Work to start on new Devizes skate park
4:00pm Friday 11th July 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Work on Devizes £140,000 skate park is due to begin on Monday.
It will be built next to the sports pitches in Green Lane, despite the site being previously rejected over concerns it was remote and its noise would affect Drews Park residents.
The park will be complete in nine or ten weeks, depending on the weather.
Devizes' last outdoor skate park, in Hillworth Park, was removed in February 2002, after a neighbour won a civil court case over the noise caused.
Devizes Town Council has considered numerous locations over the intervening years and gave away the skate park equipment to Rowde Parish Council.
Then, almost three years ago, Devizes Area Board took up the challenge to find a new site.
The Green Lane skate park will be made of concrete, which the board says will be quieter than the steel at Hillworth Park.
The planning application attracted 12 letters of objection from Drews Park Village Association and Drews Pond Wood project.
Concerns included anti-social behaviour and noise, but there were also 13 letters of support.
Wiltshire Council’s environmental health department has ordered a two-metre high bund is constructed to minimise noise, but admits it will not provide protection for homes in Thomas Wyatt Road, 400 metres away.
Environmental health officer Vicky Brown said: “Considering there is no line of sight from Thomas Wyatt Road to the proposed skate park, the conservative nature of the noise assessment and the distances involved, on balance we believe it is unlikely noise from the skate park will have an adverse impact on the sound levels experienced at properties on Thomas Wyatt Road.”
An ecologist’s report said Drews Pond Wood would not be directly affected by the project.
Wiltshire Council planning officer Rebecca Hughes granted permission under delegated powers on July 1.
In her report, she said: “The proposed skate park is considered to provide a valuable community leisure facility.”
Richard Rogers, community area manager of Devizes Area Board, said: “We are absolutely delighted. It’s been a lot of work over a lot of years and, at times, we wondered if we would get there.
“It’s bigger than we first envisaged and should have features not used elsewhere.”
Susan Huzzey, of Elizabeth Drive, Devizes who, along with son Chris, 18, has been campaigning for an outdoor skate park for seven years, was overjoyed at the planning approval.
She said: “We’re delighted. It will benefit hundreds of children who skate or scoot.”
The skate park is being funded by developers’ contributions and the area board.