Chippenham skate park hunt turns full circle

This Is Wiltshire: Coun Desna Allen near the proposed site for a skate park in Monkton Park Coun Desna Allen near the proposed site for a skate park in Monkton Park

The lengthy search for a skate park site in Chippenham has come full circle as councillors consider whether it should return to Monkton Park.

The former steel skate park in Monkton Park was closed ten years ago because of noise suffered by residents in nearby Sadlers Mead.

But the recommendation, made by the Chippenham skate park task group, proposes a new concrete construction there, ruling out a controversial site at River Island Park.

Strong opposition to the River Island Park site came from supporters of the Chippenham Folk Festival, who argued it would adversely affect one of the biggest events in the town.

Coun Desna Allen, chairman of the task group and Chippenham Area Board, said the recommendation was made after a public meeting on November 26.

Although she was unable to say whether the new skate park would be exactly in the same position as the old one, she said it would be close by.

Coun Allen said: “It was obvious from the public meeting that most people who thought the skate park was a good idea didn’t think it was a good idea in River Island Park.

"In order for us to progress councillors will need to agree with our recommendations and give us permission to investigate the Monkton Park site.

“If they choose not to do that they will have to answer to the public, but the group would like this to proceed.”

Folk festival boss Bob Berry said he would be happy to see it at Monkton Park.

He said: “The next festival is well on the way, but we’re already working on 2014 and we need to know that they’re definitely not going to put it in that space.

“We spoke to two or three young people at the meeting and they said they don’t mind where it is, they just need a skate park.”

As well as recommending a new design to minimise noise and to include CCTV cameras, the task group has requested a second noise assessment of Sadlers Mead to reassure residents.

A policy adopted by the former North Wiltshire District Council, which has been continued by Wiltshire Council, has set a noise limit for skate parks of zero decibels above background noise.

Several residents remain concerned about potential noise levels in Monkton Park. Allan Gould, who lives nearby, said: “We remain to be convinced that that by the time the noise reaches the houses from the location in Monkton Park they will be reduced to normal levels.

“The history of the previous skate park is that it goes on from 18 to 20 hours a day and once the kids leave the park they don’t go quietly.”

Resident Richard Taylor said: “If they had gone somewhere away from the properties, then the kids could make as much noise as they want.”

The next step will be decided at the area board meeting on Monday at 7pm in Sheldon School.

Comments (12)

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8:19pm Thu 3 Jan 13

dumper says...

10 years to get back to where we started, my god this council is quick. most people wanted it in monkton park in the first place so why o why has it taken so long.
10 years to get back to where we started, my god this council is quick. most people wanted it in monkton park in the first place so why o why has it taken so long. dumper
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Thu 3 Jan 13

HughBriss says...

dumper asks "why has it taken so long?"
What should be asked is why a handful of nimbies in Sadlers Mead were allowed to get the skate park closed in the first place. If the Gazette had any proper journalists they would be investigating that.
There still better places for the skate park - e.g. alongside the railway to the east of the station, either side It wouldn't bother too many residents, though there would have to be CCTV installed to put off the smack dealers.
dumper asks "why has it taken so long?" What should be asked is why a handful of nimbies in Sadlers Mead were allowed to get the skate park closed in the first place. If the Gazette had any proper journalists they would be investigating that. There still better places for the skate park - e.g. alongside the railway to the east of the station, either side It wouldn't bother too many residents, though there would have to be CCTV installed to put off the smack dealers. HughBriss
  • Score: 0

9:55pm Thu 3 Jan 13

monkton_dad says...

Put it in Monkton park council car park, no one will object then!
Put it in Monkton park council car park, no one will object then! monkton_dad
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Thu 3 Jan 13

notscot says...

10 years to come to the decision that it should be pretty much where it WAS!!!
How much time & money have they wasted between them?
This time - get some professional advice re noise reduction etc - don't just chuck our money at the most glitzy-looking plan!
The kids want a PERMANENT skate park. Some of the kids that started campaigning 10 years ago now have kids of their own. Wonder if the park will be up before the 2nd generation join the campaign?
10 years to come to the decision that it should be pretty much where it WAS!!! How much time & money have they wasted between them? This time - get some professional advice re noise reduction etc - don't just chuck our money at the most glitzy-looking plan! The kids want a PERMANENT skate park. Some of the kids that started campaigning 10 years ago now have kids of their own. Wonder if the park will be up before the 2nd generation join the campaign? notscot
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Antmanrob1 says...

Now what wrong with that they use now Bewley House car park (may have spelt that wrong) lol.

They wonder why children get in trouble when there is nothing for them to do.
Now what wrong with that they use now Bewley House car park (may have spelt that wrong) lol. They wonder why children get in trouble when there is nothing for them to do. Antmanrob1
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Fri 4 Jan 13

jw9202 says...

