28 days to save Broughton Gate Skate Park

Skate Park off Countess Way Broughton Gate
Skate Park off Countess Way Broughton Gate

BROUGHTON Gate Skate Park has been given a stay of execution.

The popular play area had been scheduled for demolition next week, but yesterday Milton Keynes Council issued an abatement notice offering possible solutions to noise problems caused by the park.

The notice was served on owners of the land, The Parks Trust, and sets out as series of conditions that must be adopted for the park to remain open.

The park had been scheduled for closure following complaints from nearby residents and a council investigation which found noise levels to be unacceptable.

But many residents have called for the park to remain open, with a Facebook page and petition set up.

And the council and Parks Trust have been working on ways of keeping it open.

Now the Trust has 28 days to ensure the following measures are in place:

– Install security fencing around the skate park area, with lockable gate, capable of ensuring access can be restricted other than at permitted times

– Ensure that entry to the park is controlled so that access is restricted to between 10am to 7pm

– Where possible, install sound reduction coating to all surfaces that equipment such as skateboards and scooters will use; or carry out alternative works or actions which would also abate the nuisance

Milton Keynes Council chief executive David Hill said: “We are well aware of the enormous popularity of Broughton Gate skate park. In fact it has been a victim of its own success, with people using the skate park day and night. Unfortunately this has led to unacceptable noise levels for residents.

“When the noise levels were established to be a statutory nuisance, we started working with the Parks Trust to explore options.

“Thankfully the Parks Trust now has an alternate route to explore other than immediate closure of the park.

“If these conditions are adopted and the park remains open, we will continue to monitor noise levels. We will also continue to explore options for the provision of skate park type facilities elsewhere, as a sensible precaution.”

And chief executive of The Parks Trust, David Foster, added: “Since Tuesday night’s public meeting about Broughton Gate Skate Park Milton Keynes Council has issued us with a Statutory Noise Abatement Notice with conditions which require us to install lockable security fencing around the skate park area to restrict access other than at permitted times, control entry to the park so that there is no access before 10am and after 7pm and, where possible, install sound reduction coating to all surfaces that equipment such as skateboards and scooters will use, or take other measures to abate the noise.

“We understand that this Notice supersedes their previous instruction to us to provide a timetable for removal of the facility.

“There is still a great deal of work to be done to comply with these conditions as there are many approvals to obtain, maybe even planning permission, but we will do our best to meet them within the 28 day time frame.

“Hopefully the work specified by the council will mean that the skate park can remain open and the residents who were affected by the noise will get the peace and quiet they are entitled to.

“We will need the help of the local community in making sure the skate park is used responsibly and is not used out of hours and will be discussing this with the parish council and Community Action MK over the next few days.”

A emergency meeting also took place at Broughton Gate Parish Council last night at which the parish council pledged to work with the Trust to assist with the noise mitigation measures.

Resident Katrina Creaser, who runs Squeaks Organic Eatery in Highley Grove, said that an action group has been set up consiting of users, residents, parish councillors and the Broughton Community Mobiliser in order to assist with designs to help reduce the noise.