Youngsters do need skate park - but where is suitable?

FURTHER to the letter from G O’Neill of Vicarage Road (December 16), I wholeheartedly agree with everything he says about skateboarding being good for young boys - both healthwise and socially.

I have five grandsons myself and can see how much they enjoy skateboarding and the benefit they get from the social side. I also know how well the older boys look after the youngsters. Having done a lot of sport myself in my childhood and as a teenager, I know how beneficial it is to lead an active sporting life.

Skateboarding I am all for - but it is the location of the skate park I am against. The proposed skate park is in Manor Gardens, not Gildredge Park, which would have been a more suitable location but for the close proximity of houses and flats.

It would be in the open and well overlooked for safety and allowing people to enjoy watching the incredible moves they manage on their board. It is a park where you expect sporting activities to take place.

In Manor Gardens, it will be hidden between hedge rows, trees, flowerbeds and rose gardens, and as you say, the eight foot barrier the council plans to build will be of great concern both for safety of the younger skateboarders and very unsightly.

The council has spent a lot of money (from the Skate Park Lottery Fund) to research the level of noise generated by skate parks while in use and the result was that “the level of noise created from the skateboards banging on the surface, is at such a level it is highly likely to produce complaints from the people living around the garden and park”. (I wish they could have rubber on their wheels, but I expect there is a good reason why they can’t.)

Therefore they decided erecting this eight foot barrier would solve the problem. I agree with you, it is not the answer. It would be better for all concerned, to site the skate park where it is not too close to houses.

There are three skate parks in Eastbourne - one in Shinewater, one on the seafront near the Sovereign Centre and an indoor one off Lottbridge Drove. There are also plans, as far as I know, to rebuild the skate park at Cross Level Way.

I know there are none within easy walking distance of Old Town and this is precisely the problem.

How can we best solve it to every body’s satisfaction? I wish I knew the answer.

We are so lucky living to be surrounded by green spaces and parks, and the sea. What more can you ask for?

Yet, we have a problem with finding a suitable area for a skate park. Longland Recreation Ground (Old Town Recreation Ground) looks like a good open space, but rejected by the council due to the closeness of the houses. Perhaps somewhere between Eastbourne Downs Golf Club and the Youth Hostel on East Dean Road could be a suitable place?

I really hope everybody concerned could get together, put their thinking cap on, and come up with an answer.

KIRSTEN HEPBURN

Park Close