Consultation on a new skate park for Chippenham has now begun.

River Island Park, which lies in Monkton Park between the wall of Wilkinsons and the River Avon, is the preferred option of the Skate Park Task Group, set up by the Chippenham Area Board to consult on the best site.

But the plans have met with concern from some councillors and residents, who fear it could attract graffiti and anti-social behaviour.

Town and Wiltshire councillor Bill Douglas said: “I feel personally that this site is the wrong place for the skate park.

“I do believe that it should be in Monkton Park – the question is where it should go.”

Coun Douglas said he was concerned that a skate park in River Island Park would detract from the area’s natural beauty.

“People have always said they wanted a little town with a number of nice things to do,” he said.

“We should be using Island Park for a number of different things, like boating or to host orchestras, not for a skate park.

“This is a beautiful area which attracts some lovely wildlife, like the swans. A skate park could attract trouble and make this area quite unpleasant.”

But Desna Allen, chairman of the task group and chair of the area board, assured those concerned there was nothing to fear.

She said: “Nobody knows the exact location and dimensions yet. We only know a general area. What we are going to do is to ask the people of Chippenham if they would like to see a skate park in Island Park, and they can reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. That is all we are going to be asking.

“Nothing is happening immediately, but we want to know what people think, and this is the next step.”

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. Coun Allen said there was only River Island Park that met these noise criteria requirements.

The task group has worked with three independent consultants to assess the suitability of each of the 19 sites initially considered, with River Island Park the preferred option every time.

To have your say, visit www. Skatepark_Survey Next week’s Talk Of The Town newsletter, delivered to every home in Chippenham, will detail how to take part in the survey if you don’t have a computer.