No skatepark fight still on
12:50pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in Latest News
RESIDENTS in Middleleaze are not giving up in their battle against a new skatepark on the former Saltway school field – despite the plans having been withdrawn by the council.
The proposal, originating with a group of youngsters, attracted 80 objections after it was put forward by ward councillor Nick Martin, and £60,000 was found to develop the site. The plans have now been withdrawn, with 14 potential sites in west Swindon being considered, based on suggestions from objectors.
But councillors have refused to consider more central sites, including the former Groundwell Brook Park and Ride, which has been suggested as a skate park by ward councillor Joe Tray.
Coun Mick Bray (Con, Lydiard and Freshbrook) said: “This is strictly for West Swindon. My predecessor and the current mayor Nick Martin found there was money available in the locality for a skate park.
“If money is found to develop the Groundwell Brook site then that could be an option there, but this money is purely for West Swindon.
“The application was withdrawn because we were still waiting for a noise report, and it had not arrived in time to be considered by the planners.”
Peter Corrie, 49, from Spencer Close, said: “We have had copies of the noise reports, as two have already been put together for Saltway, one when they initially put in the application and another when they slightly changed the location.
“They were proposing building a 10-foot high mound to act as a noise barrier.
“The problem of noise did not address the fundamental issues. I think this is a bit of a smokescreen, and it is still going to be the case that they push ahead for the site on Saltway. I think they are talking about other locations to placate residents by telling them they are considering other options.”
Swindon Council is seeking bids to take on leases for leisure centres around Swindon to bring down costs, and Mr Corrie said he felt this would be a good opportunity for a private firm to maintain a new skate park.
“In some ways the ideal thing to do would be to set it up at the Link Centre, because this will cost at least £6,000 a year to run,” he said.
Arthur Beltrami, 76, also from Spencer Close, said: “I would like to know why sites like Groundwell Brook cannot be considered when councillors are asking for that site to be developed.
“If they do bring Saltway back onto the table with 80 residents against and one for, it would be shocking, and they should consider their positions.”
Comments are closed on this article.