Saturday, 3 September 2011

Ice-skating to return to the Pavilion?

A planning application (BH2011/02303) has been submitted for a temporary ice-rink at the Pavilion, during winter, for a 5 year period. Last year's trial was obviously thought sufficiently successful and profitable for it to be proposed as a recurring winter attraction and the applicants received no discouragement from the Council.

In their Heritage statement the applicants state:-
"The ice rink will provide a leisure/sporting activity which will encourage tourists and engage with local communities. The structures will increase the capacity of the historic site temporarily, and bring a wider range of visitors. The size of the rink has been chosen to sit within the context of the Royal Pavilion. The site has been designed so as to visually enhance views of the Pavilion. The structure will have glass walls facing the rink with additional glass walls along the edge of the structure facing the Steine. Bespoke transparent roofs have also been opted for in all areas except the toilet block. The ice rink will provide an important source of income which will help to fund repair and maintenance of the grounds and the building itself."

Stringent precautions are specified to protect the existing trees, shrubs and beds during installation and derig, and from the public throughout the period of functioning of the rink. As before the grass will be reinstated  by March each year by rotovating and re-turfing. This does give some cause for concern. What will the be the long-term effect of repeated operations of this sort without allowing time for the grass to become properly established?

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