Decision due tonight on controversial Chippenham skatepark site
A binding vote will be taken tonight on whether a planning application will be sought for a concrete skatepark in Monkton Park, Chippenham.
The skate park task group, which has been looking at options for skatepark sites since November 2010, will tonight present its recommendation to Wiltshire Council’s Chippenham Area Board, at a public meeting in Neeld Hall from 7pm.
The task group itself is divided, with councillor for Monkton Chris Caswill, a newcomer to the group this year, vehemently against the site agreed by the majority – Monkton Park next to the Olympiad Leisure Centre and multi use games area.
The area board will make the final decision, and its chairman Linda Packard said a vote would be taken tonight.
Consultation on the site has included two meetings for public discussion in July at Monkton Park School and the West End Club, where hopeful skaters clashed with Monkton Park residents fearful of antisocial behaviour and noise.
Comments received from the public included: “The beautiful park will be spoiled by a sea of litter including needles and used condoms” and: “When a skatepark was installed in Sherston there were similar worries and concerns but none of these things have been seen”.
The last skatepark in Monkton Park, made of steel, was closed down in 2002. The task group said since then, a neighbourhood policing team had been established and the police station had moved to the location.
They said the need for a facility had increased due to the anticipated closure of the existing temporary facility, the Skate Shed. This is open two days a week at the Bridge Centre for young people aged over 11.
But the Bridge Centre is due to close as part of the Bath Road redevelopment, for which ING is in the process of putting together a planning application for submission later this year. If granted, it is expected the skatepark will need to be relocated next summer.
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