Bracknell new ice rink plans approved

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image copyrightOzone Ice Rink
image captionAn artist's impression of how the Ozone Ice Rink will look was included in the planning application

Plans to bring ice skating back to Bracknell by building a new rink at an industrial estate have been approved.

The proposal by DK Ice Enterprises will see unit four of the Western Centre converted into a 17m x 34m rink.

It comes after the John Nike Leisuresport (JNL) complex announced in July that its dry ski slope and ice rink would permanently close.

Bracknell Forest Council received 336 letters supporting the new facility, which will be named the Ozone Ice Rink.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionAn unused unit at the Western Centre was identified as the best location for the new ice rink

Almost 12,000 people signed a petition to keep the JNL complex open after it shut, leaving 67 members of staff redundant.

The closure also resulted in the Berkshire town's ice hockey team, the Bracknell Bees, changing its name and relocating to Slough.

Letters in support of the new facility on Western Road said it would "give our young people and alike a real boost" and allow them to "carry on doing what they love".

However, the council also received eight letters of objection, citing concerns about the quantity of parking and the new rink's smaller size in comparison to the one at the JNL.

The new ice rink will only be available for pre-booked "elite" sports and training, with no access allowed for walk-in sessions.

'Sub-standard'

Local resident Robert Francis said he could not support the plan "on this token scale".

"If we support this we commit ourselves to a sub-standard ice rink offering for probably decades to come," he added.

A council report recommending the plans for approval said the applicant had demonstrated there were no other suitable sites in or around the town centre.

The report added: "The proposed development is not considered to have an adverse impact on the character of the area or residential amenity, and the parking in conjunction with the proposed travel plan is considered acceptable."

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