THE future of the proposed ice rink at Smallbrook is in doubt after drainage problems appeared to have halted the plans.
It has been a dream to have a functioning ice rink on the Island ever since Ryde Arena closed in 2016, but with only 11 months until planning permission expires for the Smallbrook Ice and Leisure Centre (SILC) plan, that dream could be fading.
New plans have recently been submitted for the site, next to Smallbrook Stadium, raising questions about the much-anticipated ice rink.
They include two tennis courts, temporary access and limited parking, on the area originally designated as the car park in the 'first phase of development.'
There is no mention of the ice rink.
An original condition of permission to build the leisure centre and rink was that no development could take place until a foul water drainage and disposal scheme had been approved and installed.
When asked to clarify what this new application meant, a SILC spokesperson said drainage had hindered the ice rink plans, so they were 'at least trying to vary conditions to allow for the tennis and multi-courts to be built'.
During the original 2019 consultation, Sports England said the site was prone to waterlogging and poor drainage. Combined with the lack of technical information submitted, it meant the body could not support the development.
An SILC spokesperson said the group had tried to get past the drainage condition but had been unable to — there is no mains drainage on the site and therefore no provision for the constant disposal of ice.
An application to build an on-site treatment plant had not been accepted after several months, they said.
Permission for the leisure facilities was originally granted in December 2019.
The indoor sports centre was approved to have a climbing wall, trampoline area, multi-use courts, an ice rink and tennis courts.