Ice rink in Crawley’s Goffs Park gets the go-ahead by narrowest of margins

Goffs Park in Crawley is set to host an ice rink this winter
Goffs Park in Crawley is set to host an ice rink this winter

Winter is coming and so is Crawley’s ice rink – and it will be much bigger than the one that proved so popular last year.

Permission has been given to set up a temporary rink next to the play area in Goffs Park between November 10 and January 20, complete with a cafe and changing area.

The rink will measure 20m by 30m and will be covered by a marquee. It will open seven days a week, from 10am to 9pm, except Christmas Day.

While last year’s rink in Queens Square proved extremely popular, this latest offering from Horsham Outdoor Events divided members of Crawley Borough Council’s planning committee last night (Monday October 22).

At a meeting on Monday, there were concerns about the choice of location – with many asking why Southgate Playing Fields had not been chosen – the amount of parking available and the effect on nearby residents.

Members were told that St Wilfrid’s School had offered the use of its car park on Sundays.

There was also support from the Friends of Goffs Park, with Janet Roskilly telling the meeting: “We love seeing the park used for happy family occasions and we’ve found that events that go on in the evening prove particularly popular.”

The rink was set up in Horsham Park last winter but the district council opted not to allow it to return due to the damage caused to the park’s grass and spring bulbs.

Some members were concerned that Goffs Park would suffer a similar fate, but Horsham Outdoor Events was told that the land had to be restored to its former condition, including the re-seeding of the grass, by February 2.

It was agreed that the rink would be approved on a one-year trial basis, rather than the five years requested.

With the vote tied 6-6, the final decision fell to chairman Ian Irvine (Lab, Broadfield North), who gave approval.