Lords of Dogtown - A Skate Park for Telegraph Hill?

Lady: We at the network want a dog with attitude. He's edgy, he's "in your face." You've heard the expression "let's get busy"? Well, this is a dog who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly. Could we put him in more of a "hip-hop" context? I feel we should Rasta-fy him by... 10 percent or so.
- The creation of Poochie the skateboarding dog on The Simpsons

The Skate Park Action Group is a coalition of local parents and young people working to create a skate park in Telegraph Hill.

At a public event in the basketball court in Telegraph Hill lower park on February 27th, 11am-3pm, you'll be able to view their designs and find out about the potential sites in the area.

A skate park would not only be an important new sports facility for the area, it would address the problem of noise generated by skating on the streets. Together with the new cricket pitch being developed in Hilly Fields, it would provide a massive boost for local sport, which is currently poorly provided for.

The young people (aged 11-14) involved in the project have already presented their case to the Youth Opportunities Fund and are waiting to hear whether the application has been successful. Meanwhile, the funding for the public consultation has been provided by the Telegraph Hill Assembly.

Skateboarding, like football, has flourished as an urban sport, because it doesn't require a lot of space, just a few smooth surfaces, rails and ideally some ramps. A skate park could therefore be built without ruining the park. The park would double as a venue for BMX riders and in-line skaters. Organisations like Sport England have identified skateboarding as an important way to encourage more young people to live healthier lifestyles.

The idea already has the support of Sergeant Karl Parish of the Police Safer Neighbourhoods team, who says:

"At present the young people on Telegraph Hill are travelling great distances from their homes to enjoy these facilities in other areas. My team and I would welcome the development of a Skate Park on the ward.”

One of the event organisers, Sophie Beswick, explains:

"The purpose of the Consultation is to let local residents come and see for themselves what we hope to achieve and to meet the designers and comment on possible sites. We have had incredible support so far from within the community but of course there are a few people who are worried about the impact this would have on noise, views etc. We need these people to come along on Saturday so they can make the views known and hopefully we can allay some of their fears."

With thanks to Tamsin for her help with the story.

139 comments:

abdou said...

I was crap at skateboarding (except luge-style) but I imagine with the Lower Park's gradient a skate park there could be, like, ossum. Good luck to them.

Headhunter said...

God. Sounds abolutely ghastly. How is it going to address the problem of the noise of skate boards having it concentrated in Telegraph Hill Park? What about the associated tagging that always goes on in skate parks? None of my business as I don't live there but I have to say I would be very sceptical if I did....

Brockley Nick said...

re: noise - well rather than doing it outside people's houses, it will be done in the park, where people don't live. Would you like them to rip out the basketball court and the children's play area too, in case of noise?

re: tagging The police approve and it's their job to deal with tagging.

Ross said...

i can't think of a good response to headhunters argument that doesn't come across as super rude so imma just mash the keyboard a whole lot to convey my annoyance

gudiwdkleiorugefhdjojbcfhudjn fouyeiwodufdjknqsrbfincjoqebufeinibruydjnbirufnemofnbgrudkl

Anonymous said...

I remember these being built years ago,and as all crazes they were empty within weeks.After being paid for by tax payers

Anonymous said...

will it encourage skater/tagging gangs?

Anonymous said...

we may regret this if gangs start turning up.

Danja said...

Can't say I am thrilled about it if the proposal is that it is in the Lower Park. It's dangerous enough for toddlers already with the widespread flouting of the no bikes rule, the out of control scooterists, and the (few) skaters who already hurtle down the paths.

If its somewhere else, great.

Headhunter said...

Yeah I remember there being loads of deserted skateboard parks that were built in a hurry in the 70s and by the 80s were disused.

Is there currently a problem with skateboarding on the street near Telegraph Hill Park? Honest question as I have no idea but in my experience kids on the street skate past and for a couple of moments you have a lot of noise and then it's gone. At a skate board park it would be more or less constant. I don't think anywhere near the level of noise at a basketball court or possibly even a kids playground, but then I suppose it would depend obn how popular it was...

As for the tagging "let the police deal with it", is hardly a response! They barely deal with drug crime across London, they ain't really going to be interested in a bit of tagging!

Avril Lavigne said...

