Friday, October 15, 2010

Skateboarding row on last lap?

The dwindling band of opponents of a skateboarding ramp in Telegraph Hill lower park, New Cross, are mounting a rearguard action against it as the date looms for Lewisham Council to give it the final go ahead.

A leaflet has been circulated with all kinds of alarmist language about 'saving the park', noise and antisocial behaviour. Its arguments have been thoroughly demolished at Brockley Central so I won't labour the point here.

Like many people I am not actually that excited about whether there is a skateramp in the park or not. But those in favour have campaigned for it, those against likewise, and the outcome is a limited, low impact scheme that will simply turn a tarmac path into a facility for young people to use. The park won't be destroyed, and the sky won't fall in. Maybe in ten years time it will be incredibly popular, maybe it will be under-used, in which case at some point it can be replaced by whatever people are into then.

Clearly the argument here is no longer about the merits of skateboarding facilities, but about a particular group of Telegraph Hill residents feeling enraged that for once they might not get their own way.

Their claim that there has not been sufficient consultation is particularly spurious - I can't think of a local issue that has been subject to so much discussion, with hundreds of people taking part in public meetings. More to the point, and unlike in most 'consultation' exercises, the plans have actually been changed to take into account the concerns raised by objectors.

What the diehards actually want is not more consultation but the right to veto things that don't accord with their own views, regardless of what other people want. Unfortunately for them, their scaremongering tactics seem to be backfiring with even people who initially opposed the plans now hoping that they go ahead.

1 comment:

Darren Perry said...

I was glad to see the location moved from the upper to the lower park where it doesn't sit in front of a nice view over the city but objecting to it completely seems harsh. Also the new layout looks like a much better skate park with a better length for grinds... It's going right next to the basketball court so I don't expect it to cause any more noise than is already coming from that area of the park. The lower park is a much livelier place than the upper park, if you really want peace and quiet (and a nice view) go to the upper park?