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Sudbury: BMX park closed due to ‘health and safety’ concerns

09:25 30 April 2014

©2014 Spencer Moret.

Concerns have been raised about the dwindling number of youth facilities in Sudbury after the town’s BMX park was shut down because it was considered unsafe.

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Sudbury Town Council currently leases the BMX park from Babergh and may not have the necessary funds to repair the site.

Earlier this year, The Hub youth centre which ran out of neighbouring Belle Vue House, also shut down after Babergh District Council withdrew its support for the initiative.

Prior to its demise, the Hub raised funds to install floodlighting at the BMX track, which is situated on the former swimming pool site next to Belle Vue Park.

Since the track closed, riders have been using the skatepark inside the main park, although it states clearly on Babergh’s website that this is not allowed. Town councillor John Sayers, who was the driving force behind the Hub, fears that having BMX users and skateboarders sharing a facility on an ad hoc basis could pose a safety issue. He said: “The kids can’t use the BMX track because it has been condemned, and this is forcing them up to the skatepark. I am also worried that if the BMX track gets left unoccupied for a long time, it might end up being permanently used for other things. We need to be providing more for the town’s youngsters, not taking facilities away.”

Deputy town clerk, Jacqui Howells, said the town wardens had made the decision to close the BMX park because of health and safety reasons. She added: “It will cost a considerable amount to get it back up to the standard it needs to be for people to use it.

“It’s a facility that is much needed, but we have to consider carefully the possible costs and whether Babergh plans to eventually move the BMX park as part of the planned regeneration of the whole Belle Vue area. The council will discuss it at our finance meeting next week.”

Tom Barker, Babergh’s head of strong communities, said the council’s public realm team would explore options for opening up the skatepark to BMX users as a short term measure.

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