Bloor Homes is building a skatepark on its Cranfield Park development Photo by shawn henry on Unsplash

Bloor Homes is providing a skatepark on the Cranfield Park development

Cranfield Parish Council will be discussing the design for a skatepark during its meeting on 20th March 2019 at Holywell School. This will give potential users the chance to give their input on the project.

A spokesperson for Bloor Homes said:

“After securing approval from Central Bedfordshire Council on the skatepark scheme, we were contacted by local representatives who requested some amends to our approved plans.

“We have since been working with stakeholders to agree revised proposals to help better meet their local needs. We are currently awaiting further feedback on these revisions.”

Skateparks are one of the most requested leisure facilities

Alex Jordan from The Skateparks Project told the Chronicle that skateparks are among the most requested leisure facility in the UK. However, even though the number of skateparks is increasing, they are still largely inaccessible to younger people in rural communities

He said:

“Skateparks provide a relatively safe environment for their users, who may otherwise skate and ride in unsafe public and private locations, which can cause nuisance.

“Skateparks therefore encourage people, young and old, to get outdoors and interact in an appropriate environment.”

Some residents could be concerned about antisocial behaviour at the skatepark. There have been reports on social media about antisocial behaviour at the new playground in Willow Green, and Cllr Clark reported the vandalism at the new Community Centre in a recent Cranfield Express. Could a skatepark be a magnet for poor behaviour?

“Not at all. In fact, numerous case studies have demonstrated skateparks to reduce antisocial behaviour if they are solving a need for social facilities.

“Generally, those who are antisocial at skateparks are not skatepark users and would be antisocial regardless.”

Alex said that skaters and riders are generally mellow people. That problems can occur when users do not abide by the skatepark’s etiquette. He added that this tends to happen when younger unexperienced users treat a busy park as a playground.

“In reality, skaters and riders are part of a community, they enjoy each other’s company and thrive by helping each other improve.

“Skateparks allow their users to vent frustration and make friends.”

Will graffiti be allowed at Cranfield Skatepark?  Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Basic skatepark rules are important and must be community-led

Alex said that it is important to establish some basic rules before the skatepark is open. Such as will there be a curfew and will graffiti be allowed? He said:

“The rules must be community-led. Local skateparks are for local people, so there must be collaboration, not dictatorship.

“Users who feel ignored do not comply with rules, and that’s not just a skatepark problem.”

He suggested other measures that could be taken, such as ensuring the skatepark is open and visible, well-lit and possibly monitored by CCTV.

“That said, most village skateparks do not have these measures and everyone gets along just fine.”

The Skateparks Project offers free impartial advice to councils, community groups and individuals looking to build skateparks in the UK.

A list of other skateparks based in Bedfordshire can be found here.

If you are unable to attend the Parish Council meeting to share your thoughts on the skatepark, you can send your comments via email to the Parish Clerk