An informal meeting was held on the 27 November at the ATB skate park in Hawksworth industrial estate, between members of the SRA and the West Swindon skate community, writes Kevin Fisher, chair of the Shaw Residents’ Association.
The objectives of the meeting were to enable the airing of views and opinions, to put right misunderstandings and misconceptions and to see if there was enough common ground to enable a joint set of recommendations.
The eleven points below are a summary of the agreements:
1. Of the three proposed sites it is believed that Rivermead will have the fewest objections from local people followed by Shaw Ridge and then Salt Way;
2. Future proofing the site is important and we believe Rivermead is the site best suited for potential expansion both from a physical and an objection by local people standpoint;
3. Salt Way has many local objectors who are only likely to be appeased if a security fence and restricted access is included in the plan;
4. Security fences will add significant up-front and long term maintenance cost thereby reducing the spend on the actual skate park;
5. Users of the facility do not want a security fence as the fence will hinder skaters and, unless opening times are maximised to available daylight seven days a week, a small minority are likely to find a way in regardless of whether it is locked or not;
6. If anti-social behaviour occurs it will be from non-skaters;
7. Anti-social behaviour, particularly after dark, is more likely in locations that are more accessible; therefore Shaw Ridge will be the most prone to this, followed by Salt Way and then Rivermead;
8. Should anti-social behaviour occur after dark, it is likely to result in the site being vandalised or littered with broken glass (or worse) – this will add considerable maintenance costs to the facility and may even result in it becoming unusable;
9. Both the SRA and members of West Swindon Skate community are keen for the facility to be built on a location that will have the least negative impact on local people, be future proofed from an expansion and maintenance cost standpoint and have the lowest probability of undesirable elements frequenting the facility after dark;
10. Both the SRA and members of West Swindon Skate community wish to see the facility built as quickly as possible and ideally be open for use by the summer of 2014.
11. Based on all these points, of the three options, the SRA and members of West Swindon Skate community believe Rivermead to be the right location.
Swindon Council is carrying out a survey as to which of three sites has the most support across the community.
West Swindon Councillors and council officers have identified the sites based on access routes, land availability and distance from housing:
• Rivermead Drive (near the Spectrum building)
• Saltway Fields, Middleleaze
• Shaw Ridge (behind Shaw Leisure Park)
The consultation ends on Sunday 15 December.
There is a public drop-in session to find out more at the library on Saturday 30th November, 11am to 2pm
To give your opinion on which would be the best location for local skateboarders and scooter users in West Swindon, you can:
• Fill in a paper survey available from West Swindon Library;
• Request a survey to be posted to you by calling 01793 466223 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Complete the online survey at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/PCV6BXR