Wheel miss you say skating fans

PUBLISHED: 13:08 19 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:12 01 June 2010

END OF THE LINE: Skaters’ owner, Christopher Embicott, centre, with some of the skaters who face losing their facilities.Picture: PETER UPTON

END OF THE LINE: Skaters' owner, Christopher Embicott, centre, with some of the skaters who face losing their facilities.Picture: PETER UPTON

A POPULAR skating venue looks set to be demolished to make way for homes. Christopher Embicott, who owns Skaters at Walpole Highway, is planning to sell the building for more than £1million. Skaters is the training base for Team Belotti Wisbech, which rec

A POPULAR skating venue looks set to be demolished to make way for homes.

Christopher Embicott, who owns Skaters at Walpole Highway, is planning to sell the building for more than £1million.

Skaters is the training base for Team Belotti Wisbech, which recently enjoyed huge success at the British Inline Roller Speed Skating Championships.

A planning application has been submitted to West Norfolk Borough Council for the construction of 22 homes, including seven affordable houses, on the site in Mill Road.

Peter Humphrey, of Peter Humphrey Associates, said he had submitted the application on behalf of a developer.

"The scheme includes affordable housing and that village is very short of affordable housing," he said.

"It is the last parcel of land in the development area and it is very significant because it will be of benefit to first-time buyers."

Mr Embicott said he is selling up because of ill-health. "It is worth more for development that it is as a skating rink, which is shame because I would like to see it sold as a going concern," he said.

"There have been endless rumours but as long as my health holds out I will try to carry on with it."

But the man who built Skaters has called on the council to take it over and expand the facilities for youngsters in the village and surrounding area.

Builder Gordon Carson was given the job of rebuilding Skaters after the original premises were damaged in a storm in 1990.

The new building opened for business 15 years ago this week. Mr Carson, who was himself a keen skater, said: "It will be a sad day if it is demolished.

"If they allow it to be knocked down there will be nowhere for the children to go. The council should take it over; it needs some financial backing and some effort put into it."

Dawn Usher works at Skaters and her family all enjoy using the facilities. "I am heartbroken," she said. "It will leave a huge hole in our lives.

"I don't know what we are going to do. I have no problem with him selling but it should be kept as a rink.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Wisbech Standard