Still no park for town’s skaters

Selston sunken skate park.
Selston sunken skate park.

YOUNG people around Ilkeston are still without a place to skate despite the council saying that it planned to rebuild one in Kirk Hallam.

At an Erewash Borough Council planning committee meeting last Wednesday councillors unanimously approved plans to build a £70,000 ‘multi user games area’ on land off Windsor Crescent – but there was no skatepark contained in the plans.

This has left town teenagers dismayed after the authority’s director of operational services Phil Wright said in November last year that a skatepark would form part of the new park.

Kirk Hallam resident Damien Robey, 19, said: “Everyone around here was getting really excited thinking that there was going to be a new skatepark.

“There is going to be a lot of people really disappointed.”

However, the planning committee has now agreed to visit Selston, where there is a popular skatepark partly sunken into the ground to absorb noise, to look at the possibility of bringing one to Kirk Hallam.

In October 2009 a skate park in Wyndale Drive in Kirk Hallam was torn down by council bulldozers and allegedly stored away after complaints of noise from residents.

The Advertiser asked to see the equipment in November 2010 but were refused on health and safety grounds.

But Mr Wright said that a skatepark would form part of the new park planned for Windsor Crescent.

However, plans for the new games area given the green light last week, which has been part-funded by lottery cash, consists of a fenced-off, floodlit pitch with football nets and basketball hoops but no skatepark.

Cllr Louis Booth, who has been campaigning for the return of the skatepark, told the committee: “This facility will be embraced by young people and all the councillors realise it is much needed.

“We have also had it brought to our attention the lack of a skatepark.

“If you were to look at putting a sunken skate park facility in like the ones in Selston and Ripley, you could please a lot of people.”

Committee member Cllr John Frudd said: “Let’s have a skatepark alongside it.

“A sunken one would be excellent.”