The plan for a skatepark on The Rec in Stamford was finally approved by councillors on Tuesday. Planning officers had recommended that permission should be refused, sparking protests from campaigners. Here readers give their reaction to the recommendation from the officers. I have decided to publish the letters, even though the scheme has now got the go-ahead, because I feel the writers make some excellent points... Eileen Green, editor
Shocked, annoyed and irritated. That was my immediate reaction on reading your headline in last Friday’s Mercury.
My admiration for those involved with raising such a huge amount for this fantastic project, is unbounded.
They deserve praise and should not be thwarted by the short sighted nimbyism of what I believe to be no more than 10 objectors living close by.
How can it be that when thousands are in favour of a project and a handful are against, the planning application fails. How many of those complainants are actually within sound range of the proposed skatepark?
Noise is the main issue. The nearest house must be at least 150 yards away. Are there no other extraneous noises coming from a public recreation ground?
Everyone who lives in the properties bounding the rec, have a busy, noisy, road running very close to them.
This minority chose to live next to a recreation ground (note the first word). When you choose to live in a property, you weigh up the pros and cons. You are within a short walking distance of the town with all its amenities. You can go for a drink or two and not worry about driving home. On the cons side, I will have people walking home late at night, who have had a few drinks,having enjoyed themselves in town.
You have the privilege of having an open aspect, looking out over a lovely green space. However, it’s a public, open green space.
People meet for a social chat, play football, tennis or basketball etc. They take their sometimes noisy dogs for a walk. Parents take their children to use the great new play area. These activities inevitably involve one thing. Noise. Now there’s the real shocker.
No doubt those who are mean of spirit, have a sameness about them. They are the same people who complain about how the youth of today hang around on street corners getting drunk, chucking rubbish without thought, ripping up plants, generally being anti-social and shouting and screaming!
Well here’s a constructive, responsible project run by extremely dedicated and determined people, aiming to give the youth of Stamford something to be proud of. Diverting their excess energies into a sociable activity which keeps them fit, out of mischief and if you care to look, is very skilful. If they don’t behave, I’m told there’s a police station close by.
I’d like to appeal directly to the objectors. Negotiate with the committee. Make sensible compromises, which recognises the fact that the rec is an open space for all to enjoy in our own different ways. Remember you were young once and you enjoyed burning off your energy and making noise. It’s what we all did when we had the environment to do it. I still do now!
Please reconsider your actions so the enjoyment of the many will not be thwarted by the actions of you, the few.
College Close, Great Casterton
I have four grandchildren. Two live in Deeping, where there is a skate park and a BMX track. Both these facilities are within metres of residential properties.
I have just watched a football match at Werrington. The edge of the pitch was no more than three metres from the garden fences of adjacent properties.
South Kesteven District Council meanwhile rewards the hard work and enthusiasm shown by Stamford children and teenagers over the last two years, by a final slap in the face.
Surely it is only logical. Children, like most people live in urban areas therefore facilities have to be provided in urban areas. Where better than in a Recreation Ground. The clue is in the name “Recreation”.
Perhaps we should dig the whole thing up and plant flowers. No. Sorry that didn’t work in Casterton Road.
Perhaps the solution would be to take the objectors to a nearby facility such as the one at Deeping on a Saturday afternoon and let them see how little noise is generated by a solid structure.
Sutherland Way, Stamford
After years of tireless effort, fundraising, convincing the hearts and minds of many Stamford people as well as winning over the town council, I find it a disgrace that the plans for a much needed skatepark and youth facility should be placed in dire straits by narrow minded and short sighted council officials.
The issue of youth facilities has been a bugbear of mine for long as I care to remember and I am still convinced that the district council looks at Stamford as its cash cow and that it would be quite happy not to alter or change this town one bit unless in was of benefit to itself!
Granted I can see people’s concerns over anti-social behaviour and noise but do we not get this problem on any street, in any town, in any pub and in any area of open land where people congregate?
Also the use of park keeps the skaters, boarders and BMX riders out of the way of pedestrians and off the various ledges, rails etc in the town.
The short-sightedness of council officials bugs me – it is not too hard to see that the youth are the future and those are the ones who will keep the future of Stamford healthy and prosperous and the beautiful place it is.
We need to embrace all aspects of youth activities that will help this generation develop and in turn help that generation. I really hope that this much needed facility gets built otherwise it is a sad day for Stamford.
Perth Road, Stamford
I am dismayed to learn that planning officials are recommending that the new skatepark should be refused planning permission because of concerns about noise.
I’m afraid that my view is that if you choose to live next to an urban park then you have to accept some additional noise.
The Rec is a public amenity shared by all Stamford residents and those living adjacent to it shouldn’t expect to have a casting vote over what happens there.
I think it’s also important to bear in mind that the previous skate ramp on The Rec wasn’t closed because of noise or nuisance but simply because the structure itself was unsafe.
Considering the hugely impressive efforts of the adults and young people involved with the Stamford Skatepark Committee I sincerely hope that the district council planning officers will change their minds on this issue.
I fully support the need for a skatepark here in Stamford. if you live near to a park you expect a certain amount of noise.
I would rather see young people enjoying themselves on a purpose-built park rather than the high street or our roads, putting themselves and others at risk.
Let’s stop dithering about and build this skatepark this year, not in the next century.
Elm Street, Stamford