08:49AM, Friday 31 July 2015
Plans for Windsor on Ice to bring a skating rink and rides to Alexandra Gardens this winter have received a mixed reception.
A planning application has been submitted to the Royal Borough for an ice rink and funfair attractions for use by the public over the Christmas period from November until January in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The application was registered on July 1 with consultations due to be completed on Monday and a decision expected by August 26.
Windsor and Eton town manager Paul Roach said he has received complaints from residents about the inclusion of funfair rides in the application.
Paul said the funfair rides are included in the ‘overall package’ of the ice rink offered by Windsor on Ice, which is now in its sixth year of operation.
“We’re not trying to destroy the park, it’s about offering a Christmas package which we are very fortunate to have,” he added.
The council does not pay for or subsidise the ice rink, which Paul said is rare for this kind of attraction.
He has also received concerns about the fact the ice rink is under a marquee, but said this means ice skating can take place whatever the weather.
He added parts of the rink are uncovered and windows on the sides mean views of Windsor Castle are not obscured.
Roger Cullingham, of York Avenue, is one of the residents planning to submit an objection to the application.
He said: “The ice rink as originally envisaged in 2005 was attractive and well received being open air and an appropriate use of the gardens in the winter, but even that caused damage to the lawns.
“However many people enjoyed the skating, so it was probably worth it.
“In any event it was for a much shorter time, covered a very much smaller area and minimised the subsequent visual detractions.
“This time, the fairground rides are entirely inappropriate.”
Clare Johnson, operations manager for Windsor on Ice, said the company has listened to feedback and has reduced the number of rides this year, adding the company ‘pay personally’ to repair the park after the event.
“We are in the hands of nature and this can only be done when the weather allows us to so could be a few months after, weather dependent,” she said.
“We are not interested in creating a huge profit, only in providing a festive event which all the family can enjoy when visiting Windsor at Christmas time.”
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.