The long running saga as to where a skatepark might be built to the west of the town returns to the West Swindon Forum on Monday 13 January.
Following considerable pressure from objectors during 2013 to review the original proposal to build it at Salt Way Fields in Middleleaze – which was discussed at the forum twice in 2012 – a further round of consultation and a survey of all West Swindon residents was launched in November.
Three sites were put forward – Rivermead Drive, close to the Spectrum/Renault building, Shaw Ridge (close to the leisure park), and a new location at Salt Way Fields.
Community preferences for the site is for Rivermead Drive, the furthest away from housing and not easy to get to for younger skateboarder. However young people at West Swindon primary and secondary schools have selected the Shaw Ridge site as it easy to access.
Click to open the reports to the forum, including the result of the skatepark consultation survey.
At a public drop-in held in West Swindon library on 30 November keen skateboarder Robert Wells, 23, from Eastleaze said he was disappointed that it has taken so long for a decision to be made.
“Salt Way is my first preference because it’s available to all, but Shaw Ridge is close to where I live and Rivermead is next to where I work.
“The design is really good; it’s not very large but it shows skaters have been involved in making it a technical challenge. The other skate facilities in Swindon are badly designed or just worn out.
Pictured: Robert Wells with West Swindon Forum chairman Cllr Michael Bray with plans for the skate park
"I can see it will attract people from all over so Rivermead will be better for some people because it’s out of the way.
“But I think younger skaters are going to be excluded because Rivermead is too far from where people live. Parents will have to take them by car, or you’ll see kids walking along the main road to get there.”
Shaw Residents’ Association organised a discussion with skaters from across West Swindon and it was agreed that the site off Rivermead Drive is the least intrusive on housing, is close to a road for emergency services and offers potential for future expansion
Grange Park resident Peter Fielden said: “I don’t care which site the skate park is built on, just get on with it. Swindon is too big not to have a good facility. The young lads who first lobbied for a skate park must be sick and tired of adults arguing about it.”
Michael Mills from Ramleaze went to the library to look at the plans.
“We think Rivermead is best because it’s furthest from housing,” he said.
“But we’re not sure a skate park is needed in West Swindon. There are other areas with more children.”