A SOLUTION to noise problems that will allow Broughton Gake Skate Park to stay open has been found.
The park has been operating under an abatement notice since July following complaints from nearby residents and a council investigation which found noise levels to be unacceptable.
Prior to that it had been scheduled for closure until a campaign from users and parents persuaded Milton Keynes Council and owners of the land, The Parks Trust, into a re-think.
But yesterday a statement was issued saying a solution had been found which will allow the skate park to remain open.
The council has accepted a proposal from The Parks Trust which both bodies believe will deal with the issue of noise.
A number of measures have been agreed, namely erecting a permanent fence around the skate park and continuing to control its hours of use; making some minor modifications to the skate park ramps and obstacles; and enhancing the level of planting in the area.
Head of Landscape Strategy and Development at The Parks Trust, Phil Bowsher, said: “We’ve worked with the council’s regulatory unit to find ways to address the noise issue.
“It’s great that a number of practical measures have been identified that should allow the skate park to stay open while reducing the impact of noise on neighbours.”
The Trust is currently drawing up plans for the required measures and is going to seek views on the details from park users and skaters.
Mr Bowsher added: “There is obviously a cost involved in implementing these additional measures, so we will be talking to Milton Keynes Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and Broughton and Milton Keynes Parish Council to see how we can secure the necessary finances.
“In the meantime, we are very grateful to the community for their continuing support and the skate park users who are respecting the restricted hours.”
A council statement said the authority will ensure the proposals are carried out as agreed and that fencing and other measures are maintained to the proper standard.
Work has also started to explore options for alternative skate parks and similar facilities in Milton Keynes, which would spread the provision beyond Broughton Gate.
Skate park campaigner Katrina Creaser said the decision was a victory for common sense.
She said: “It sounds like a fantastic compromise. I have got my fingers crossed that they will find the funding.
“We are getting a lot more common sense now. People are talking are trying to find a solution other than ‘lets rip it out’.”
And Mrs Creaser, who even threatened to tie herself to the skate park in protest if the bulldozers moved in, added: “The park gives the kids round here something to do.
“We are severely lacking in facilities for kids today. Thye are coming from far and wide because there is nothing in their area.
“I am pleased the council is looking at its strategy for play areas.
“We have teenagers, kids grow up. You need to give them something to do.”
And the news was also welcomed by Mark and Kirsty Fitzsimon, who run the Broughton Hungry Horse.
Mrs Fitzsimon told the Citizen: “We are over the moon because our two children use the skate park a lot in the summer.
“It is a great thing for them to go on.”