quadrant falls into the category of a development where sport, leisure, recreation and open space are bottom on a list of priorities as they don't give a direct return on investment in the same way as lots of dwellings would do.
Like many other towns there has been a relatively high increase in homes in the Bridport town area in recent years yet employment, vehicle parking and recreational opportunities have not increased to accommodate the increased population, creating a number of social and other problems.
Our facility has served the youth of our local community who benefit by keeping active and physically fit and socialising with like-minded people who of a weekend or evening wish to partake in their chosen sport/recreation in a safe secure indoor environment. Our facility is the only indoor one on the south coast of the UK. The next nearest is Bristol.
We have been informed that purchasers of the land have to provide money towards recreational facilities by new housing laws. Many young people use the Skatepark as it is the only one of three in the whole of the south of England. If the development is to exclude any consideration of a future facility, what are our options and will our interests be compensated?
The ramp structures are not transportable and in some instances have been integrally built into the unit. This is the same unit/building that your (and others) literature claims is "unlettable and un-useable".
This exposes another irony with the prospect of the redevelopment plans. We, along with other occupants on the St Michaels Trading Estate pay a regular rent that is proportional to the condition of our building (and presumably the general presentation or lack thereof, of the estate). Put another way our selves and other relatively small businesses exist because of the financial viability of our overheads, rent being one of the prime factors. There have been many voices of concern that some tenants will not be able to retain their occupancy if the rent values become comparable to those on other nearby trading estates (that mostly have vacant units). So the words on the promotional literature "better employment space" should have had the words "at a higher cost" accompanying them.
In recent times, much has been said about a disaffected generation of youth. Many figures of authority are all to ready to devalue certain elements of society. Their statements would hold some credibility if recreation and leisure pursuits were provided and promoted for people. In mainland Europe, Australia and many parts of America, skateparks, like tennis courts and open parks are often a feature in many towns. In this country school playing fields, council parks and facilities like ours are covered over for housing. And we wonder why as a nation we are so low in the league tables of sporting achievements and so high in the tables of child obesity amongst other shameful statistics.
We may achieve ten years of occupancy before our rented unit becomes levelled. We are grateful to the landowners and local bodies that have supported the facility and to all those who have given their time and attention. I hope that with the growing awareness of our possible finite residency, those who hold the positions of power are able to disprove the allegations that the southwest quadrant redevelopment is another practice that involves a large dose of lustful greed. Thank you for you time.
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