St Albans council gives go-ahead for half-pipe skate ramp at Jersey Farm

St Albans district council has approved a new half-pipe skate ramp for Jersey Farm. Picture: Danny L

St Albans district council has approved a new half-pipe skate ramp for Jersey Farm. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans for a half-pipe skate ramp next to a playground in the Jersey Farm open space have been given the go-ahead.

Half-pipe ramps can be used by youngsters on skate boards, scooters and roller skates, and the planned 2.9m high structure at Jersey Farm will be aimed at children and young people in the area, aged between eight and 16.

Some residents have highlighted concerns about the impact the ramp will have on those living close by and on those families that use the playground area.

They point to potential noise and litter and the impact that any anti-social behaviour – including music, swearing and litter – would have on existing users.

They say the ramp could be a danger to small children who may fall – and that an ambulance or other vehicle couldn’t access the site if someone was hurt, and also point to a previous skate park that had to be removed from the site some years ago.

But on Monday (March 16) a meeting of St Albans City and District Council’s planning (development control) committee central granted the application, which had been submitted by Sandridge Parish Council.

Addressing the committee, parish councillor Cllr Graham Leonard, chair of the parish council’s sports and recreation grounds committee, said the ramp was aimed at ‘slightly older’ local children and young people aged eight to 16.

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He said he recognised there had been some issues with the former installation 20 years ago, but pointed to the availability of quieter materials now and said a noise survey had suggested there would be no discernible impact on nearby residents.

However Cllr Lyn Bolton – who was not a member of Sandridge Parish Council when the decision about the planned ramp was made – said there had been a lack of consultation, which had led to a bad decision, and that there was a danger in the inaccessible position of the ramp.

She suggested that, should there be an accident, the site of the ramp would not be accessible by an ambulance or a four-wheel vehicle, and pointed to existing anti-social behaviour that the ramp would exacerbate.

Following a debate on the application a majority of the members of the committee agreed that the application should be granted.