No new skatepark to be built this year

PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 October 2015

Skateboard

Skateboard

Archant

SKATERS and BMX riders in Weston-super-Mare who are hoping for a new skatepark in the town will have to wait until at least next year before one is built.

Plans to develop Hutton Moor Skate Park were discussed during Weston Town Council’s tourism committee meeting on Monday.

But despite agreeing the park needs upgrading, the town council said there were a number of obstacles before the project could be built.

Town clerk Malcolm Nicholson said: “We wanted to renew the lease and replace the skate park, which was nearing the end of its life, so we carried out community engagement to find out what park users would want.”

The authority conducted surveys, asking for users to submit ideas for improving the facility.

More than 180 people replied, with results showing skaters come from as far afield as Yatton and Axbridge to use the park, most users are male and under the age of 24 and a third of people who replied said they go every day.

But people also said the park was ‘poor and outdated’, ‘too dangerous to use’, ‘badly made’ and was home to ‘bullies and drug users’.

Suggestions to improve the park included a smooth concrete surface, street ramps, a half-pipe and seating.

Two mock-up designs, one costing £150,000 and one costing £90,000, were shown to those surveyed, and Mr Nicholson said: “A couple of designs were shown to potential users and understandably they liked the most expensive one.”

The town council agreed nothing could be done until next financial year so grant funding can be secured.

A working party will now identify fundraising opportunities and work with users to develop a new park.

The town council also raised concerns as North Somerset Council had suggested it might expand Hutton Moor Leisure Centre by building a second swimming pool on tennis courts next to the skate park.

Cllr John Crockford Hawley said: “I think we need to establish North Somerset Council’s intentions, we don’t want to do anything if it is a site North Somerset Council has intentions for.”

North Somerset said it is reviewing its leisure services and will not be able to confirm whether a new pool will be built at Hutton Moor until this is complete later this year.

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