Skatepark would help cut crime

Plans have been put forward to create a new skatepark in Mundesley which those behind the plans say will help provide somewhere which is desperately needed for young people to play and learn.

Voluntary community group Mundesley Youth and Community, (MYC) have been working with Mundesley Parish Council to fundraise and apply for grants to develop new facilities and services for the community and have now submitted plans to North Norfolk District Council for the new skatepark, which would be sited in Mundesley's Gold Park.

The skatepark is expected to cost about �85,000. MYC has raised �15,000 and has applied to Mundelsey Parish Council for a grant of �12,000 and has also just progressed to the second stage of a �50,000 grant application. They have said they will try to raise the rest of the money from donations and further fundraising.

In planning documents submitted to the district council by MYC and the parish council, it states: 'Mundesley is in great need of new facilities to provide positive activities for the young people that are affordable and local and with the growing popularity of skateparks, this what the young people really want.'

There are currently no skateparks within walking distance, the nearest being in North Walsham, eight miles away.

MYC and the parish council have said they anticipate more than 100 children, young people and adults using the new skatepark each week. They also say they have held consultations within the local community and received no letters of concern.

The skatepark, which will be designed by young people, will be used for informal skate boarding, BMX, scooters, roller skating and structured coaching sessions from experienced skaters.

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The planning documents state: 'The much needed new facility will provide a positive, safe place to play, where they will be encouraged to learn new skills, socialise, increase community cohesions, increase participation in positive activities and help to reduce crime/anti-social behaviour due to lack of opportunities.'

MYC and the parish council have also made moves to answer any concerns which may be raised by residents, stating that, in terms of visual impact, the majority of the park surface is below ground level and that skating on high quality smooth concrete produces little noise.

They also state: 'Some people's perception of skateparks is that they attract large groups of young people that may lead to anti-social behaviour.

'However evidence from other skateparks shows that by giving young people somewhere to go – somewhere that they have designed, worked for and are stewards of, leads to a sense of ownership and promotes positive behaviour.'

Earlier this year �30,000 of new equipment was officially opened at the Gold Park as the first stage of an ambitious �600,000 three-part project by MYC and the parish council which, as well as the skatepark, wants to build and a multi-use games area with a community centre in Mundesley.

The plans for the skatepark are currently under consultation.