Skate park shelved as Wollongbar community speaks out
A SKATE park has been ruled out of plans for a public recreation space bordered by Rifle Range Road and Plateau Drive at Wollongbar.
The recommendations at last week's Ballina Council meeting were to rezone some of the council-owned land, forward the necessary documentation to State Government for approval and for council to consider the appropriateness of constructing a skate park on the site.
But the skate park proposal was short lived with five of the six public submissions received raising concerns about the facility.
The Wollongbar Christian Church was among those against the skate park, declaring it was "unsuitable" because the site is next to a main road and roundabout, is very small and is cornered by residents while the facility had the potential to increase vandalism.
Wollongbar Progress Association representative Marilyn Perkins also argued against skating facility, preferring instead to see the area utilised as a family orientated park.
"Wollongbar must have a space where families and neighbours can come together, to share picnics, parties, and other friendly activities," she said.
"The nearby sports fields will cater for the needs of older children in sporting clubs or groups."
Council's decision to rezone some of the land from public recreation use to low density residential meant the space available for public recreation was reduced from 1.81 hectares to about one hectare.
Councillors Keith Williams and Ben Smith said the space was not large enough to accommodate both a skate park and family friendly park.
Cr David Wright raised concerns about skateboarders already using the adjoining roads dangerously and warned that could be amplified if a skate park was built on the site.
Wollongbar residents James and Hannah Nunn asked council to consider other, more appropriate sites.
But Cr Sharon Cadwallader said after six years of council consideration there didn't appear to be a more appropriate site for a skate park.
The first two recommendations were passed, with the third recommendation, to consider a skate park, removed in an amendment.