Beach site plan for Byron skate park
By MEGAN KINNINMENT
BYRON BAY'S skateboarders will have spectacular beachfront views if a plan to build a new skate park goes ahead.
A skate park could be established at Clarks Beach, rather than the previously decided upon site, the Butler Street Reserve, following a Byron Shire Council decision.
Mayor Jan Barham used her casting vote to decide that a new skate park site next to the proposed Jarjum Playground at Clarks Beach be evaluated instead of the Butler Street Reserve option.
Concerns were raised that the Butler Street Reserve was too isolated and surrounded by dense bush.
The decision means skate park supporters may lose a $68,000 grant obtained under the Regional Sports Facilities Program to build the park at the Butler Street Reserve.
The $68,000 grant was given on the condition that construction of the park starts at Butler Street by March 30.
Cr Ray Kestle tried to convince councillors to stick with the Butler Street plan, saying the funds were in place, the development application was approved and the site was in the centre of town.
"It becomes like a field of dreams," Cr Kestle said.
"Build it and they will come."
However, skate park supporters say they are happy to have to wait longer to obtain funding in exchange for their preferred site.
"I was really pleased. Clarks Beach is more open to the public," Byron Bay father and skate park co-ordinator Sol Farina said yesterday.
"I've had parents telling me they were worried about the Butler Street Reserve because it provided more opportunities for the kids to get up to mischief, like smoking or drink- ing in the bushes, or coming into contact with squatters sleeping in the bush," he said.
Mr Farina said the skaters were not worried the funding may be lost.
"Ninety-nine per cent of the community want this and I'm confident the community will help us with funds," Mr Fari- na said.