Call to lift strict skatepark conditions
A skatepark committee has appealed for people to fill in a survey as they attempt to get a series of strict planning conditions lifted.
The Stamford community raised more than £150,000 to build the skatepark on the town’s Recreation Ground.
But after complaints from a small number of neighbouring residents, planning officers at South Kesteven District Council imposed a number of restrictions governing noise and opening hours.
As a result the skatepark committee had to raise extra money to install an acoustic fence, lockable gate and CCTV. Stamford Town Council, which owns the Recreation Ground and was fully supportive of the skatepark, had to employ a park keeper to unlock and lock the gate every day.
The skatepark has been in daily use by people of all ages since it opened in December 2013. Numbers regularly reach 30 to 40 users at a time and concerns about noise have been largely unfounded, as demonstrated by two acoustic surveys which found noise to be within acceptable levels. But the district council still requires further surveys, at a cost of about £1,000 a year to the committee.
Stamford Town Council has therefore launched a survey asking both users and other “interested parties” for their views on three proposed changes to the skatepark’s planning conditions.
The proposals are:
l To change Sunday and bank holiday opening hours to 9am to 9pm. The park currently has to close at 5pm on these days.
l To remove the requirement for further acoustic testing, having demonstrated that noise is within acceptable levels.
l To remove the requirement for the town council to reapply to the district council to remain open every 12 months.
According to the survey: “Over the past 12 months the skatepark has proved that it can be used responsibly like the other recreational facilities provided within the Recreation Ground.”
The full survey document can be found online at www.stamfordtowncouncil.co.uk. People can either print off and fill in the form, or e-mail their comments to the council.
Writing on the Stamford Skatepark Facebook page, committee member Sally Jordan said: “When everyone sent in their comments to the council to get planning permission a few years ago, that is what convinced them to let us build the skatepark.”