First steps towards Woodbridge skatepark

FIRST steps towards the creation of a £70,000 skatepark for the youth of Woodbridge are under way today.The scheme would see a BMX and skateboard park built at the rear of Deben Pool, in an area currently occupied by a coach and lorry park.

FIRST steps towards the creation of a £70,000 skatepark for the youth of Woodbridge are under way today.

The scheme would see a BMX and skateboard park built at the rear of Deben Pool, in an area currently occupied by a coach and lorry park.

Demand for such a facility in the town is high, and consultation with the community has shown that the police and many local authorities fully support the plans.

Funding will be made up by a combination of grants and contributions from local organisations.

The Woodbridge Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP), the Woodbridge community council and the town council are among those that have pledged to donate money and it is hoped to secure £20,000 from the Market Towns Initiative.

But not everyone is happy about the scheme – some residents in nearby housing are concerned about the problems the skatepark may bring to the area.

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Peter Lilley, 75, of Carthew Court, said: "I'm sure there must be a better site for it. This is an area full of housing for the elderly. We see what goes on in the Thoroughfare every weekend. This will just bring the hooligan element away from there and up here."

In a report to councillors, officers from Suffolk Coastal said: "Skateboard areas are valued by young people as these areas also provide a meeting space as well as an opportunity to participate in sport.

"While there are issues concerning noise and safety to be addressed these are not normally insurmountable and to a large extent can be dealt with through detailed planning."

CCTV would operate in the area to ensure the safety of its users and staff at Deben Pool would have day to day management responsibility and be on hand to deal with accidents should they occur.

It is thought the park would be open from 9am to 8pm, except on Sundays when it would close at 5pm.

The scheme is to be considered at the next meeting of Suffolk Coastal's cabinet on November 4 and, if approved, work will begin on a planning application.

Do you think a skatepark in Woodbridge is a good idea? Is this the best site for it? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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