A FINAL decision on whether a skatepark will be built in Crowthorne was due to be made as the Times went to press last night (Tuesday).

In the run-up to the decision, opposition campaigners have been gathering signatures in a desperate bid to force Crowthorne Parish Council to throw out the plan.

A letter and petition containing 535 signatures against the proposals has been submitted to the chairman of Crowthorne Parish Council, Cllr Mike Pierce-Jones, before the meeting.

Last year, plans to construct a temporary park in the Morgan Recreation Ground were halted after dozens of residents complained of the noise and vandalism it could create. In response to residents' complaints, Cllr Lars Swann drew up a report of three possible locations in an attempt to relocate the proposed park.

But once again, the focus has fallen back onto the Morgan Recreation Ground as the main option.

Angry residents were hoping to see an end to their long-running battle and were expected to turn up in their droves to the meeting.

Amongst the residents and youths predicted to attend the meeting was a representative from the fun- fair staged annually on the ground. It may suffer financial losses if the skate park goes ahead.

Residents are hopeful the usual 15-minute question time slot will be extended in order to address all views effectively.

A residents' meeting was held last week in a bid to gather more signatures and to discuss further action should it be needed.

One resident, who does not wish to be named, said: "Generally, skateboarding is a boy's sport and the park is supposed to be a youth project, so what are the girls supposed to do?

"£70,000 is a lot of money to spend on an activity which may only be used by a minority.

"Why can't that money be spent on providing youths with free passes to use Edgbarrow Sports Centre where they can do a range of activities?"

Most residents claim to support the idea of a skatepark but believe the Morgan Recreation Ground is an inappropriate location.

A full report on last night the decision will appear next week.