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Brakes put on skatepark bid


Calls for a skatepark to be built near a new youth centre have been dealt a blow because of uncertainty over plans to re-build the Dukeries College.

Ollerton and Boughton Town Council has been trying to identify land for a skatepark for about six years.

At a Safer Neighbourhood Group meeting last week, the Mayor of Ollerton and Boughton, Mr Terry Bell, said a proposal for a skatepark on land near the Dukeries Young People’s Centre, at the Dukeries College and Complex, had fallen through.

A youth worker for Ollerton and Edwinstowe, Mrs Debbie Swanwick, said the youth service had asked the school whether land near the new youth centre could be used, but she was told the governors refused the request outright.

She said she had since spoken to a school governor who said they knew nothing about it.

She said enquiries had also been made into the possibility of using a unit on Boughton Industrial Estate, but they were told this was not possible because of health and safety regulations and fears it would be disruptive to the estate’s other users.

Mr Mike Manning, the chairman of the Maun Estate Action Group, and a governor at the school, said he was not aware of a request to use land.

He said a county councillor, Mrs Stella Smedley, who is the school’s chairman of governors, had driven the youth centre.

He said: “I thought she would be of the opinion that if we were going to have a skatepark, and there is money for it, we should have it all together.”

A town councillor, Mrs Carole Turner, said the council had identified two possible locations and was in discussions with a planning officer at Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Mrs Turner said she did not want to say where the sites were at this stage.

A Newark and Sherwood district councillor, Mr Brian Smith, suggested a purpose-built building which would be open at reasonable times for youngsters to skate under supervision in all kinds of weather.

Mr Smith said it needed to be in a location where it was not going to be a nuisance with youngsters congregating and creating anti-social behaviour.

Concerns have previously been raised about plans to build a skatepark on land close to Ollerton village, near McDonalds.

Mr Smith said: “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes on one particular site that is in a totally insensitive location.”

He said residents had problems with children spitting on their doors and windows, had items thrown at doors and constant rapping on their doors every night of the week.

Mr Bell said the council had looked into having an indoor skatepark in the past, but the cost and insurance was astronomical.

Mrs Smedley said the governors had not yet been asked to consider allowing a skatepark on land at the Dukeries College, but she did not think the governors could agree to any further development on the school site because there were plans to rebuild the school.

Mrs Smedley said it would restrict the planning of the new school site.

Mrs Smedley said land near the youth centre was not necessarily the best place for it and there were other suitable locations in the town.

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