AFTER years of campaigning and a number of false dawns the Botley Bowl could return after parish plans were given the green light.

The popular skate park at the Louie Memorial Playing Fields was destroyed in 2010 after a gang of thieves drove a car onto the site and set it alight.

Botley has since been left with a giant hole and few leisure facilities to offer, in particular for youngsters.

However, plans for a proposed £1.2million regeneration of the area were approved by North Hinksey Parish Council on Thursday.

The Louie Memorial Pavilion and Fields rejuvenation project will deliver a new skate park as well as a new pavilion and play equipment.

Parish council vice chair, Caroline Potter, who put forward the motion for the redevelopment, said it was something much needed by an expanding community.

She said: “I think we have to recognise that the community keeps growing.

“If you look back five or ten years ago the facilities weren’t quite up to scratch even then, and there’s been some new developments and a lot of new families have moved into the area.

“Now we’re finally in a position to move forward.”

It is hoped that much of the scheme will be funded by some of the £12.4million received by the Vale of White Horse District Council for the sale of the West Way shopping centre.

Vale of White Horse district councillor for Botley, Emily Smith said: “It’s only right that that money is re-invested back into the community.

“The Vale’s Open Spaces plan in 2009 identified Botley as an area in need of facilities for young people specifically, and that was before the Skate Bowl was damaged.”

The district council last year set aside £20,000 for North Hinksey Parish Council to use to develop the plans with Nortoft planning consultants.

However, despite pressure from the Liberal Democrat group on the district council, there has been no commitment yet for further funding.

Mrs Smith added: “We were told that we first had to have a commitment from the parish council to move forward with the plans.

“The parish have done what was suggested they needed to do, now we would like the Vale to also commit to the capital spend.”

North Hinksey Parish Council will now assess details such as the potential noise and environmental impact of the development before submitting an outline planning application to the Vale.

It is expected the application will be ready by December.

However, the phase of the project which will see the purchase of an outdoor youth adventure play area with fitness equipment is hoped to be in place by October.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran said: “The fact we have now got to the point where the parish council has adopted the replacement skate park and also the pavilion - I’m absolutely over the moon.

“It’s extraordinarily important that we have these facilities in the community.

“Across Oxford we simply don’t have enough enough things for young people to do given things like this are proven to encourage kids to get together, to exercise and also offer a place where they can expend their energy.”