Observer readers share their views on Chichester’s Priory Park ice rink plans

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As the proposed ice rink at Priory Park is at the centre of a heated debate, here are a selection of letters sent by Observer readers.

What will rink really be like?

Initially, like Molly Morgan (‘Ice rink? At long last!’, letters, last week), I had the same vision of the ice rink but with hot toddies, not Pimms!

Then I was brought back to reality, as I walked along New Park Road, by a barrage from a car’s modified exhaust, accompanied by demonic thumping of its ‘audio system’ as the vehicle sped passed only to be overtaken by a screaming motor cycle.

This brought me back to ‘entertainment’ of the present age.

Wonder what the ice event will really be like?

Will there be noisy ‘music’ fuelled with alcohol and the consumption of greasy burgers?

Will the local shops benefit from the enterprise and the nearby neighbours remain sane?

Which councillors will be proved to be the ‘wise men’? (Oops!’Wise people’.)

Sadly, post-Christian society has forgotten why we have the Advent season before Christmas.

Peaceful Christmas to all...

John Hutchings, New Park Road, Chichester

Talk should have been dismissed

What the enthusiasts for an ice rink appear to be oblivious to is that the reasons for opposing it are location, location, location.

Priory Park is the most historic and beautiful site in the city.

Any suggestion that it should be turned into a fun fair should have been immediately dismissed by

the council.

To pursue such a disastrous course indicates a narrow, insensitive vision for our city.

In spite of an heroic rearguard action by our mayor it seems that we will have to face the consequences of this act of vandalism.

Chichester District Council has breached the trust put in them by the Duke of Richmond with his great benefaction and it has provoked an unnecessary culture war and a distressing but avoidable conflict between fun and beauty.

Its duty is to balance the needs for both.

The furore over this proposal indicates its failure to do so.

Richard Wilby, Bishopsgate Walk, Chichester

Priory Park is Chichester’s ‘family silver’ and must not be degraded by ice rink

Priory Park is noted for its simple, rural beauty that avoids manicure.

Recorded as the most-visited feature of Chichester, survey reflects appreciation of the relaxation and freedom it offers and notes the interest of its relics of the city’s history.

Popularity has been its worst enemy since any innovations may be regarded as suited to the park which would have become a fairground had successive councils not cherished its natural character.

That might be regarded as the city’s ‘family silver’, which survives in a flourishing centre where old and new compete for attention.

Financial restrictions prompt easing of protection for a lucrative facility but family silver, once lost, can never be regained.

Thin ends precede wedges so that tomorrow might see the Guildhall dwarfed and forlorn in an estate of giant popular amusements, the bowling green a swimming pool and the cricket field an electric car park.

An ice rink could be an eyesore-free asset to the city if carefully sited. Very kind concern has been shown for those who live so close to the proposed site but far more than that is at stake.

Priory Park is a gem in a lovely city and justly popular. Its position affords nothing of special benefit for a rink yet has been chosen at the cost of degrading a beautiful and much-loved city feature.

David Hide, Priory Road, Chichester

Other letters on the proposed ice rink:

Chichester ice rink should not be in Priory Park

Idea is right but park is wrong for Chichester ice rink

Chichester ice rink will make Priory Park a pub full of binge drinkers

Ice rink in Chichester could damage Priory Park

Questions should be asked about half-baked ice rink scheme in Chichester’s Priory Park