‘Unsafe’ BMX park to stay closed for forseeable future

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

Sudbury’s BMX park will remain shut until substantial funds can be found for long-needed repairs.

The gates of Belle Vue Park have been locked for more than two weeks, restricting entry for BMX enthusiasts.

Council bosses revealed this week that the park may not be available for some considerable time, as it is too dangerous.

“The BMX park is currently classed as unsafe and we have been advised by health and safety to close it,” said Jacqui Howells, Sudbury Town Council’s deputy clerk.

“We have been patching it up for a while as the equipment is getting old, but the work has just been a sticking plaster and it will take a lot of investment to get it right.”

Mrs Howells said the park, which is owned by Babergh District Council, was subject to weekly inspections but had failed to satisfy officials it could be used safely.

“Health and safety is paramount and, at the moment, I have no idea when it will reopen,” she said.

“It is a question of finding the money and talking with Babergh about the plans. It is a shame as it is well used.”

The park, which cost £26,000 to build, was opened in 2005 following a campaign by a group of youngsters from the town.

Town councillor Lesley Ford-Platt, who was at the opening, said she believed the stunt park had come to the end of its “safe life”.

“It has been in use for quite a long time,” she said. “There are holes in equipment and it all needs replacing.”

Mrs Ford-Platt said there was a possibility the BMX park could be relocated to another site within Belle Vue with one option to combine it with the skate park.

“I am really sad the young people have not got that facility as it was very popular,” said Mrs Ford-Platt.

“It is frustrating for them that they cannot use it and hopefully something can be sorted out with Babergh as soon as possible.”

Hotel chain Premier Inn is reported to have been in talks with the district council about buying the land used by the BMX park, but no deal has been reached.