Headhunter was obviously never a Sk8ter Boi.

Danja said...

Real gangs don't skate and they are already there anyway. There was a shooting in the park last week (leg wound only apparently).

Anonymous said...

urban gang culture is connected with skating, tagging, graffitti, hip hop etc.if every park had a skateboard area then fine but to have one at Telegraph Hill and not others would mean all theh skater gangs around coming to Telegraph Hill.

Mb said...

God I remeber being child in the 80's and being terrorised by gangs of skateboarding hoodlums. Or was it New Romantics? I always get those two mixed up. Anyway, fancy kids playing IN A PARK! what's wrong with a bottle of Diamond White and some glue?

Tamsin said...

Various questions to answer (then I must get back to what I am being paid for...)

1) It would not be in the Lower Park - as said, so steep as to be truly awesome and also closes at dusk. You do not want to encourage children to climb in and undertake a potentially dangerous activity where access for the emergency services would be
difficult.

2) There is quite a lot of skateboarding in the streets around Telegraph Hill. In Jerningham, as you say, they trundle past - walk back up and trundle past, a bit annoying but no real problem (apart from the risk to the children in steepish streets with speeding traffic (and buses)). However elsewhere some poor soul has just the right configuration of slope and kerbe for the children to gather and practise non-stop. That is what led to confrontation, bad-feeling and threats of ASBOs.

3) This, I understand it, will be designed for younger extremely local teenagers - and should not be especially challenging or attractive to those outside the area. If you are travelling anyway go to the South Bank, Greenwich or Peckham Rye.

4) The engineering and construction methods have improved over the last twenty years. There is now sound buffering and low-noise concrete etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm against it, for one. The skateboarding is a constant menace for drivers around the telegraph hill and park area and as a resident there I don't want it to be encouraged. And I certainly don't want people from the surrounding areas coming to the lower park to do this.

Sounds NIMBYish and grumpy, but I'm sorry - that's the way I feel. as long as I'm allowed an opinion, I'd rather not encourage it or have it here. [And I fully respect the rights of others to have opposite opinions]

Tamsin said...

@ Anon 16.26 It is precisely to get the menace off the streets that this is being considered. And provided extreme enthusiasm can be kept in check we should end up with something that the pre-teens and younger teenagers can enjoy (and have some - aweful buzz-word but of some relevance here - "ownership" of)while not making something that is a mecca for skateboarders from all over SE London.

I am slightly worried by the tendency to design by committee. When I saw what the designers the group are consulting produce I quite liked it and could see it potentially set into the bottom bit of the Upper Park in a fairly unobtrusive way. But then people began talking about "planting" and "rails" and "canapies" and "benches" and I am getting slightly worried again.

The Upper Park is not the only possible site though - and all sorts of things will be open for comment at the consultation day.

M said...

There is a skate park in Ladywell Fields already and that isn't overrun with terrifying 'skater' gangs, shanking each other and terrorising the old folk. No noticeable graffiti either.
It's a bunch of kids with their jeans under their arses skating and biking and you know... being kids!
Remember that you miserable sods?

Christ, when did this place turn into the Daily Mail messageboard?

drakefell debaser said...

Skateboarding has little to do with gangs and you will find that the people that participate are generally decent people. They are interested in pulling tricks rather than pulling knives. Graffiti is associated but it tends to be a little more creative than the RAIDRONED we have sprawled across the railway bridge. It is also kept to the skate area rather than on every surface available.

I ride past a group of 4 kids that play about on Waller Rd in the evenings so can see why it would be best to have them in a safer area but Peckham Rye has a skate park and it is not as the copper says a ‘great distance’ away. More like 15 minutes skate down hill from Waller Rd.

Selfish point, but I wouldn’t want it to be in the upper park because it is a small park surrounded closely by houses and it is quite nice to sit on top by the tennis courts on a summers day and take in the pretty spectacular view of London. A kid trying over and over again to master an ollie in the back ground, or worse foreground, might ruin that. I would be against it if it were to be placed here.

Besides the upper park hosts the local winter Olympics and is a great venue for skidding down a hill on your ironing board when it snows. Concrete is not conducive to these activities.

Brockley Nick said...

Tamsin has addressed all the specific concerns raised here admirably I think.

To add a couple of more general points.

