Sacrifices made for new skate park

Now planning for the skate park in Manor Gardens has been approved, I would like to point out to the nice young boys and men who will use it that with this privilege comes responsibilities on their side as well.

I hope they are ready to enforce the no skating through the garden to and from the skate park rule and are prepared to clear up any rubbish and mess left around the area. Additional rubbish bins are to be provided for this purpose.

And most of all ensure the 2.5m (8 ft) high wall, which is to be erected partly around the skate park to help lessen the noise created by the skate boards, is not used as a graffiti wall. I also hope they are ready and willing to spend some time removing any graffiti, should they be unable to prevent this happening.

I hope they realize in order for them to have the use of a skate park on their doorstep, sacrifices are being made by a lot of people living around the Manor Gardens as well as those coming to the gardens for a walk enjoying the wild life and peace and quiet. A lot of them have already sacrificed a lot during the war to enable us to live the life of freedom which we all enjoy so much today.

We need to show them our gratitude and ensure they still have this space which they can use in safety. Remember that you with your young and fit legs, apparently find it too much to travel to one of the other three skate parks we have in Eastbourne, so I am sure you will understand that for the older generation it is even more important they do not have to travel to another park for their walk in peace and quiet. I find it difficult though, to think of another park within walking distance for a 70-year-old plus person, which can offer them the same as Manor Gardens does today. These are some of the sacrifices made for you.

I must admit I was very disappointed and shocked by the cunning way the 2.5m (8ft) high noise reduction wall was introduced at the skate park planning meeting in October. First of all it highlighted the necessity of such a wall to protect the houses around the skate park from the noise created by this activity. There was no mention of the noise to be endured by those walking in the park or enjoying a picnic. If noise is too loud for the people in their houses, I am wondering if we are going to hear birds singing while in the park or if indeed there will be any birds left to enjoy.

There will definitely be no more peace and quiet to enjoy while the skate park is in use.

Secondly it was introduced in such a way it gave nobody attending the meeting the opportunity to comment. Such a high wall in the middle of the garden will make an enormously detrimental visual impact and greatly change the ambiance of Manor Gardens. Then, and this is what I found most upsetting, was the way all members, except for one, thank you Councillor Jenkins from Sovereign Harbour ward, of the planning committee said they “could not find any reason” to reject the planning for the skate park.

This was justified by the fact there were already sporting activities taking place like tennis and basketball. The noise from a tennis court, or basketball for that matter, is nothing like the noise from a skate park and because there already are tennis courts there, it does not mean it is a suitable area for a skate park too. They are two totally different activities.

Have you ever tried to play tennis with a constant noise of crashing and banging from a skate park next to you? You wouldn’t because most councils would realize these two activities just do not go together. With the proposed erection of the wall to reduce the noise level it is accepted and agreed it is a noisy activity which would otherwise be subject to complaints from neighbouring houses. I have never heard of the activity of playing tennis or basketball being subject to complaints due to noise.

I can only hope the council will in the end see sense and not subject this little garden to such a dramatic invasion of its very being.

Kirsten Hepburn

Park Close