SOUTH Molton is getting a new indoor skate park and community hub.

Permission was granted by North Devon Council for the change of use of an industrial building at 107 East Street for Skate Molton Community Interest Company (CIC).

The vacant property was formerly occupied by North Devon Tyres and Batteries, which has relocated to another part of town.

Hours of use have been restricted to 9am to 9pm Monday to Saturdays and 10am to 6.30pm on Sundays and public holidays to protect nearby residents. Noise restrictions are to be put in place.

The company will run sessions for toddlers, young people and adults with men’s club, ladies’ nights, after school clubs, special educational needs sessions, dungeons and dragons games and community skate sessions. The venue available for people to hire too.

The planning authority received one letter of objection from a neighbouring resident concerned about noise, especially during the summer when the large roller shutter doors would be raised, they said.

Three supporters said the nearest indoor skate parks were at Mount Hawk in Cornwall or Rampworld in Cardiff, and this would be “a great service for the community” as Skate Molton “already did amazing work with young people”

Maria Collett from Barnstaple said: “The venue will provide people of all ages with a space to exercise and learn new skills. This is a much needed facility especially for young people, giving them somewhere to learn new skills, work alongside others and make friends.”

Skating won’t be allowed outside the premises and roller shutter doors are not allowed to be open when skating is taking place, or when amplified music is being played or any public address system is in use.

Skate Molton has previously been running sessions in South Molton Pannier Market with support from the town council, which has backed its planning application for a new premises.

Tuesday night free sessions in the market will continue alongside the new venue, where costs will be kept “affordable” (no more than £5 for a two-hour skating session, snack and drink).

More than 600 people now skate with Skate Molton which has members aged two to 64 with an average of 75 skateboarders at each session. Equipment is free to use.

The club was founded by Verity Hanson who now runs it along James Swanson, a skateboard GB coach.

A crowdfunding appeal for the indoor skatepark raised £589.

By Alison Stephenson