Skate park plans m­ove a step forward

RELIEF from skateboarders for shoppers and traders in Huntingdon town centre has moved a step forward with a planning application for a skate park at Stukeley Meadows. Huntingdonshire District Council wants to build the £180,000 facility on land to the re

RELIEF from skateboarders for shoppers and traders in Huntingdon town centre has moved a step forward with a planning application for a skate park at Stukeley Meadows.

Huntingdonshire District Council wants to build the £180,000 facility on land to the rear of Alda Motors in Stukeley Road.

If the application is successful, town centre skateboarders, particularly in Chequers Court, should largely be eliminated.

HDC's research showed that most of the young people wanting the facility live in the Stukeley Meadows area.


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The plan is for a "street-style" skate facility 38 metres by 32 metres (125ft x 105ft) with nine pieces of steel-fabricated equipment and replicas of objects that are found in streets and town centres. The area will be floodlit and covered by CCTV.

The district council's cabinet agreed in November to contribute the last £20,000 cost of the project, but the council refused to pay the £10,000-a-year cost of running the scheme, which councillors said was the responsibility of Huntingdon Town Council.

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The town council has contributed not a penny to the capital cost, said deputy leader, Councillor Mike Simpson, who lives at Stukeley Meadows, at a HDC cabinet meeting.

Executive councillor for finance Terry Rogers said: "This is a facility for the town council and it should be asked to take over the running costs. Otherwise it is getting away with not funding the project at all."

The district council's funding decision suddenly became crucial when the Youth Bank announced that its £40,000 contribution had become conditional on the work being commissioned before the end of 2007. That happened, and the planning consent is all that stands in the way of the skate park.

The Big Lottery Fund has promised £60,000 towards the project, with other large contributions from developers, the company manufacturing the ramps and Huntingdon Freemen's Charity. Huntingdon Community Safety Partnership has promised £8,000 and other contributions will be made by Sainsbury's - which will be relieved of skaters outside the entrance to its store - and the skaters themselves.

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