Skatepark go-ahead looks likely

PROPOSALS for a new £100,000-plus skatepark at Felixstowe look set to go ahead next week - despite protests from residents.

PROPOSALS for a new £100,000-plus skatepark at Felixstowe look set to go ahead next week - despite protests from residents.

Suffolk Coastal District Council, which wants to construct the park at Orwell Green, said it had so far received 34 letters of objection.

Councillors will discuss the objections when they meet on Thursday to decide the issue.

Objectors are concerned the site will be only 50 metres from the nearest homes, and fear there will be noise disturbance, light pollution from floodlights, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour.

They are also concerned at the lack of toilet and first aid facilities, that the site will be hidden from view, and say there are other more suitable sites at Langer Park and Brackenbury Sports Centre.

However council officials say the open space off Grange Farm Avenue is a good place for a skatepark and believe it can be effectively controlled with proper policing and CCTV cameras, and are recommending approval.

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District councillor Dot Paddick said: “I still cannot understand why they want to foist this skatepark on the people of my ward.

“It will be close to homes and people are worried about large numbers of young people travelling from all over the town - and from outside it - to the middle of a housing estate.

“It is simply the wrong place for it.

“It should be in Langer Road between the school and the railway embankment. There are toilets there, that part of the park is not well used, though the park as a whole is well used so there would be no fear for children's safety. It is away from homes.”

The 20m by 30m skateboarding area would be built 1.2m below ground level at Orwell Green, and enclosed on two sides by landscaped bunds and surrounded by a footpath.

There will be floodlighting for use until 8.30pm each day, plus CCTV and an alcohol ban.

A report to councillors says: “There is a similar facility in Leiston. Experience there has indicated that the novelty value of the skateboard park when it first opens would be significant. In anticipation of this it has been agreed with the local police that a plan would be developed which ensures effective but sensitive policing of the site during the early months.”

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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