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Plans for a new skatepark in Lichfield have been rejected. There have been lengthy campaigns for such a facility, but Lichfield District Council refused permission for one to be built on land in Beacon Park. In a refusal notice, planning chiefs said the location was “inappropriate” because of the noise and disturbance it would cause to nearby residents. The news will be a blow to local skaters – particularly given a report to the planning committee recommended that the scheme be given the green light. The report said: “The noise levels created by such movements [of skaters] would not be any greater in frequency or volume than the noise which may already be created by passing vehicles or pedestrians. “The application could not be resisted on this basis. “Overall, it is considered that these proposals would not result in any significant greater impact on the amenity of nearby residential properties through noise or anti social behaviour, and as such would comply with the development plan policy.” However, planning chiefs threw out the proposals after receiving 82 signatures from residents of the nearby Beacon Park Village. As well as raising concerns over potential noise and anti-social behaviour, objections were also put forward on the grounds that the proposed area is currently a quiet section of the park. For more details on the application and to view the refusal notice, visit the Lichfield District Council planning website. [poll id=”9″]

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

30 replies on “Planning chiefs reject proposal for new skatepark in Beacon Park”

  1. Split on this topic.

    I agree the location is probably inappropriate but a skate park should be built if there is demand for one. It’s simply not good enough to refuse to cater for one end of the age spectrum whilst not looking after the other.

    There must be plenty of sites available within the confines of Lichfield.

  2. 86 Signature against? is there even 86 people living in the close proximity to the proposed site? Im not a skater but I believe they need and deservce somewhere to go and practice their sport.

    I knwo that people have been pushin for a skate park for a while now and typicaly Lichfield DC are making very slow progress.

  3. read this as ‘bunch of old people (including the planning cheifs!) alienate youngsters, blocking much needed facilities’

    let’s take bets on how long it takes for those old people to moan about how little respect young people have for their elders….. I wonder why?!

  4. Well you could see this one coming from a mile off. Why does everything that involves youth projects get opposed by all that have nothing else better to do than hold this city back. More to the point why do city bosses take more notice of them than future votes and tax payers? Maybe everyone under the age of 55 should sign a petition to stop mobility scooters from being used in the city centers so that we don’t have to be run over by the anti social oap’s. No wounder people with kids want to get the hell out of here.

  5. I’m confused. Is this the same as the Lichfield Skatepark Association proposal or something different?
    I thought the LSA scheme was much bigger than the one mentioned in this article.

  6. At one time didn’t people object to the building of Beacon Park Village because it was an ugly multi-story block of flats in Beacon Park? I wonder if it was more or less than 82 objections?

  7. The Lichfield Skatepark Association (LSA) first presented its Planning Application to the District Council’s Planning department early in May, but was required to first serve 3 weeks notice on the Council that LSA wished to use Council land. During the 3 week wait, the Officers (not Councillors) of the Leisure Services Department quickly commissioned a design of a small skatepark, which was later rejected by the Council’s Planning Committee. LSA submitted its design at the end of May and has since then been drip-fed new requirements to allow the application to be validated; eg extra copies of the plans, change of scale, location marked on an Ordnance Survey map of 1:1250, bat survey, noise impact survey. We are hopeful that we will pass the final test in the next few days and our application will receive an application number in time to allow it to be compared with the design of the Council Officers, before examination by the Council’s Planning Committee.

    A full size skatepark is essential to meet the needs of the skateboarders and BMX riders who live in the District, so it must appeal to all skill levels and provide a challenge to them all. A small skate park that only caters for beginners will quickly become overcrowded and probably dangerous. We have been running a petition for a full size skatepark for over a month and now have around 2,000 names and addresses in support of it; if you have not already signed up your support, please visit http://lichfieldskatepark.blogspot.co.uk/

    David Dundas
    Chairman LSA

  8. but wont you need the permission of the land owner to carry out your application if it were successful?

    Planning has no relationship to ownership, so you could get planning consent but then the land owner refuse permission to allow you to carry out the planning application on their land. Therefore I would suggest that you need to work with the council and not fight it or score points. Otherwise you maybe successful in planning but not have the land owners permission to do it! a waste of everyones time and your money!

