PLANS to develop a new Winchester skate park have been given the go ahead despite proposals that could see it torn down in just a few years.

In October, the Veolia Environmental Trust gave the city council a £100,000 grant through the Landfill Communities Fund for a new skate park by the River Park Leisure Centre.

It's intended to replace the existing park which officers say is worn out.

Civic chiefs agreed to fund the shortfall of £25,000 from the sport pot of the Winchester Town Open Space Fund at last Wednesday's town forum (January 22).

The new park will include equipment for BMXs, skateboards, rollerblades and scooters and is part of a wider plan to overhaul the leisure facilities at North Walls Recreation Ground.

Ongoing discussions about the proposed River Park Leisure Centre rebuild could see the new skate park torn down in as little as three years if councillors decide to go ahead with the controversial build.

However councillors voted unanimously for the project to go ahead.

Cllr James Maynard said: “In terms of spending money I can't think of anything better to spend our Open Space funds on.”

Cllr Robert Sanders said: “This council has been unanimously behind this project. There would be a huge number of teenagers who would be disappointed if we didn't go through with this.”