Agenda item

Skate Park Update

(1)  To receive a verbal update regarding the provision of a skate park at Alice Park.


(2)  The Trust Sub-Committee is also asked to consider whether they wish to request the Group Manager, Neighbourhood Environmental Services, to seek approval to add to the Cabinet forward plan a request for the Cabinet Members to release the £97k provisional capital for the sole purpose of building a skatepark in Alice Park.  To be spent in the 2017/18 financial year.


The Chair explained that the Sub-Committee had met informally at Alice Park to look at designs for the skate park.  As a result of that meeting officers have been requested to arrange a meeting with the company that is designing the skate park on behalf of the Council to discuss ways in which the design could be refined.


Cllr Appleyard reported that he had now met with the designers and an officer and had further discussed the size and location of the skate park.  It was now proposed that the petanque court would remain in its current position and that the skate park would “dog-leg” within the area of the trees.  Landscaping could also be provided to improve the appearance of the facility.  It was anticipated that the project would be delivered by the end of March 2018.


Members then discussed the following issues:


·  Canvas, the designers, would consult with the user group and others as necessary.  They would also take into consideration ways to decrease the noise generated by skate park users, such as a more sunken design and bunding around the outside of the structure.


·  Michael Hewitt, Legal Services Manager, explained that the Trust would need to agree for the Council to lease the land for the use of a skate park.  The Council would then construct the facility within the funding envelope available and provide maintenance as necessary.


·  Cllr Appleyard explained that the original design had been scaled back having considered concerns expressed by local residents.


·  Members noted that the original design had been very large and welcomed the smaller footprint.  Paul Hooper still had concerns about the location as this area was often used for picnics and other park activities.  He also stressed the need for a contingency fund for the project and a full risk assessment.


·  Cllr Ward acknowledged that it was important to balance the requirements of some local residents for a skate park alongside the concerns of other residents about the effect it would have on the park as a whole.  He felt that the skate park should not be too big and should not dominate.  He was also keen to ensure that other park improvements take place.  The recent survey carried out by Tony Hickman at the café had shown that park users wanted a number of other improvements and facilities.  He hoped that there would be some remaining funding left for this purpose.


·  Cllr Patterson did not agree with the proposal to scale back the size of the skate park as she felt it would not be challenging enough which could lead to it not being fit for purpose.  She also had concerns regarding leaves from the trees falling onto the skate park.


·  It was noted that planning permission for the skate park was not required as the work could be carried out under permitted development rights.


Cllr Ward then moved a motion which was seconded by Cllr Norton. 


Following further discussion and minor amendments to the motion, in order to speedily resolve the skate park issue and bring forward the possibility of early construction, it was RESOLVED unanimously:


(1)  That a final design be proposed which shall comply with the eight points below and that a public consultation be held in order to take into consideration in full the views of park users and local residents.  With consideration of the Conveyance between Herbert Montgomerie McVicar and the Trustees of Alice Park, the Trustees agree to construction of a skate park on the following basis:


(a)  It shall be of a size more proportionate (i.e. approximately 50% of the size of the original design) to the size of the park so that it shall in no way dominate the park or detract from the enjoyment of other park users and neighbouring residential occupiers.


(b)  It will be designed for starter skate boarders in mind.


(c)  It will be designed for maximum possible noise attenuation within the available budget.


(d)  No trees will be cut, trimmed or removed for its construction.  The Boules area will not be removed or relocated.


(e)  A contribution of the allocated fund (as set out in resolution 2 below) will be gifted to the Trustees of the park for improvements in playground equipment.


(f)  B&NES Council will oversee the construction and ensure that the Trustees’ requirements are met with their costs met by the funds allocated.


(g)  B&NES Council will be responsible for the regular safety inspection, maintenance and cleaning of the skate park through its whole life.  Should it become dilapidated or neglected, the Council will be responsible for the cost of its removal and for the reinstatement of the ground.


(h)  There will be suitable and sufficient screening and planting incorporated into the design as necessary.


(2)  The Group Manager, Neighbourhood Environmental Services, be requested to seek approval to add to the Cabinet forward plan, a request for the Cabinet Members to release the £97k provisional capital funding for the sole purpose of building a skate park in Alice Park and to allocate any remaining funds to be spend on wider park improvements.  The funds to be spent in the 2017/18 financial year.