There have been concerns about the location of a planned skate park for Wollongbar.
There have been concerns about the location of a planned skate park for Wollongbar. Contributed

Two sites being investigated for controversial new skate park

THERE has been another turn in the quest to build a skatepark at Wollongbar.

Ballina Shire Council, at last week's meeting, resolved to investigate a site at the Wollongbar sports field site as well as the current proposed site at Plateau Dr.

The council accepted the tender for construction of the skatepark from Precision Skate Parks Pty Ltd who will work with council to provide the design options for both sites, along with the pros and cons of the design for each site and costs.

For the members of the Wollongbar Progress Association and neighbours to the Plateau Dr site, there is once again some hope the skatepark will be built at the sports fields.

The association and other residents have been lobbying against the current proposed site on Plateau Dr as it is in a residential area, and they have raised concerns about the loss of amenity because of noise and potential for anti-social behaviour.

Secretary of the association, Marilyn Perkins, the community had been asking that the sports field site be investigated so "that councillors in the end can make an informed decision”.

However, it's another stall for the Wollongbar Alstonville Skate Park group which has been campaigning for a skatepark on the Plateau for the past two years.

Spokesperson for the WASP, Bianca Urbina, said "enough is enough”.

She said there had been 30 proposed sites over the past 15 years.

Ms Urbina said the council has already undertaken consultation with the community, with meetings and consultation events, and figures collected last year showed an "overwhelming” support of the residential skate facility at Plateau Dr.

"The onus is on council to listen to that,” she said.

"Families in Wollongbar with young kids want them to pop down a few blocks to a skatepark safely,” she said.

She said if a residential-style skatepark was to be built at the sports field, there would need to be other infrastructure built so kids could safely access the park along the 80km/h stretch of Pearces Creek Rd.

However, she said there was the potential for a skatepark to be built at the sports fields to cater for the high-end users, particularly considering skateboarding is now an Olympic sport.

But that, she said, would be in addition to the residential skatepark on Plateau Dr as planned.

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