Skatepark wish list revealed by survey

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Sudbury’s skate park users would like to see a new, multi-purpose site that could be accessed by all, for longer hours and potentially floodlit, and based at Belle Vue Park – according to the results of a recent consultation.

Earlier this year more than 260 people took part in the public consultation, organised by Babergh District Council.

The aim of the consultation was to provide direction for a new user group of people keen to find a location for a new skate and BMX park in Sudbury.

As part of Babergh’s Joint Strategic Plan, the council has committed to helping to guide community-led solutions to deliver services and assets in towns and villages across the district. The council worked with the Make A Difference (MAD) group, members of the public keen to form a user group and Sudbury Town Council, in a bid to identify a site and bring forward a ramp park in the town to be used by BMX, scooter and skateboard enthusiasts.

The top location choice was to keep the ramp park at the site of the town’s existing skate park in Belle Vue Park, with a second preference of Woodhall Business Park.

Local resident Jonathan Sandford is the chairman of the user group. He said: “The consultation is a really important part of this process. It shows Babergh the strength of local feeling there is for this type of facility and also provides them with useful direction and scope for the project as it enters the next phase.

“I think we need to stress that this isn’t going to happen overnight but the user group is determined that we will keep working together with the council to bring this idea to the community as quickly as possible.

“Hadleigh’s experience, and the facility they have ended up with as the result of hard work, working together and joint fundraising, is a real inspiration to us and we will not give up until we are as successful as they have been.”

Results also showed that the majority of people who responded were in the target age groups of 15-20 years (35 per cent) and under 15 years (just under 15 per cent). All who responded wanted to see a multi-use facility where skateboarding, BMX bikes, scooters, and, possibly, inline skaters, could mix at the same time. More than 60 per cent of people who responded said they would like to see this facility have a concrete surface with ramps.

All of the information collected is being used to shape the next steps of the project and Babergh is still exploring all of the location options.

Cllr Jan Osborne, Babergh District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Capacity Building and Engagement, said: “The response to the consultation was fantastic and we are delighted so many people took part. We have collated all of the responses and are now looking at all of the sites, and feedback received, in detail to decide on the next steps and options are available to us.

“We now need to find out which location is the best compromise and offers us the best chance of bring the idea of a new ramp park to reality. I think we need to stress that this isn’t going to happen overnight but the user group is determined that we will keep working together with the council to bring this idea to the community as quickly as possible.”

Anyone who would like to join the User Group is asked to contact Jonathan on: jonsandford@gmail.com OR via facebook.com/sud vburyskatepark2016