via Gene’s BMX
Suffolk, UK — 12/05/2005
RESIDENTS today hit out strongly at proposals to site a £120,000 skatepark close to homes – accusing leisure chiefs of backtracking over the project simply to get it done.
Families living near the site on Orwell Green, Felixstowe, say many measures to protect children using the park and neighbours who could suffer disturbance have now been removed.
Barry Farr, chairman of the Cavendish Park Residents’ Association, stressed residents were not against a skatepark – but felt Orwell Green was the wrong place for it.
“We all want the children and youths of this town to have things to do but not at the expense of the quality of life of other residents,” he said.
“The top site in the council’s own survey was Brackenbury Sports Centre – but this was dismissed because of ‘noise’.
“It’s surprising how this council can go to great lengths and expense to ‘overcome’ noise at Orwell Green but not at Brackenbury! Or maybe it has something to do with where certain councillors live?
“As part of the council’s survey the following were considered to be necessary in order to ensure the long term viability of the project – toilets, CCTV, car parking, security and supervision.
“The survey also stated that noise, litter and potential misuse were of major concern.
“Those things which once were considered necessary have now disappeared from the plan completely and those which caused concern have not been adequately dealt with. These
were part of the council’s own original list of requirements.”
The proposed site was in the middle of a residential area with some of the homes sheltered accommodation, where residents’ average age is 80.
“It will also be very close to a church which means the sanctity and solemnity of the sacraments held there, funerals, christenings, weddings and other services will be destroyed,” said Mr Farr.
Suffolk Coastal has announced proposals for a 20m by 30m skateboarding area below ground level, enclosed on two sides by landscaped bunds and surrounded by a footpath. It said scheme had additional measures to control noise to help resolve the fears of some residents.
Cabinet member Maggy Wilson said: “The challenge has been to balance the desire to keep noise and disturbance to a minimum while still providing a facility that is accessible and visible enough for young people to use safely.”