D-Day looms for new skate park in Louth

If plans go ahead, the skate park would be built on the playing fields in Wood Lane.
If plans go ahead, the skate park would be built on the playing fields in Wood Lane.

A final decision on a long-awaited new skate park in Louth is expected to be made by East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee tomorrow (Thursday).

An initial planning application was submitted by Louth ‘X Sports’ in July 2013 for a site at playing fields off Wood Lane.

The playing fields - next to the Meridian Leisure Centre - already feature a football pitch and a separate fenced off astro-turf surface.

The site is often used by dog-walkers - and by youngsters as a play area. It is understood ‘X Sports’ had originally revealed details of their ‘dream’ for a new skate park in 2008.

However, the bid in 2013 failed to materialise, mainly because of funding issues and noise concerns from neighbouring residents.

It was a setback for ‘X Sports’ - and hundreds of youngsters who had been hoping to use the new facility. Since then, there have been a number of amendments to the original plan - including a noise impact assessment, carried out after a request by ELDC.

The application features a BMX park with jumps and ramps to a maximum height of 2.1 metres.

Louth Town Council has maintained support for the project and has confirmed they will provide funding in their latest communications with ELDC. In 2013, several residents objected to the scheme because of noise. One householder told ELDC at the time they were already subject to noise from the football pitch and described some of the language as ‘inappropriate.’

A second letter also complained about noise, saying residents would not be able to sit and enjoy their gardens in an evening. They suggested imposing a time restriction. However, most recent comments in 2014 were favourable with a resident saying in a letter to ELDC the skate park would be a “great asset to Louth.”

Officials from ELDC’s Environmental Health department support the new park, with a key condition -they want planners to ensure a boundary fence is “built as specified” before the skate park is brought into use.

ELDC planning officer Michelle Walker is recommending approval with conditions, but the final decision will rest with councillors at tomorrow’s meeting.