New shelter at Essex skatepark

PUBLISHED: 12:02 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 31 May 2010

A NEW shelter is to be built at a skatepark despite concerns that it could attract the wrong type of people to use it. Councillors agreed a three-month trial period for a shelter which is to be erected at the western end of Saffron Walden s One Minet Pa

A NEW shelter is to be built at a skatepark despite concerns that it could attract the 'wrong type' of people to use it.

Councillors agreed a three-month trial period for a shelter which is to be erected at the western end of Saffron Walden's One Minet Park, near the Lord Butler Leisure Centre.

Cllr Jim Ketteridge said the residents of nearby Tukes Way, who feared people would congregate at the shelter late at night, had to be listened to. "My concern is what happens at 12 o'clock at night? To be disturbed on a regular basis late at night is a really serious issue," he said.

The three-month trial period for the shelter was agreed at a meeting of Saffron Walden Town Council on Wednesday July 16.

Skate group secretary Jane Clark said: "The shelter will be a facility that the whole community can use. Dog walkers, skaters, mums with prams or anyone who wants some shade will benefit."

Money to build the shelter - a sail roof structure with a concrete floor and seating - was applied for by the group with support from the Saffron Walden Initiative and the Saffron Walden Partnership. The Essex Community Initiative Fund provided £7500 to pay for the project.

"We carried out our own consultation with residents of Tukes Way and Peal Road and found that an overwhelming number of people were in favour of the shelter," said Ms Clark.

"We had a number of lovely letters from people saying how much they enjoyed the sight of children having fun. We only had one letter against it."

However Cllr Sandra Eden said she had received a number of letters from people who were against the shelter and said she wanted to make sure that "noise and discomfort" levels were kept to a minimum.

The shelter will be lit, but the lights will turn off at 10pm - the same time as the skatepark floodlights.

Cllr Richard Freeman said the council should have the "courage" to act and approve the shelter and not let the decision be "hijacked by a handful of people on Tukes Way".

The shelter will be erected once the CCTV camera at the skatepark is fully operational and can record any evidence of the facility being misused.

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