1. Skateboarding isn't a phase. I don't know what facilities or when you are referring to that were built and not used, but I suspect you are talking about the 70s or 80s, which is 30 or 40 years ago, when the sport was in its infancy. Participation levels have risen dramatically and it's now recognised by Sport England as a very important mass participation sport.

2. Skateboarding isn't synonymous with gang culture and I have no idea where you get that idea from, unless you count "groups of kids" as gangs. Skating is the antithesis of gang culture, since its based around actually doing something positive and active, rather than standing around and occasionally fighting one another. A more accurate stereotype would be to say it's the preserve of middle class kids.

But why don't you go along and meet the kids (and their families) who are campaigning to do something positive for their area and see if you think they are gang members?

Brockley Nick said...

PS - I was a (not v good) skater. No gang affiliations. Anyone else want to out themselves?

drakefell debaser said...

I was fine at skating along but I was quite rubbish when it came to tricks.

In the end the idea was to see how fast we could go which involved a rope and a friend on a bike peddling as fast as he could. My brother took that a step further with a motorbike and learnt a valuable lesson about balance.

Monkeyboy sliding out the office early said...

Actually it was the New Romantics. Adam Ant threw a starter motor through a pub window - google it.

I do like the fact that tamsin talks about the 'awsome' slope. Is she an ex skater chick?

Pete said...

There's a skatepark in Ladywell fields and I haven't seen too much evidence of gangs or tagging.

Quite a few emo looking people which could actually be worse...

Tamsin said...

@ Monkeyboy Alas, no. Just picking up on abdou's first post on this matter.
My brother, though, was given one of the very first skateboards in the early 60s - before the technology and ball bearings were really sorted out so in the event it was never much cop. But all his thank-you letters that year were absolute classics:

"Dear Aunt Rosamond,
Thank you for the handkerchief / colouring pad / lovely jumper [or whatever]. I like it very much.

Cousin John has given me a super-surfer-skater!!

love from
William"

Anonymous said...

My Skateboard was a text book on one of the old type skates.

Anonymous said...

and did you get the urge to stab anyone?

ThomasDolby said...

Ive heard your pretty noisy coming out of the pub Headhunter.

Anonymous said...

@ tamsin

Where are the hoping to build this? ie) which corner of which park?

Tamsin said...

One of the three - or it may be four - sites under consideration is the western end of the Telegraph Hill Upper Park, i.e. the one with the tennis courts (already a degree of noise, but not, admittedly, after dark) and the view over Central London.

To my mind, if the skateboard facility needs to be lit it is an absolute non-starter - that sunset view is fantastic and the Park Users Group have contrived to avoid having any street lighting in the park so you can actually go up there meteor spotting in due season.

I totally agree with DD that skateboarders in the background (i.e. immediately behind you where you're sitting on the slope and next to the tennis courts - where in fact a lot of people use the only bit of flat grass to kick around foot-balls or play tennis while waiting for a court to come free) or in the immediate foreground (where the picnic benches are) would seriously detract from the enjoyment of the views.

It is possible that having them in the middle-ground (if we are talking the language of the picturesque here) i.e. down towards the western edge, beyond the path that snakes north-south across the park at that point, might be OK. If it is sunk slightly into the terrain which I gather is possible and there is no extraneous clutter in the way of canapies, benches and rails. There is something fairly mesmerising about the way those heads bob to and fro.

jessica said...

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Anonymous said...

Huh?

Headhunter said...

Just to set the record straight, I don't live in Telegraph Hill and if the residents are fine with it then so be it. I just thought I'd put my thoughts down. I didn't say anything about "gangs" or "danger" or anything else Daily Mailist, I simply said that there could be a noise and graffiti issue, however if there are other skate parks where this isn't a problem then perhaps I'm overreacting....

Anonymous said...

HH do you have outstanding issues about being bullied by skaters at school or were the cyclists the jets and skaters the sharks? Skaters are too busy learning tricks and smoking weed to be in gangs.

I grew up near bondi so preferred to surf, even in the cold water and with the rough surfies. There was an illegal skate ramp in one of the abandoned garages but falling off hurt a lot more. Hardly the postcard bondi of today!

