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Rollerskating rink can stay open

PUBLISHED: 05:14 28 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

ONE OF the top ten rollerskating rinks in the world can stay open - despite an objection by a local businessman that skaters have caused up to £1,000 of damage to his building.

ONE OF the top ten rollerskating rinks in the world can stay open - despite an objection by a local businessman that skaters have caused up to £1,000 of damage to his building.

Rollerworld, in Moorside, Colchester, applied for a renewal of its public entertainment licence to Colchester Borough Council's licensing and regulatory committee - and this week councillors granted it, recommending CCTV was installed at the rink.

Businessman Alan Sands, who runs a media and website design company in Moorside, near Rollerworld, objected to the application. He claims rollerskaters have broken 30 panes of glass in his building since he started his business 11 years ago.

He claimed he has spent between £800 and £1,000 repairing damage caused by Rollerworld customers as they leave late on Friday and Saturday nights.

He said groups of Rollerworld customers congregated outside his business underneath a lamp-post by a telephone box and put their elbow through his windows or punched them.

Mr Sands told the meeting: "Someone has to take responsibility for the way these people are acting on the streets of Colchester - and it can't be me."

But he was pleased with the result. "If what I've done makes sure Mr Starr's going to pay attention to visitors in the club and outside it will certainly improve the general environment and not cost us any money."

A statement made on behalf of Andy Starr, Rollerworld manager, said Mr Sands' business was on one of the only routes out of the town towards the eastern suburbs of Colchester.

"Numerous amounts of people walking down that area could be responsible for that damage," it said.

After the meeting Mr Starr said: "We have always endeavoured to get on with all our neighbours. The length of time we have been in Colchester has demonstrated that and we are very pleased it's skating as usual."

Michael Aitchison, Colchester's divisional police licensing officer, told the meeting in the last year the number of incidents reported at Rollerworld had fallen from 60 to 22 due to increased police patrols.

Colchester Police town centre officer Pc Nikki Gander said the criminal damage problem outside Rollerworld was not unique to Moorside.

"It's a sad fact of life that huge amounts of criminal damage occur on the outskirts of the town centre for about a mile."


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