Crawley ice rink could be coming to Goffs Park this Christmas

Goffs Park, Crawley
Goffs Park, Crawley

A temporary ice rink for Crawley could be coming to Goffs Park in the run up to Christmas this year.

Last year the newly revamped Queens Square hosted the festive attraction.

But this year Goffs Park is set to host the ice rink from November 10 to January 20.

And it could return at the same time every year for the next five years if planning permission is granted to Horsham Outdoor Events by Crawley Borough Council.

An application is due to be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Monday October 22.

Officers have recommended permission be granted for one year in order to assess the impacts of an ice rink at its new location.

Two letters of support have been received compared to 14 objections.

The ice rink would be covered by a marquee measuring around 20 metres in width, 30 metres deep and six metres high.

A second smaller marquee would house the entrance, reception desk, changing are and a small café.

Two toilet blocks, one disabled and one standard unit, would be sited to the north of the marquee close to the main entrance.

Horsham Outdoor Events say they would require access a few weeks early to start construction and use of the site until February 1 to dismantle and remove all equipment.

According to council planning officers: “There have been a number of objections from nearby residents on the grounds of inadequate parking provision and increase of traffic. The ice rink would undoubtedly result in an increase in visitors and associated car movements to this part of the town.

“Officers acknowledge that there may be some conflict between the users of the park, the car park and the users of the ice rink. At the same time, it is acknowledged that the proposal would provide seasonal leisure facility and would attract increased visitors to the park and the town centre.

“Therefore, it is considered that these parking concerns should be balanced against the overall benefits of the ice rink leisure facility and officers consider that, given the submitted evidence and the temporary nature of the use that permission should be granted for one year in order for the impacts to be assessed and for more evidence to be gathered to understand the significance of these impacts and whether such a use would be acceptable in future years.”

A council spokesman said: “We’ve been in discussions to bring a temporary ice rink to Goffs Park this Christmas, with the blessing of the Friends of Goffs Park. The proposed attraction can provide a much bigger and better festive attraction for more people than last year’s ice rink in Queens Square. With no other ice rink for miles around, this gives Crawley an opportunity to host a popular visitor attraction and encourage people into the town.

“A decision will be taken by the Planning Committee on 22 October. If approved, we’ll work with the operators to encourage skaters and their families to use public transport and walk to and from the town centre. Metrobus route 23 to and from the bus station stops in front of Goffs Park every 30 minutes.”

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