  9. I voted that it should have been approved but I think the field next to the outdoor gym by Stowe pool would make a better location.

  10. Hi Gaza and Ash. Gaza you are obsolutely right about use of Council land, which is why we had to give 3 weeks notice to the Council that we wanted to do this. Our Planning Application includes a request to use the land.

    About fighting the Council, we are not doing this. Lichfield District Council is a Council of elected Councillors, not the Officers who are paid employees. The Council, ie the Councillors have committed to building a skate park in Lichfield and the Officers have their orders to do this, but for reasons that you can imagine, the Officers only want a small skate park. We are not fighting the Council for a skate park; we are fighting for a full sized one, in other words we are fighting the Council employees (Officers) who only want a small skatepark.

    About the location of the skate park, 19 different locations were very carefully considered by the Skatepark Association and the Officers, in and around the City, which took 18 months before the Officers recommended the present location. Stowe Fields next to Stowe Pool where we staged the skate board event 3 years ago would be great, but it is very close to houses, and more important, it is close to the Cathedral.

    David Dundas

  11. I remember these arguments happening over twenty years ago! Why – on a separate point – does Lich seem to have a much higher incidence of skateboarders thany anywhere else? Is it a middle class sport? :)

  12. i would also hope that young people have been involved in the design of a skate park. Our young people need to have more say in their surroundings not just skate parks but in general

  13. Why not move the “silent” no clack noises bowling green to the proposed site?
    The skate park could then be built opposite the Neo Art Deco concrete monstrosity that is New Minster House.
    This would be consistent with a shoddy gung ho attitude to town planning.
    Any arguments against this could be countered with examples of New Minster House being unsuitable for location & not meeting Planning Conditions (such as NMH having a Public Gallery, and developers Preserving Post Office frontage).

    Come on Officers.. at least be consistent.

  14. Hi Doopster. I don’t think skate boarding and BMX riding is the sport of any particular social class, as it doesn’t cost much to do. Maybe it appeals to people who like doing a skilled sport but which is not normally competitive, so you don’t have to find someone to play against and you can do it in your own time without supervision?

    Hi Gazza,

    The Skatepark Association (LSA)design that you have seen in the Mercury, took many months to agree on with the designers Gravity Engineering who have build a lot of successful skateparks, and the LSA Committee, which includes some very experienced skaters. Our Vice-Chairman James Hemming is a skilled skater and has been working for another skate park company profiling and finishing the skating surfaces. Ian Cheshire is also on the Committee and is well known to most Lichfield skaters.

    Gravity were selected after a procedure that lasted more than 6 months which included considering designers from afar away as Australia. Have a look at their website

    http://www.gravityparks.co.uk/

  15. I have moved very close to the site proposed for the park from Uttoxeter, (which has had a skatepark for over 10 years now) and can’t understand why people are still objecting to the idea of a skate park in Lichfield?

    I can’t remember the last time that uttoxeter skatepark was empty, and since the revamp of the park, the use has increased again. people who use the park there look after it, respect it and even clean the park, as for many it is a home from home. As david has already indicated it is a classless sport and appeals to a lot of people for a lot of reasons, but most of all, it leads to a great healthy lifestyle.

    Living very close to the site, when I moved in I have asked a few of the residents what they think of the idea, and most dismiss the thought with out understanding anything about skating, the current use of the land and how a skatepark would bring use to an otherwise disused and barren area of beacon park. instead just tarring everyone who skates with the same brush, as an anti social, trouble making pot smoker, who wants nothing more that to knock over old poeple… It is a shame that these people are so narrow minded and show no understanding, or respect to a difficult and unique group of sports, with many benefits to the community.

  16. Hi Md. Thanks for your useful comments about your own experience of living close to a skatepark. The reason why some people in Lichfield say that a skatepark will bring in anti-social behaviour (ASB), is because they are ignorant of the facts. They present absolutely no evidence that a skatepark will bring in ASB, in spite of solid evidence in police studies that it actually reduces ASB. These people who are against a skatepark often have little life experience outside the Lichfield area, even less about skateparks, yet they are too arrogant to question their own ideas.