People, don't be so anti stuff happening. Unless you want bored kids wasting, getting fat and filtering into gangs give them things to do. Also not being a pussy helps. That way you talk to them and don't have victim stamped on your forehead living in fear.

Headhunter said...

Err, read the comment properly. I said nothing about "gangs", "bullies" or other issues. I simply said there may be concerns over noise and tagging.

Rosie said...

The skate park in Ladywell Fields is pretty friendly.

Trundled over there last year with my ancient inline skates and did a circuit or two while admiring tricks the kids were practising.

As well as teenagers there were some 20-somethings and a good vibe - so much so I've promised myself some quads once the weather improves and I can go join in. (I'm mid-30s).

Telegraph Hill Park sounds like a great project, if properly done, though residents' concerns must be taken into account too.

There are regular skate events all over London and from the emails I get about them, they attract skaters of all ages and level of fitness.

Anonymous said...

Anyone up for a weekly Brockley skate & ski? Turn up with inline skates or 4 wheelers (with/without ski poles) and do a 4 hour trip.

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - in response to an attempt by some 11 year olds to create somewhere they can play you said: "God. Sounds absolutely ghastly..." before going on to declare that you knew nothing about the issue and that it was none of your business. Then you said that you knew better than the police that tagging would be a problem. I think that's why people reacted to you as they did.

Just to clear up the confusion, Poochie the skateboarding dog is a satirical character in a cartoon, not a real person.

Tamsin said...

Voiced, memorably, by Homer if I recall correctly. Now there's a concept - did Dan Castellenata get paid double or half rates?

Blunderbuss said...

'urban gang culture is connected with skating, tagging, graffitti, hip hop etc'

What a load of ignorant rubbish. Skating has never been associated with 'urban gang culture'. You clearly know nothing about skating or gangs.

When did this become the Daily bloody Mail?

Tamsin said...

In defence of HH (not that he needs defending) the reaction of some of us deeply involved in the restoration of the parks was also "God. Sounds absolutely ghastly" and "over our dead bodies". And he is right that noise and tagging are issues with old style skateparks. Even some of the pictures on the current designers website show graffiti.

I have taken a lot of convincing that the Upper Park is a suitable site and if the promoters seek to incorporate too many ideas I will revert to being dead set against it.

Anonymous said...

People will come from all over the world to use It.

patrick1971 said...

I do love that quote, "This dog is getting biz-ZAY". Having worked in marketing for nearly 20 years, it's a scarily accurate portrayal of many of the types you come across.

drakefell debaser said...

Tamsin, what I don't quite understand is that the objections for having it in the lower park apply to the upper park. Both are hilly, small and surrounded by houses. The only difference between the 2 is that the upper one is not locked at night. But, if the skate area is not going to be lit then what difference does it make?

Is there a need for night time skating or could the kids just accept that winter has shorter daylight hours?

Headhunter said...

OK, may be "absolutely ghastly" was an exaggeration of my feelings and it's true I don't know the facts, I was simply writing my thoughts. I'm with Tamsin though, if I lived nearby I would take a bit of convincing but I'm not saying I could never be convinced. I don't think the response to potential graffiti and noise disruption of "let the police deal with it" is the answer though. Great way to waste police time and divide local adult and local youth populations further than they already are.

Brockley Nick said...

@Hh - I didn't say let the police deal with it. I said they are actively encouraging the project - as the article states. The team whose job it is to build better community relations think it would actively improve things. I value their informed opinion.

And who knows, maybe they think that giving kids something to do will cut down the level of grafitti in the area?

love detective said...

@hh

"and divide local adult and local youth populations further than they already are"

i'm guessing you don't see the irony in your above concern

Brockley Kate said...

Trying to imagine Nick on a skateboard.

Failing ...

Anonymous said...

Think HH is being given a rough ride by BC here. Just because the kids have come up with the idea doesn't make it automatically sound. He is right about both the noise and the tagging. The Upper Park is a very special place at the moment. It is a small park with very little green space, and offers wonderful, peaceful views across London. I'm not against skate parks, and I'm truely not being nimbyist, but it seems to me that we are going to lose something very special. You can't replicate what Upper Park has, very easily. You can put a skate park in another open space that will not detract from it's charm. How about the large green space behind New Cross High street for example?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure most people who, like me, live near the upper park will object to this dimwit scheme.

