Controversial plans to create a skatepark in a popular open space have been submitted.

The northern area of The Level in Brighton is currently used for dog walking, picnics, walking and sport. Brighton and Hove City Council wants to convert the southern quadrant into a skate park.

As part of the plans, the western quadrant, which is currently gravel, would be turfed over. This comes after more than 3,000 people signed the Keep The Level Green petition.

The application is part of a wider £2.7 million revamp of the park, including new fountains, public areas and the restoration of two pavilions.

The council has already secured £150,000 to develop the new skatepark and is seeking an extra £250,000 to fund further phases of its construction.

The local authority said proposals for the new sunken skatepark have been designed with Brighton and Hove Skateparks Association.

The latest round of consultation in May attracted 305 responses with nearly nine in ten of those surveyed agreeing that the content of the new skatepark had been well designed.

The application said: “While there has been some resistance to the provision of a new skatepark in this location, the consultation process has demonstrated a clear and overwhelming majority support for the proposals.”

Against move

It adds a skatepark has been in the park since the 1970s but the current equipment is in a poor condition.

Hazel McKay, of the Regency Society, said: “The wider community is apparently not in favour of moving the skatepark, and neither are the Friends of The Level, so it’s hard to understand why council officers persist with proposals to move it.

“Our main objection, however, is that, in the heart of one of our major conservation areas – that is an important historic piece of urban landscape – its character would inevitably be damaged by inserting fences, concrete ramps and other structures, which will attract graffiti.”

A council spokeswoman said: “A planning application for the skatepark has been submitted to the council for consideration and full details can be found on the planning section of the council website.

"Members of the public are welcome to comment on the proposals and we look forward to hearing from them.”