Plans for town's skate park submitted
LEISURE bosses have submitted a formal proposal to build a controversial £120,000 skate park in a seaside town.Suffolk Coastal District Council has put in a planning application for a park at Orwell Green, Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe.
LEISURE bosses have submitted a formal proposal to build a controversial £120,000 skate park in a seaside town.
Suffolk Coastal District Council has put in a planning application for a park at Orwell Green, Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe.
The proposed development has been an ongoing saga for 20 years and although there is a consensus that a skate park is needed for the town's youngsters there is much debate over where it should be.
The planned park would be built close to the rear of the Cavendish Community Church and about 60 metres from homes in Shotley Close.
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It will be lit at night by two 8m floodlights and there will also be CCTV cameras and an alcohol ban.
Opponents to the proposal claim it is situated too close to people's homes and local residents could suffer from noise and anti-social behaviour.
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Ann Rodwell, district and county councillor, said: “I'm not questioning the size, the design or the landscaping of the park but I do think the proposed site is the wrong choice.
“The seafront would be a better option because the park could then be used easily by visitors to the town while at the same time being accessible to the youngsters of Felixstowe.
“Moreover there would be better access to public toilets and it would be well sited so there is no fear for children's safety.”
District councillor Harry Dangerfield added: “Local residents have already had some trouble with skateboarders in the past and there are concerned this will continue.”
However police have assured they will be able to keep an eye on the skate park's use, while engineers say building the 20mx30m skate park 1.2m below ground level and surrounding it on three sides with 1.8m high landscaped earth mounds will cut out noise problems.
Mick Richardson, community police sergeant for Felixstowe, said: “A number of people are worried the skate park will facilitate anti-social behaviour such as drug taking and criminal damage and because of this the skateboarders will leave and it will become a blot on the landscape.
“However Suffolk Coastal have made all the changes we asked for and we see no reason why this should happen – certainly experience elsewhere shows this isn't the case.”
Doreen Savage, Suffolk Costal portfolio holder for children and young people, said: “We have a responsibility to the young people of Felixstowe and have a duty to offer them what they want otherwise they will begin to move elsewhere.
“I believe we have now found the most suitable site because the park has been designed to take into account a lot of the concerns that nearby residents have expressed.”