Skate parks and teenagers are both noisy - no matter what anyone says about noise reduction techniques. There are houses very close to where this is proposed, including mine, and there is nothing to stop anyone using it all night as the upper park isn't locked.

I'm sure 99 per cent of the teenagers are decent enough but it only needs one or two thugs hanging around - and there will be thugs hanging around - to make the park menacing and unpleasant.

There will be tagging - maybe starting with the skate park itself, but probably moving to nearby homes and even cars before long.

Oh, and the Safer Neighbourhoods team - who apparently support this idea - bugger off home in the evening so won't have any idea about the true extent of the problem.

So don't expect this to go ahead without a fight.

Tamsin said...

@DD The lower park is steeper than the upper one and, after a couple of nasty accidents, has the cycle and skateboard ban more widely promoted and enforced. And one could not realistically expect the children to carry their board to the designated area.

And closure at dusk (so incredibly early in winter) is relevant. A lot of the street activity that gave rise to the initial complaints was/is in the early evening after dark. To have the facility wasted in a park that is shut at that time will either mean the children are even more likely than at present to climb over the railings (and so be out of sight of passing responsible adults and out of easy reach of emergency services) or push them back onto the streets (at total waste of effort and money).

Tamsin said...

Just to note - quite a way ahead but there is a Park Users Meeting in the Telegraph Hill Centre on 22 March at 8pm. Matters so far logged for discussion are this skatepark thing (results of the consultation should be available by then), an open air gym (like in - I think - Peckham Rye) and an orchard project (unless it turns out too late for this particular round of funding).

Anyone concerned for/using the parks encouraged to attend.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon - how are they going to skate at night if it's unlit? The argument that a facility designed for teenagers will inevitably attract thugs is a) highly dubious and b) an argument for also getting rid of the basketball court in the lower park - or indeed never building any new sports facility.

Other Anon (please give yourselves names people) - fair point about the specialness of the Upper Park, but there are a number of sites proposed, so why not go along and talk to the team behind it about the various options?

Tamsin said...

Actually, Nick, it would be easy to skate at night with no extra lighting - I mooched around recently and to my mind quite enough filters in sideways from Kitto Road, and obviously whenever there is cloud cover huge amounts reflect down from the sky.
Additional lighting on a facility in the upper park would make it an absolute no-no as totally wrecking the night-time view.

Monkeyboy said...

Who are parks for exactly? Todlers? Teenagers? 30's? Pensioners? Trick question of course.

Unless you lock teenagers up until they become wage slaves I'm not sure how you prevent contact with them. By the way graffiti in the uk is no where near as extensive as in Germany - just saying.

Anonymous said...

I too disagree with the assertion that the Lower Park is too steep to be suitable, but the Upper Park isn't. Fact is both parks have steep bits, both parks have parts which have been flattened to make tennis or basketball courts. There's nothing steep about the part of the lower park where the Farmers Market is held. The 'nasty accident' (possibly the incident where a little girl tumbled over her handlebars in the Lower Park and landed on her face?) gets a mention - but what about the lady who broke both arms slipping on an icy slope in the Upper Park around Christmas-time?

drakefell debaser said...

Well, I go through the upper park every night on my way home and it really depends on the cloud cover as to how light it is there.

I usually find it quite dark and think that lighting would be required to skate safety. I guess it depends on how you define safe but if I were a parent I wouldn't want my kids skating in the dark, in a park where only the odd dog walker / cyclist goes past.

If it is going to be done then it should be done with proper lighting.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the LP would be a good site for a skateboard area, but at least it is bordered on all four sides by the buffer space of pavements and roads. The same isn't the case with the UP. It's mostly surrounded by back garden walls or the side walls of houses with the exception of one bit of Kitto Road (which happens to have a steep slope). So I say that makes it even less suitable.

Tamsin said...

Safer than skateboarding on the streets after dark where half the cars are blinded by the headlights of the other half - with the added strobe effect of going over bumps. That is a matter for the parents to take a view on what is an acceptable risk. In the park with no lights, on the streets with lights but also with cars, or go to Peckham, Ladywell Fields, or elsewhere for a flood lit facility (with the journey there and back as the risk factor). Or stay at home with violent video games.