See people haven't read the article properly. It says the old steel skate park was shut 10 years ago, not that it's taken 10 years to find a new home for it, it just says after a lengthy search, so no mention at all of time scale, it could of just been shelved until people complained or money became available. What about John Coles Park by the tennis courts, it's a big wide open space & being as it has gates (& yes I jumped them when I was younger like lots of us did & I expect most still do) there will be some sort of control over it & it has been there a long time so people should be used to the noise of the kids playing, the bands in summer & the tennis players (do they still grunt?), at least it'll be away from the town centre so people won't moan about getting mown down by boarders in the high street getting to it. Just a suggestion.
See people haven't read the article properly. It says the old steel skate park was shut 10 years ago, not that it's taken 10 years to find a new home for it, it just says after a lengthy search, so no mention at all of time scale, it could of just been shelved until people complained or money became available. What about John Coles Park by the tennis courts, it's a big wide open space & being as it has gates (& yes I jumped them when I was younger like lots of us did & I expect most still do) there will be some sort of control over it & it has been there a long time so people should be used to the noise of the kids playing, the bands in summer & the tennis players (do they still grunt?), at least it'll be away from the town centre so people won't moan about getting mown down by boarders in the high street getting to it. Just a suggestion. jw9202
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Locksmith says...

John Coles Park? forget it! My son campaigned for Monkton Park 10 years ago when he was young enough to use it. He's a company director now and still the local councillors can't make a decision! What a load of jumped up wasters. Get it setup in Monkton Park and let the locals get used to it.
John Coles Park? forget it! My son campaigned for Monkton Park 10 years ago when he was young enough to use it. He's a company director now and still the local councillors can't make a decision! What a load of jumped up wasters. Get it setup in Monkton Park and let the locals get used to it. Locksmith
  • Score: 0

9:41am Sat 5 Jan 13

notscot says...

jw9202 wrote:
See people haven't read the article properly. It says the old steel skate park was shut 10 years ago, not that it's taken 10 years to find a new home for it, it just says after a lengthy search, so no mention at all of time scale, it could of just been shelved until people complained or money became available. What about John Coles Park by the tennis courts, it's a big wide open space & being as it has gates (& yes I jumped them when I was younger like lots of us did & I expect most still do) there will be some sort of control over it & it has been there a long time so people should be used to the noise of the kids playing, the bands in summer & the tennis players (do they still grunt?), at least it'll be away from the town centre so people won't moan about getting mown down by boarders in the high street getting to it. Just a suggestion.
A skateboard park in JC P would impact too heavily onit'smayneighours. Yes- they are used to the fact that the park is heavily used during the day. it would be unacceptableto expect those people to put up with the extra noise late into the evening.
With the proper investigation into the noise dampening requirements it cold be put in M-Park - where it started.
Minimal disruption to a minority of residents.
It was removed due to noise complaints - when it was removed it was suggested that "proper investigation" of the correct equipment and sites" could see it's return. So Yes - it HAS taken 10 years to turn full circle.
It has taught some of our young people a lot about local and county politics though. And the need to replace a load of the "old guard"!
[quote][p][bold]jw9202[/bold] wrote: See people haven't read the article properly. It says the old steel skate park was shut 10 years ago, not that it's taken 10 years to find a new home for it, it just says after a lengthy search, so no mention at all of time scale, it could of just been shelved until people complained or money became available. What about John Coles Park by the tennis courts, it's a big wide open space & being as it has gates (& yes I jumped them when I was younger like lots of us did & I expect most still do) there will be some sort of control over it & it has been there a long time so people should be used to the noise of the kids playing, the bands in summer & the tennis players (do they still grunt?), at least it'll be away from the town centre so people won't moan about getting mown down by boarders in the high street getting to it. Just a suggestion.[/p][/quote]A skateboard park in JC P would impact too heavily onit'smayneighours. Yes- they are used to the fact that the park is heavily used during the day. it would be unacceptableto expect those people to put up with the extra noise late into the evening. With the proper investigation into the noise dampening requirements it cold be put in M-Park - where it started. Minimal disruption to a minority of residents. It was removed due to noise complaints - when it was removed it was suggested that "proper investigation" of the correct equipment and sites" could see it's return. So Yes - it HAS taken 10 years to turn full circle. It has taught some of our young people a lot about local and county politics though. And the need to replace a load of the "old guard"! notscot
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Sat 5 Jan 13

jw9202 says...

