Potential designs for the temporary skatepark on Helensburgh's waterfront can be revealed for the first time.

The models to return the site to empty land between Helensburgh Leisure Centre and West Clyde Street comes as the old ramps and equipment were removed last week.

New ramps and equipment are being made by Unit 23 in Dumbarton.

But Helensburgh Skatepark Project said they had initially proposed a much more ambitious design for the site, one that would use every square foot of available space for more ramps and challenges for all ages.

Council officials, they said, rejected it immediately because it was larger than the previous temporary planning permission. And they insisted much of the site needed to be empty for health and safety.

Skateparks in other parts of Scotland, such as Largs, have no such requirement.

Earlier this year, campaigners hoped to have the skatepark restored in a temporary form by June.

Delays in procurement have helped keep the old equipment behind fencing throughout the summer, cutting off a potentially healthy and free diversion for young people.

Helensburgh Skatepark Project told the Advertiser they proposed a design to fill the 20m by 30m tarmac pad. There would be no dead space and there would be ledges, rails and euro gaps on flat sections between ramps. That would cater to riders of all skills.

Council officials insisted any park must be identical to the old one to meet original planning conditions, even if the equipment is better constructed thanks to Unit 23 than previously.

Helensburgh Advertiser: A model of what the park could look like, but which was rejected by the councilA model of what the park could look like, but which was rejected by the council (Image: Helensburgh Skatepark Project)Helensburgh Advertiser: The accepted skatepark design is smaller and has fewer ramps and equipmentThe accepted skatepark design is smaller and has fewer ramps and equipment (Image: Helensburgh Skatepark Project)

Jackie Hood, of the skatepark project,  said: "This would have provided an interesting and challenging skatepark that would have appealed to all riders and kept visitors coming back to ride with the economic benefits that would bring the town.

"The cost for this would have been not much more than what was being proposed for replacing the equipment with like for like from the original supplier i.e. metal pre-fabricated frames with poor/boring transitions that did not ride well.

"This was rejected immediately by the council. We were told that the 20m by 30m tarmac was to provide a safety zone around the skatepark to protect pedestrians.

"However, if you look at the design, there are no run offs. The riders are contained within the space by the design of the ramps.

"But there was no room for discussion. We were told to revise the design so that it was the same number, shape and size of what was there before and contained within the same footprint of 17m by 20m.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Council bosses said the site had to be identical to the previous oneCouncil bosses said the site had to be identical to the previous one (Image: Helensburgh Skatepark Project)Helensburgh Advertiser: But the original proposal would have offered more opportunities for all ages to enjoyBut the original proposal would have offered more opportunities for all ages to enjoy (Image: Helensburgh Skatepark Project)

"I have consistently maintained that you cannot just draw a line around the original ramps and decide that is the size the park should be when the original design had long run ups and run offs for the box but my comments fall on deaf ears."

Unit 23 in Dumbarton removed the old equipment to save whatever they can and are designing the new ramps with Monolith Construction.

Bidders for developing the waterfront site ahead of a December deadline must include a skatepark as part of their proposals.

Jackie added: "Since Unit 23 are designing and constructing the ramps, we will be guaranteed that the park will ride well and the features will link together.

"But it is a real missed opportunity and does not provide the value for money that the first design would have done.

"It will be fine and better than what was there before, but I just don't understand the lack of imagination on the part of the council.

Helensburgh Advertiser: The old skatepark equipment was removed last weekThe old skatepark equipment was removed last week (Image: Helensburgh Skatepark Project)

"Our initial proposal would not have cost much more and, as this stage of the development was always to be temporary due to planning conditions.

"We could have had a really good park for the time it will take for the retail development to go through whilst still exploring a permanent solution.

"However, it is a done deal and I am delighted that we now have the backstop protection that if the council cannot find us a suitable alternative location, the skatepark can remain where it is.

"I am also pleased that the marketing material for the retail development now makes specific reference to the skatepark."

She said the project continues to work with the council to consider alternative locations where a bigger park might be possible. And they are working with Helensburgh Community Council on their pitch for the waterfront site where the skatepark would be a key feature.

Public patience has been stretched as council officials work for their long-stated goal of profits from selling the waterfront site. Repeated public surveys have voiced opposition to a large retail development compared to public realm use.

In response to the skatepark project's Instagram post about removing the old equipment, one resident said: "I think we all knew this would happen. The council have yet again proven that they're simply unwilling to spend money for the younger generation.

"The ramps were long overdue being replaced, but this result in my honest opinion is a completely wasted opportunity.

"Severe lack of creativity and vision. It's not complicated.

"Make it good, and people will come to the town and spend money.

"The ground surface needs to be smooth concrete, not tarmac. It's not even levelled correctly with a drainage system."

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: “The council is working with the skatepark group to reinstate the skatepark to meet the planning conditions of the new leisure centre.

"This is a temporary site as we wait to confirm the wider development of the Waterfront. We have provided a larger area to allow run off from the equipment, we will install.

"We continue to work with the group to assess if there is an alternative location to meet their larger aspirations. In the event that is not possible, the skatepark will remain at the waterfront site, as discussed at the recent Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee.”