THE skate park plans for Settle have been a long-running issue since the idea was first brought up by youngsters attending an annual meeting of Settle Town Council.

There they pleaded for support and to be allowed to fundraise to ‘realise their dream.

It was supported wholeheartedly by councillors, but it was never going to be straightforward.

At the meeting, Liam Hill, who was 14 at the time, said: “There’s nothing to do in Settle. We’re not allowed on the high school and we’re not allowed on the Millennium Garden.”

Daniel Harrison, also 14, added: “We want a flat, concrete area with a quarter pipe, spice ramp, grind rails, floodlights and maybe a phone. We would like it to be like the wheel park in Aireville Park in Skipton. We are willing to do some fundraising.”

The youngsters said their preferred site was under the viaduct arches but this idea was to be later ruled out by Network Rail.

The following January finding a site was proving a problem.

An area half the size of a tennis court was needed but no one wanted it nearby, despite the town council kick-starting the scheme with a £5,000 pledge, and receiving backing from the police and Cellar youth centre.

The latest areas they were looking at, after being knocked back by the schools were under the railway arches near to Whitefriars garage, land to the ear of Victoria Hall, which was owned by the district council, and the Marshfield area. All were ruled out by objections from residents or landowners.

Two months later, in March 2003, and land near the football field was mooted as the cry went out for more support.

All during the following years, the group looked at sites but could not get permission. Youngsters got older and moved on and enthusiasm waned bar a handful of stalwarts.

The item kept appearing on the council agenda but there was little movement, despite fundraising continuing.

In 2005 an annual parish meeting was told the town was ‘no nearer’ to getting a skate park due to a lack of available space.

Councillor David Heather had said the sticking point was that no one wanted it in their back yard.

Hope arrived in the form of Joe Lord, a youth worker in Settle, and now a town councillor, who pledged to help improve facilities for young people in town.

He said he hoped to resurrect earlier proposals for a skate park in town.

In the meantime he suggested a mobile one.

“We are looking at the possibility of getting a mobile skate park for the area and are trying to get funding, “ he told the council at the time. We had a trial one last summer which went down well, “ he added.

For several years, the council’s youth support service has provided a temporary skate park during the Easter and summer holidays but permanent structure has evaded the youngsters.

In 2014 the town’s youths were making DVDs and visiting other sites to strengthen their appeal.

Youth worker Rachel Rabjohns said the young people were raising their profile in order to gain support and said they were having to travel to Skipton Bentham and Ingleton to pursue their sport.

All the time, the fear that more and more fundraising would be needed was at the back of people’s minds.

And they were correct. Initial figures of £90,000 went up to the most recent figure of £125.

Today, the finishing line is in the distance, though a row has ensued after the town council proposed plans to build the park on a play area in Bond Lane.

Designs have been drawn up and contractors discussed.

However, few appear to be happy, including the governors at Settle Primary School which is adjacent to the play area, despite promises that the play area will receive a refurb.

The town council is to hold a meeting on Monday, June 3, when the item will be discussed in full.

In the meantime it has published suggested designs on its Facebook page.

The most popular design, a ‘bendcrete’ model, was chosen from three tenders during a drop-in session in April.

A series of frequently asked questions with answers have also been submitted.These include: “Why can’t the skate park be build at the middle school site?No definitive reason has yet been received by the county council.

Another FAQ is why is it being built in a park for younger children?

The town council has said the Bond Lane play area is for all ages and a survey found it underused much of the time. They also reassure parents the play area is not being lost and said parents were consulted in 2017 through the college when the site was first considered.