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Skate fans roll out a second bid for new park in Botley
CAMPAIGNERS for a skate park in Botley backed by hundreds of people are trying again after going back to the drawing board.
Now they are hoping councillors will back their bid at North Hinksey Parish Council’s full meeting next Thursday.
In January, the council rejected the idea of building a skate park in Louie Memorial Field by seven votes to six.
But campaigner Emily Smith said they are hoping their motion will be on the agenda for the next meeting.
Campaigners are aiming to prove that councillors’ worries – that it would attract litter, noise and anti-social behaviour – are unfounded.
She said: “We hope it will be discussed and the parish council will take the opportunity to look again at the demand for a skate park.
“It is so clearly needed by the community to give young people a place to use to ride their bikes, skate, or use their scooters.”
Last year, an 866-signature petition backed a new facility on the site of the former Botley Bowl.
Mrs Smith said: “It is the largest petition the parish has ever seen – which should show in itself how much it is needed.”
The Botley Bowl was filled in after a van was driven into it and set alight in 2009, damaging the structure beyond repair.
Mrs Smith said that campaigners would stay open-minded about exactly where to have a skate park.
They previously had called for the park to be built at the site of the former Botley Bowl in Louie Memorial Field.
Chairman of North Hinksey Parish Council Andrew Pritchard said: “The petition was presented to the parish council in January, a vote was held, and the parish council rejected the proposal.
“Following that, I suggested to the Botley skate park campaign they should look at some other areas which should be investigated.”
Mr Pritchard said possible alternative sites included the Fogwell Road recreation ground in Cumnor parish, Oaklands recreation ground in North Hinksey, or Botley Primary School in Elms Road.
Alternatively, he suggested sites on the recreational land earmarked in one of the large housing developments which have applied for planning application in the area – Lime Road or Tilbury Lane.
Mrs Smith said their campaign would look into other sites but they had not considered other alternatives as suitable.
Mrs Smith said they had now carried out a sound experiment to help prove the park would not be too noisy for nearby homes. She also added they had been working closely with charity the Oxford Wheels Project to beef up the plans. The Oxford Wheels Project was formed in 1997 to campaign to build permanent urban sports parks.
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