    As you probably know, the Lichfield District Councillors have recently approved the mini skatepark in the same area, that was been put forward by the Leisure Services department (Officers) to tick the box that they have been instructed (by the Councillors)to provide one, but which avoids any extra work in having to manage it. It is a very cynical move by the Officers, but hopefully as they do not run the Council, common sense will prevail and our design will also be approved, then we can get on with the job of raising the money. In the meantime we are still trying to have our design validated by the Planning Department (Officers) to go forward to the Planning Committee (Councillors) for approval.

  17. Hi David, i would have to agree that asb is lower around skateparks, you often find a very loyal and committed group of individuals look after a skate park teaching new / young skaters etiquette and handing down knowledge of how to progress their sport. This is something unique to these sports that most people do not see or understand. In terms of looking after a park i have even been to the uttoxeter park wardens to ask for a brush to sweep the park myself many a time in the past and so have many of my contemporaries.

    I hope that now I have found some information on the park to be more active in helping to see it become a reality in the future. With past experience of fundraising for the revamp in Uttoxeter I can help you in Lichfield.

  18. Hi Md. Thanks for the additional info about the users of a skatepark; I just hope that plenty of people read it.

    Thanks also for the offer to help raise funds, although I think this will be easier than securing Planning Consent from Lichfield District Council. I am reasonably confident about the fund raising and have discussed the project with the Big Lottery people who were quite supportive a couple of years ago when we were raising the profile of real skateboarding by hiring a professional team and their 11′ high half-pipe to do a skateboarding one day event. In any case your help would be welcome as I guess you can point us in the direction of good sources of funds.

  19. The Lichfield Skatepark Association (LSA) design and location for a skatepark has now been approved by the District Council Planning Committee, but the choice between the small skatepark for young children entered by District Leisure Services, and the full-size skatepark for teenagers and young people entered by LSA has yet to be made by the District Council. We hope this decision will be made by Councillors in favour of the larger design, at the next full meeting of Council.

  20. Thanks Marion for your support. Not only do our young people deserve a full size skatepark that they have been campaigning for, for over 10 years, but we the non skaters, also deserve one for Lichfield to attract the skatebaorders and BMX riders away from our pedestrian and car park areas, as well as give those who do little exercise, a challenging sport that they can do in their own time. The small skatepark will not achieve any of this.

  21. I think lichfield needs a skatepark, but i can’t help but find it strange to read that the small skatepark is just for ‘young children,’ seeing as a lot of friends of mine, experienced BMXers and Skateboarders, in their late teens, early twenties recently went to meetings helping design the smaller park.
    I do hope Lichfield gets a park, and soon, but am i the only one getting a little confussed with all the different plans and talks of full sized and miniature skateparks!?

  22. Hello Tom, The description that the small skatepark designed by the Council Leisure Services is “for small children” is their own and can be seen in their papers presented to their Overview and Scrutiny committee which you can access on the Council website.

    I know that Leisure Services has consulted with some local skateboarders and BMX riders about the design, but that does not meant that the design will be fit for purpose. The point is that you need a full size skatepark to meet the needs of our teenagers. Skatepark consultant Wally Hollyday recommended a skatepark for a town the size of Lichfield of about 15,000 ft² which is about 3 times the size of the Leisure Services design. A small skatepark is potentially dangerous because it will become overcrowded and many of our skateboarders and BMXers will not us it; at present most of them have to go outside the District to find a decent skatepark.

  23. Just build the bloody thing and be done with it! After all this time the council are still just having meetings and yapping about it.Too much faffing with everything, It`s procedure-mania. People moan about the kids hanging around the streets with nothing to do, yet here`s a perfect opportunity to get them involved in something different. It`s supposed to be a park, for recreation, for sport and fun, or do we want just a pretty place with `keep off the grass` signs and the noise police patrolling, `shushing` anyone who dares to make any sound? Seems that as soon as youth are involved there`s a ridiculous fear-mongering about anti-social behaviour. Give them a break. Pull your fingers out and get it sorted.

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