Several nasty accidents. The one I had in mind was an adult female cyclist (ironically just as we were in a parks meeting with Glendale reps. happily saying that most issues seemed to be resolved - they got an urgent phone call and had to rush out). The lower park has longer slopes to get up to serious speed on and more children and buggies etc. to get in the way or run over.

Anonymous said...

Should kids be out after dark anyway ?

Matt-Z said...

Would sunken or low level lighting work in a skate park, giving a bit of subdued light to the facilities but not polluting the sky and view?

Anonymous said...

So if you're 15 you must be in by 5:30 in the winter? Perhaps you we're joking

Tamsin said...

@Matt. That is something that I had in mind... If the base is sunk two or three feet below ground level - and sloping with the slope of the ground - you could have lights set into those retaining walls. (And possibly only on the eastern wall to even more minimise the effect on the view from the top of the hill.) Massive extra cost of running electricity supply into the park unless technology now allows something clever with solar panel tiling and LEDs (or do I mean LCDs?).

drakefell debaser said...

Tamsin, in your previous posts you are against lighting but now some lighting is going to be OK?

Aside from the upper park, do you know what other sites are proposed?

Tamsin said...

I know - I'm being a bit inconsistent but I am trying (with a very ego-centric view) to work out where the compromise position would be between what the SPAG people would like in the Upper Park and what I personally think could be acceptable. And it was very low level lights (in every sense) and shielded from and pointing away from the viewing point.

On the other sites under consideration, one suggestion - which I think started tongue in cheek but is I believe being taken forward into the consultation - is to close entirely the one way bit of Kitto Road between Pepys and Erlanger, thus fully pedestrianising a link between the two parks. (Downside - whether other currently closed routes would need to be opened up to maintain adequate access for emergency services and, if so, what the traffic effects would be.)

The member of the group I spoke to in the park recently mentioned another site but I did not immediately recognise it and so can't remember it now. Their flyer suggests people e-mail skateparkactiongroup - AT - hotmail-dot-co-uk for more information.

The patch of land on the corner of Mona and Dennetts Roads (in the Wildgoose) is not being considered - residents would object. (This is somewhere I had suggested at an early stage although I now think it would be better for the Open Air Gym for which someone has found funding if only he can get somewhere to put it. All sorts of scope for partnership working with Healthy Communities bodies in the NDC area.)

drakefell debaser said...

I think pedestrianising that bit of Kitto Rd is a great idea, it will join the parks together and if the café goes ahead then there will be an area free of cars for everyone to enjoy. Even if the skate park does not go there this idea should be pursued further. One day the car needs to lose a battle.

I was thinking this morning when I cycled down that bit of Arbuthnot that is now a dead end, the road is practically non existent in many places due to neglect (plaudits to Lewisham for putting a speed hump there though) and it would be an ideal place for a skate park. It is flat, out of the way but central for the ward and would provide a large area for skating and BMX activities. Right now it is a cut through and a parking lot which I think could be put to far greater use.

What do you think?

Tamsin said...

I would love it - the people in the Jerningham Road house alongside were such a pain about the park restoration and the siting of any children's playground that to dump a skateboard park right next to them would give me a childish and malignant pleasure. (Always assuming it is still the same people five years on.)

Closing Kitto is in principle a great idea, although whether having a skatepark right outside the new cafe is a big plus point or a big minus point would be purely a matter of deeply divided opinion. And I can't make up my mind.

But closing Kitto would mean more traffic down Drakefell - how altruistic are you planning to be? And may require opening up another cross route, i.e. Arbuthnot. Then, unless we do something like making this section one way as is Kitto currently and the Jerningham Pepys section one way the direction, the residents of Arbuthnot would face increased traffic flows and would be fully justified in objecting and the Jerningham/Arbuthnot/Sandbourne junction would become an accident hot-spot (already quite a few minor incidents over the years). But doing this would send more evening traffic grinding up Pepys.
And there would also be increased traffic along the western end of Arbuthnot, near the school and, with a nice irony, possibly the residents of Waller who started the whole thing off by complaining so virulently about the skateboarders in the first place. Where on Waller is it that you see the lads practising?

Making things difficult for drivers is fine in principle but they more often seek an alternative way through rather than taking up public transport. Too high a value on their personal ego boxes.

