashfield skate park plans 'could put annual festival at risk'

Plans to build a skate park in Underwood could put the area's festival at risk, according to its organisers.

The Underwood Festival is due to take place on July 6 at land behind the Underwood Community Centre, on Church Lane.

Underwood Community Centre, location of the new skate park and the annual Underwood Festival.

Underwood Community Centre, location of the new skate park and the annual Underwood Festival.

However, development on a new skate park at the site by Selston Parish Council is set to begin later on June 24, casting doubt on the festival due to the location of the new park.

Organisers say the new skate park is "slap bang in the middle" of where the festival usually takes place, meaning they have been asked to find a new site for the event or face it not taking place at all.

They say the "ill-conceived plans" will kill the event, and that a request has been made to delay the June 24 start date until July 8, after the festival, in order to keep the event at its home.

A festival spokesman said: "This skate park is slap bang in the middle of where the festival goes.

The location and plans of the new skate park.

The location and plans of the new skate park.

"Also if it is placed here, we will probably never be able to hold it there again. It's so close to the main gates where the vehicles come through it will make it far too difficult for the larger vehicles that attend to get on especially if the ground is wet.

"Last week the parish councillors cancelled the festival booking leaving the event homeless in it's 20th anniversary year.

"Their reason is so they can complete it for the school summer holidays for the kids to us,e so they want to start work on the June 24 - killing this years event.

"We have asked them to postpone the start date until the July 8 after this years event but they are adamant it is going ahead."

However, Selston Parish Council have said that the skate park work "should have started sooner" but has been delayed, and that there are "other options in Underwood on offer for the festival".

Lisa Simpson, parish clerk, said: "The work should have started much sooner but we've been delayed. We want to open it for the school holidays.

"We're starting work on June 24 and unfortunately it will impact on the festival taking place.

"We've contacted the organisers and asked them to move it this year, we've got plenty of other venues in Underwood village which would be suitable and it's my understanding that they are looking for another venue."

Selston Parish Council is hosting an extraordinary meeting on the issue in Selston Parish Hall, from 2pm on June 7.