Delay in approval to bring back roller skating to Skegness

Owners of a shopping centre in Skegness are having to wait a little longer for approval to bring a roller skating rink back to the resort.

Lumley Shopping Plaza in Skegness hopes to open a roller rink in 2022.

The Lumley Shopping Plaza has applied for alterations to the first floor of the former Beales department store to provide a roller rink with soft play area, a video game arcade, hot food court and seating area.

Change of use to the existing detached store to provide an amusement centre Escape Room facility at Prince George Street is also included in the plans.

It was hoped East Lindsey District Council would have come to a decision by the beginning of June, but Plaza owner Asa Cripsey said the authority had requested "an extension again until the end of June due to leave".

A former ice-skating rink in Skegness became a popular roller skating rink in the 80's. Many people remember growing up going to Harrison's on North Parade and are excited by the thought of roller skating returning to the town.

Mr Cripsey opened the Lumley Plaza in April. It features 26 boutique style units on the ground floor, with a garden centre on the second floor and a new restaurant which will be opening soon.

So far business has been good but he said with visitors heading to the beach in the warm weather, footfall has not been what was expected.

"High streets can no longer survive on retail alone," he said.

"You have to include event shopping to bring in the footfall, which is why we want to bring in the roller rink and other attractions.

"I think a roller rink is definitely something Skegness has been crying out for.

"So many people we speak to remember Harrison's roller rink.

"Since that closed there has been nothing like it.

"I think it is going to be a great amenity for local residents as well as residents.

"We're planning a 80's theme roller disco, a food court bar, to hold parties there, but also use the space for keep fit classes.

"Roller skating is coming back so we are very excited about it."

One of reasons for the delay in the decision has been concerns about noise from the roller rink.

However Asa says plans are in place to ensure soundproofing is in place.

Caroline Currien, of ELDC's environmental health department commented on the application that she "would expect the applicant to have detailed the construction of the floor in terms of acoustic impact on the premises below."

"There appears to be residential uses in close proximity to this proposal," she said. "Please can the application provide a noise report to demonstrate that the sound from the music system and the use of the roller rink will not adversely impact on these premises?"

However there is already a lot of excitement on social media, in particular the Bring a Roller Skating Rink to Skegness Facebook page.

Many residents remember going roller skating in the 80's at Harrison's on North Parade, which is now the Storehouse.

Michael Wharton recalled: "I enjoyed roller skating when I was younger at the rink in Skeggy."

Brian Chamberlain said: "I hope it will cover all ages and not just for the youngsters.

"I loved skating when I was a lot younger."

Susanne John said: "I think I remember going to a roller skating rink on my first proper holiday to Skegness in the 80’s. Loved it!"

And Desmond Ward added: "At long last. And there needs to be a good skate shop in Skegness to that sells good skate."

Amongst the support on the application there were still concerns about potential noise. Rosie Sharp supported the application on the ELDC planning page but suggested the opening hours be restricted to that of the surrounding businesses - until 6pm.

"I own 45 and 45a Algitha Road which back onto the car park. Both properties have living and outdoor seating areas to the rear so will be affected by this change of use," she said.

"Currently this area of Skegness is a very quiet residential area out of usual business hours and Prince George Street is a service road which has little traffic after 5.30am.

"I assume that this 'amusement centre' by the nature of its business will be open in the evenings? If this is the case then it will inevitably lead to a significant increase in noise and disturbance from people congregating outside the premises and from their use of cars,"

Mr Cripsey remains confident there is a solution to any concerns and says he hopes to open the facilities in 2022.

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