Youngsters' dreams to come true

AFTER nearly 20 years of different generations campaigning, Felixstowe youngsters are to have their dreams come true – and get their skateboard park.Town councillors have agreed to press ahead with the £70,000 project and it could be built next year.

AFTER nearly 20 years of different generations campaigning, Felixstowe youngsters are to have their dreams come true – and get their skateboard park.

Town councillors have agreed to press ahead with the £70,000 project and it could be built next year.

Youngsters are being invited to a special afternoon next month to see the types of equipment the site could feature and to help choose the ramps and jumps.

But the skateboard park will not be built where campaigners had wanted it.


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Town clerk Susan Robinson said environmental health officers had taken test sound measurements at Langer Park – the site youngsters favoured – but it was feared the noise would annoy residents.

"We have looked very carefully at all the open spaces in Felixstowe which might be suitable and really at the end of the day there was only one real possibility – Cavendish Park – which meets all the criteria," she said.

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"There will still be a need for a very sensitive treatment and landscaping, but that will all be part of the package.

"A decent skateboard area is probably the biggest single issue for young people in Felixstowe and it is the facility they highlight time and time again."

Other demands from the nines to 19s age group were improved all-weather kick-about surfaces, climbing walls and BMX facilities.

She stressed the skateboard park would be a "sensible basic facility" based on feedback from young people and estimated demand, but would not compare with Ipswich's new park, which cost £170,000 including a £90,000 lottery grant, as the town council did not have such finance available.

"The company we are working with has assured us that it will be attractive for young people to use, but I don't want to raise expectations that it will be like the Ipswich project, which was very expensive," added Mrs Robinson.

The site will be the playing field between Safeway and Chelsworth Road.

The council has agreed to underwrite £30,000 of the £70,000 cost, while £20,000 would come from play schemes contributions generated by housing development, £15,000 from Suffolk Coastal, and £5,000 each from Awards for All and the Crime and Disorder Partnership.

It is hoped youngsters will do some fundraising and sponsorship and other partnership funding will also be sought.

Felixstowe mayor Doreen Savage said: "I hope everyone will be 100 per cent behind this as it is something we really do need to provide after all these years of looking and discussing it.

"I think the decision not to use Langer Park is right because if it did cause noise problems the phones would be red-hot with complaints."

Town councillor Dave Cawdron said: "I have spoken to a lot of young people and they are really up for this. They are prepared to help out with fundraising and I think that's great because it will mean they look after and respect it."

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