The same arguments apply to both parks but JC is fenced & gated & apart from the the park keepers house no other properties open onto it unlike saddlers mead where the rear gardens open onto Monkton & as there's no gates/fences it could open to abuse & used well into the night or until the residents complain about the kids or the CCTV operator sees something happening that shouldn't, so there are pros & cons to both. I know the old one was removed 10 years ago, I can read & was around back then when the G&H reported it then, maybe the owners at saddlers mead should remember that there was an open air swimming pool there once & the noise of the people there could be heard from the town bridge. So it's been 10 years since the last one was removed, but where does it say they've been searching for a suitable site that long? it just been that long & now the sitting council, which over the last 10 years has been changed & merged, has decided it was in the right place to start. If anything it shows that a minority of nimby home owners whose only interest is their peace & quiet & house prices are the problem to a lot of decisions being made by councils all over the country.
The same arguments apply to both parks but JC is fenced & gated & apart from the the park keepers house no other properties open onto it unlike saddlers mead where the rear gardens open onto Monkton & as there's no gates/fences it could open to abuse & used well into the night or until the residents complain about the kids or the CCTV operator sees something happening that shouldn't, so there are pros & cons to both. I know the old one was removed 10 years ago, I can read & was around back then when the G&H reported it then, maybe the owners at saddlers mead should remember that there was an open air swimming pool there once & the noise of the people there could be heard from the town bridge. So it's been 10 years since the last one was removed, but where does it say they've been searching for a suitable site that long? it just been that long & now the sitting council, which over the last 10 years has been changed & merged, has decided it was in the right place to start. If anything it shows that a minority of nimby home owners whose only interest is their peace & quiet & house prices are the problem to a lot of decisions being made by councils all over the country. jw9202
  • Score: 0

9:40am Mon 7 Jan 13

notscot says...

jw9202 wrote:
The same arguments apply to both parks but JC is fenced & gated & apart from the the park keepers house no other properties open onto it unlike saddlers mead where the rear gardens open onto Monkton & as there's no gates/fences it could open to abuse & used well into the night or until the residents complain about the kids or the CCTV operator sees something happening that shouldn't, so there are pros & cons to both. I know the old one was removed 10 years ago, I can read & was around back then when the G&H reported it then, maybe the owners at saddlers mead should remember that there was an open air swimming pool there once & the noise of the people there could be heard from the town bridge. So it's been 10 years since the last one was removed, but where does it say they've been searching for a suitable site that long? it just been that long & now the sitting council, which over the last 10 years has been changed & merged, has decided it was in the right place to start. If anything it shows that a minority of nimby home owners whose only interest is their peace & quiet & house prices are the problem to a lot of decisions being made by councils all over the country.
"The town's teenagers have been told there will not be a skate park in time for the summer holidays.
Possible sites being considered are between Lovers Lane and the Avenue La Fleche relief road, and alongside the millennium wall and the River Avon, further along the relief road.
Relocating the skate park is expected to cost around £115,000."

That was the message from Wilts Council to Chippenham skate park users in 2002.
[quote][p][bold]jw9202[/bold] wrote: The same arguments apply to both parks but JC is fenced & gated & apart from the the park keepers house no other properties open onto it unlike saddlers mead where the rear gardens open onto Monkton & as there's no gates/fences it could open to abuse & used well into the night or until the residents complain about the kids or the CCTV operator sees something happening that shouldn't, so there are pros & cons to both. I know the old one was removed 10 years ago, I can read & was around back then when the G&H reported it then, maybe the owners at saddlers mead should remember that there was an open air swimming pool there once & the noise of the people there could be heard from the town bridge. So it's been 10 years since the last one was removed, but where does it say they've been searching for a suitable site that long? it just been that long & now the sitting council, which over the last 10 years has been changed & merged, has decided it was in the right place to start. If anything it shows that a minority of nimby home owners whose only interest is their peace & quiet & house prices are the problem to a lot of decisions being made by councils all over the country.[/p][/quote]"The town's teenagers have been told there will not be a skate park in time for the summer holidays. Possible sites being considered are between Lovers Lane and the Avenue La Fleche relief road, and alongside the millennium wall and the River Avon, further along the relief road. Relocating the skate park is expected to cost around £115,000." That was the message from Wilts Council to Chippenham skate park users in 2002. notscot
  • Score: 0

10:29pm Mon 7 Jan 13

HughBriss says...

Perhaps they could excavate the site to reveal the old swimming pool. That would make a nice solid base for a skate park.
While they're at it, maybe someone could unearth the story of how the pool was closed as part of the agreement to build the Olympiad, who made all the money out of this development and why the promised dry ski slope was never built.
Perhaps they could excavate the site to reveal the old swimming pool. That would make a nice solid base for a skate park. While they're at it, maybe someone could unearth the story of how the pool was closed as part of the agreement to build the Olympiad, who made all the money out of this development and why the promised dry ski slope was never built. HughBriss
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Tue 8 Jan 13

notscot says...

And it would seem - in promising to re-site the skate park in 2002, then avoiding the entire issue until 2010, they've spent the last TWO YEARS in a determined fight to ensure the issue of a new site remains unresolved.
To the youth of Chippenham - your local, town and county councillors are a disgrace - I hope those of you interested in the skate park raise all kinds of holy hell..
And it would seem - in promising to re-site the skate park in 2002, then avoiding the entire issue until 2010, they've spent the last TWO YEARS in a determined fight to ensure the issue of a new site remains unresolved. To the youth of Chippenham - your local, town and county councillors are a disgrace - I hope those of you interested in the skate park raise all kinds of holy hell.. notscot
  • Score: 0

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