Originally Published: Chorley Guardian
Published Date: 04 March 2009
By Natalie Banks
Furious Chorley residents have hit back at claims that vandals have wrecked a skate park and have insisted that contractors are to blame.
The chairman and secretary of the Chorley Moor Residents Group claim that the state of the Buttermere skate park and play area can't be blamed on the youngsters who use the facility, but instead Chorley Council, which is responsible for building it.
The pair said that the park, which cost more than £200,000 to install, has never been finished - with parts of the old play area posing a threat to health and safety.
Secretary Ayshea Clegg, whose home in Buttermere Avenue overlooks the skate park, said: "It is not vandals who are making the skate park a no-go area, it is the people who were responsible for building it.
"The surface is full of pot holes - you can't ride your bike across it.
"The park opened last year, but it has never been finished and we want the work to be done so that it can be something people living in the area can be proud of.
"Litter is an issue on the park, but it is only this week that a bin has finally been installed. Also, the play equipment that they have put on the park is not suitable for the younger children who are too small to use the bucket swing."
Neighbour and chairman of the residents group, Lisa McDermott added: "It is the contractors who have left the park in a mess.
"We want the park to be finished in time for summer so that the children can enjoy it. We don't have problems with gangs, it's just lads playing football and they even call for my son to ask him to join in."
Coun John Walker, Chorley Council's executive member for people, said: "The people who used the play area told us they didn't like the old equipment and that it wasn't suitable for their age group.
"That's why we asked them what they wanted - now we've provided that the play area is very popular and has had very little vandalism.
"We felt it was important to focus on the young people's wishes and given the cost of the equipment it's not been possible to replace the surface. However, once more funding becomes available we intend to put a new surface down.
"We admit there have been problems with litter but we are actively working to sort these issues out."
Designs for new skate park wanted
Skateboarders, BMX bikers and in-line skaters are being asked to help design a new extreme sports park in Blackpool.
The new state-of-the-art park will replace the current run down skate park at the town's Stanley Park.
Blackpool Council and UK Extreme Sports Limited want local teenagers and parents to give them their ideas on what the facility should contain.
Anyone interested in getting involved is invited to a meeting at Stanley Park Visitor Centre at 1800 GMT on Tuesday.
The council said the agreed designs will be submitted as part of the funding application process.
A trust of partners will then be set up to oversee fundraising and the design and build.
The project is expected to take 12 months to complete.
Councillor Tony Williams, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, said: "A new skate park would bring a new dimension to Blackpool's Stanley Park.
"I hope that anyone interested in this idea will come to the meeting on Tuesday to give us their ideas and help us make the new park as great as it can be."
A MASSIVE skate park which closed recently could be transformed into industrial units or offices.
The owners of the Interact Skate Park, at the Bank Hall Works, off Colne Road, have submitted a planning application to Burnley Council, but the plans have not won the backing of all groups in Burnley.
Interact opened in July, 2004, to a huge fanfare and was hailed as the biggest and best skate park in Europe, but only four years later owners James Pollard and Sons closed the park and have now applied to return it to industrial use.
Mr John Wilcock, a director at the agents JWPC Ltd, Clitheroe, said: "We've had meetings with Burnley Council and there are a number of options open at the moment.
"The guidance given by the council was just to apply for a broad use classification at the moment. This can be anything from light industrial use through to storage and distribution.
"For instance, this could be small commercial units, offices or manufacturing. The aim is to put the site into a respectful, active use which is already well-screened with mature trees. It already has a dedicated access."
The Bank Hall Works was once home to the former Lec cold storage unit, but Burnley Civic Society has written to Burnley Council objecting to the new plans.
Secretary Mr David Smith said: "We do not think the site is suitable for industrial use. Many people, including parents and young children, use a path at nearby Browhead Park and we are concerned lorries would be travelling to the site.
"The civic society feels that really it would be better if the site was retained for leisure use, which would be more in keeping with the surrounding area."
The application is expected to be discussed at the Development Control Committee meeting in January.
Here's an urgent bit of news for anyone in the Liverpool or indeed anyone in the North West.
A SKATE park planned for Cockermouth’s Harris Park could be built elsewhere following concerns of locals.
HEYWOOD NDC will have to re-apply for funding for a skatepark after being forced to give back a £30,000 grant.
The NW will see yet another skateboard all-nigher, this time in Liverpool.
There's a charity event to be held in January in Manchester to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
It's back in Blackpool.