Work will begin on the new Hampden Park skatepark after the designs were unani-
mously approved by the planning committee this week.
The project has been in the pipeline for a number of years and was finally given the green light at the meeting on Tuesday evening (July 8).
Councillors were all in support of the new skatepark, which will be sited on the disused rifle range in Hampden Park - a location chosen ahead of Cross Levels Way at a Cabinet meeting in July 2013.
The plans feature the installation of a concrete, plaza-style skatepark covering an area of approximately 600 square metres and including a concrete bowl. The height of the ramps will be almost two metres above existing ground level, some of which will be remodelled to incorporate banking.
The skatepark has been very specifically designed to be suitable for all levels of skaters from beginners to advanced level and has also been situated in an area to get maximum sunlight to be able to dry out the concrete when it rains.
A representative from the Friends of Hampden Park spoke at the meeting and said the group felt more could be made of the development, including combining the skatepark with the BMX track, which would save money in the long term, and creating an arena so people could watch the action.
However, councillors felt the project had already been held up for too long and were keen to approve the scheme without any additional changes or delays.
The subject of spectators was discussed, though, and it was felt the raised banks could be higher in order for visitors to get a better view. This comment was noted by the planning officer.
One other issue discussed at the meeting was that of graffiti, with Councillor Colin Murdoch making reference to skateparks in Gildredge Park and on the seafront that promised no graffiti during consultation but have been decorated with street art since construction. However, the general consensus was that graffiti is part and parcel of the ambience of a skatepark and could even present a chance for young people to create an inspiring piece of art.
The approval means the wheels can now be put in motion for the building work to begin at Hampden Park.