Rolling on and on: The saga of the Devizes skatepark

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Youngsters campaigning for a skatepark in Devizes in 2009. Many of the original campaigners have now grown out of skateboarding. Youngsters campaigning for a skatepark in Devizes in 2009. Many of the original campaigners have now grown out of skateboarding.

The last 12 years have been eventful and fruitless as council leaders tried to find a suitable site for an outdoor skateboard park in Devizes.

Since Devizes Town Council was forced to remove its skate park equipment from Hillworth Park in February 2002 due to noise nuisance caused to a local resident, many sites have been considered – and often revisited – but ruled out.

Skateboarders who waited for a site to be found are now adults and have outgrown their hobby, while Ramp-Nation off London Road  is used by some skaters.

But the bid to build at Green Lane means the search is almost at an end. The site was considered several times and ruled out over noise concerns. But Devizes Area Board insists materials used to build skate parks nowadays are much quieter and will result in no nuisance to residents at Drews Park.

Richard Rogers, Area Board manager, said: “The noise surveys have showed that there was zero additional noise above the normal background noise. We have worked with the planners (at Wiltshire Council) before we put the planning application in on the noise issue and we haven’t put in lights for the skate park. I am very confident that the skate park will happen there.”

He said that the site was not the ideal location of skaters who, he said, favoured a more central location.

However, skaters that the Gazette spoke to were content with the proposed site.

Chris Huzzey, 18, of Elizabeth Drive, Devizes, who has been skateboarding for six years and was involved in working with the Area Board and the town council in finding a site and appointing a skate park contractor.

Mr Huzzey said: “To be honest it’s the best place to put it. It’s out of the way and it won’t get vandalised as much.”

Jack Wilson, 18, of St John’s Street, Devizes, said: “Personally I think the site is a good one. The noise pollution shouldn’t be too bad. I have heard they are putting in sound barriers. I don’t think people mind how far they have to go to for an outdoor skate park, they have to travel to go to RampNation.”

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