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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/04/2004
Skateboard Provision - Central Godalming



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to inform members of the ongoing need to identify a site for a new skateboard facility for young people in central Godalming and to request permission to consult with the community on a proposal to erect a small-scale skateboard facility on the edge of the Burys Recreation Ground.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
N/A


APPENDIX I
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 6th April 2004

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Title:
SKATEBOARD PROVISION – CENTRAL GODALMING

[Wards Affected: All Godalming Wards]
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Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to inform members of the ongoing need to identify a site for a new skateboard facility for young people in central Godalming and to request permission to consult with the community on a proposal to erect a small-scale skateboard facility on the edge of the Burys Recreation Ground.

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Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Young people have requested additional facilities in Godalming for the purpose of skateboarding. Skateboard facilities provide a constructive activity for young people to engage in and contributes to providing safe, healthy and active communities. Facilities such as these provide safe places for young people to meet and socialise and in providing facilities it will prevent unauthorised use of other areas within the town such as car parks and shopping areas, which are inappropriate and unsafe. The facilities are provided free of charge to users and are open for all young people to access.

E-Government implications:

Information on all skateboard facilities provided within the Borough is promoted on the Council’s website.

Resource and legal implications:

The estimated cost of the type of skateboard facility being proposed is in the region of 20,000, with annual revenue costs of 3,500, 2,200 per annum for routine safety inspections and up to 1,300 per annum for maintenance depending on the surface utilised. Godalming Town Council has committed a capital sum of 10,000 towards funding skateboard provision within the town centre. Waverley Borough Council has funding within the capital programme for provision of facilities for young people. If, following consultation, the Council agreed to provide a skateboard facility, it would be necessary to increase revenue budgets to meet the annual maintenance costs associated with the facility.

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Background

1. In September 2003, the Council received a second petition with over 500 names from young people in Godalming requesting the Council to identify a suitable town centre site for a skateboard facility. There is an existing skateboard facility positioned in Aaron’s Hill. However, many of the young people live on the other side of the town towards Farncombe and Binscombe which means they have to travel quite a considerable distance to use this site. Following receipt of the petition, officers in partnership with the Clerk of Godalming Town Council, have been considering a number of potential sites.

2. Godalming locations, which have been considered in the past, include land at the Wharf Depot, land adjacent to the former Last Resort youth facilities, a site adjacent to Bridge Street and Nursery Road Car Park in Broadwater Park. On closer consideration, all of these sites were found to be unsuitable and planning applications for both the site adjacent to Bridge Street and for the Nursery Road Car Park were rejected.

Proposal

3. Given the previous difficulties in identifying a suitable location for a large-scale skateboard development in the town centre, Officers have considered the scale and size of alternative facilities, which would still provide challenging facilities for the young people without the need for a large area to be dedicated to its construction.

4. Officers have undertaken some initial research with young skaters in Godalming and have identified the type of facilities that may be suitable.

5. In determining a suitable location thought must be given to the following factors: q Accessibility
q Security
q Safety
q Ideally, access to public conveniences

6. With these factors in mind, officers recommend that further consideration be given to an area at the edge of the Burys Recreation Ground which, given its location, would meet the key requirements of a suitable site.

7. It is proposed that the area on the edge of the recreation ground adjacent to the car park and youth centre could be considered as a possible location for a small-scale skateboard facility. The benefits of this area include the following:

It is in a central location within Godalming
It is adjacent to a youth centre
It is set apart from the nearest residential properties by a car park
It is highly visible and would provide a safe place for young people to meet
The area is an existing recreational open space
The facility would not necessitate the removal of any parking spaces
It is located near to toilet facilities
A pay phone is located nearby
The structure could be visually masked with careful landscaping to minimise any visual impact to the surrounding area

8. In response to the petition and as part of the on-going work with skaters in Godalming some initial designs for the desired facility have been produced. These plans have been plotted onto the proposed site to provide an artists impression of the proposal (to be displayed at the meeting). Planning

9. Planning legislation states that, provided the works comply with Part 12 of the Town and Country [General Permitted Development] Order 1995, the development represents "permitted development" and does not need planning permission. In order to comply with Part 12, the work must be done by a Local Authority and the works must be small scale (i.e. not exceeding 4 metres in height), on land belonging to the Local Authority or maintained by them and required for the purposes of any function exercised by them on the land otherwise than as statutory undertakers.

Consultation

10. As planning permission for the proposed facility on the site identified is not required, it is recommended that the views of the local community be sought prior to any decision being taken on this proposal. This consultation would seek the views of the public and would include those of local residents, Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, Surrey County Council, the Police and young people.

Conclusion

11. It is evident from the continued requests from young people within Godalming that there is demand for a town centre skateboard facility. Given the difficulties experienced to date in finding a suitable alternative site, it is proposed that a smaller scale facility should now be considered. Consultation with young people has confirmed that this type of facility could be suitable to meet the local needs and provide a valuable youth facility. Given the size and scale of the proposed facility, there is no requirement for the Council to seek planning permission for the facility.

Recommendation

The Executive is requested to:

1. endorse the area highlighted on the Burys Recreation Ground as a potential site for a skateboard facility;
2. agree to public consultation on the proposal; and
3. consider the outcome of the public consultation in due course.

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Background Papers (DoE&L)

Petition – 550 signatures presented to the Executive on 2nd December 2003.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432

E-mail: jmaskery@waverley.gov.uk

comms/exec/03-04/520