Public body Sport England is objecting to plans for a skatepark in Dracaena Playing Fields despite overwhelming public support.

Their objection centres around the fact that the skatepark would replace a small playing field at the same location.

Falmouth Town Council clerk Mark Williams said: "Frustratingly Sport England have missed the point. They are objecting to the loss of the training area (the bottom field). It is not big enough for a match pitch."

An email sent to Falmouth Town Council by Sport England's planning manager Gary Parsons cites the usage of the pitch by a local shinty club as the reason for the objection.

Mr Parsons also said in the email: "Whilst a skateboard park may provide for some informal play opportunities, Sport England would not support it if the playing pitch is affected."

When the Packet went to press, the plans on Cornwall Council's website had a total of 446 public comments supporting the application, including one from local football club Falmouth DC.

Sessions Surf and Skate shop also sent the council a further 299 letters of support from people unable or unwilling to use the website.

Sport England did not wish to comment directly on their objection when contacted by the Packet, but instead highlighted their policy towards planning applications which affect playing fields.

This policy states that any application resulting in the loss of playing fields will be objected to unless certain requirements are met, for example if the development provides "sufficient benefit to the development of sport as to outweigh the detriment caused by the loss, or prejudice to the use, of the area of playing field."

Mr Williams says that along with the skatepark, an additional all weather training area will be built elsewhere on the site to make up for the loss of the field.

He said: "There will be better training provision provided. We have reiterated that point to them, hopefully they will withdraw their objection when they understand."

Sport England was set up in 1997 as a non-departmental government body to decide how to invest government and National Lottery money in sports facilities.

An article from December 2017 on says: "Of the 120 applications where Sport England have sustained objections, 49 were either withdrawn by the applicants or refused planning permission."