Tamsin said...

Sorry - "Jerningham to Pepys section one way in the other direction..."

And, yes, the speed hump in that bit of Arbuthnot is a hoot, but anywhere that there is a 20mph limit is by immutable regulation obliged to have traffic calming measures in place (hence all the bus vibration problems if you have taken steps to try to keep the bus speeds down). The alternative would have been to have this section a 30mph zone within the overall 20mph area - and that would require signage on the road and on sticky up lollipops out of the pavement at either end!!

drakefell debaser said...

I am already of the opinion that the traffic down Drakefell Rd is excessive and I wouldn't want to add to it.

Would the Kender St works not stop people cutting through the hill as a short cut from Lausanne into Gellatly and so on?

Anyway it would be nice if it was possible as it would provide a great public space. If the powers that be are reading this, get cracking on the feasibility studies please.

The bit of Arbuthnot for skating makes sense to me and if the road wasn’t in such poor condition then the kids would probably be skating there already. The speed hump would be a great for getting some air time.

At the moment the kids I see skating are at the junction of Arbuthnot and Waller so this potential site is only a block away.

Tamsin said...

Pomeroy is two way after the Kender Triangle Works. More stuff coming straight up there and along Lausanne to Gellatly and Kitto or Drakefell as the A2 traffic that wants to get into the Hill will no longer be able to double back up Queen's by the White Hart and up Erlanger the way it is meant to do now. Queen's Road traffic won't be able to turn right into Lausanne, but will still be able to turn up earlier - along St. Mary's.

Tamsin said...

A correction - it was the people then (2003-5) in the Pepys house on corner with the dead-end bit of Arbuthnot who were such a pain. Apologies.

Also now found out the third site being seriously considered for the Skateboard Park. The little piece of totally wasted ground beside the Early Childhood Centre/Oak Hill Nursery on Wallbutton Road. Has quite a bit going for it. Already in Council ownership, a gate that can be locked at night, Council security people already come round between 8 and 9 to lock up the Early Childhood Centre premises and front gates, and not many residents to be disturbed. Those who are - the ones on Wallbutton Road opposite - might get a degree of buffering from the slope of the ground, and if it is shut by 9 there is a at least a time limit.

drakefell debaser said...

I think I know the bit you mean Tamsin. Using up land that is left to waste is a good idea I think.

I haven't seen the kids skating lately, have they been banned for the time being?

Off topic but I keep meaning to ask, and looking at google maps has reminded me. There is a large green space at the top of Jerningham Rd. I always wonder what it is when I walk past, is it a private garden?

Tamsin said...

Yes, if the design people think it is possible that is the site that I would vote for. And the lads (who are presumably off the street at present because they are busy preparing bids and devising research tools for the consultation) ought to be able to get what they want quicker than if it were in the Park (which could have stability and drainage issues - a lot of cracking in the paths after the restoration and when the ground was being cleared massive quantities of broken Victorian earthenware bottles clearly brought in by the cartload to deal with problems perceived at the time) or on Kitto Road (with all the complexities of permanent road closure).

The large space towards the upper end of Jerningham is an ex reservoir (hence Reservoir Road). Owned by St. James Properties - who I believe are a combination of Thames Water and Berkeley Homes - who want to build on it. Currently sub judice while the question of whether or not a restrictive covenant should be lifted is sorted out before the Lands Tribunal between St James and the Haberdashers Livery Company (who originally imposed the covenant).

It was mooted as a site for the Skatepark but would take ages to get it available for the community, with a lot of "ifs" and "buts" along the way, and even then it would need a lot of work to make it safe - there is still the underground tank there, perceptible in outline on google earth - and even then very enclosed and invisible - another safety issue. Also totally surrounded by residential.

What I would like for it is a community orchard with some of Kate Hinze's rescue chickens and a couple of Jacob's sheep....

drakefell debaser said...

Interesting, it is quite a large space and it would be nice if the public were allowed access to it while the covenant is debated.

The space is too large for a skate park, unless Telegraph Hill starts hosting tournaments, but an orchard would be a great addition.

No doubt some of those 'stunning' 1 and 2 bed apartments that Berkeley specialise in will crop up eventually.

Tamsin said...

I had in mind a sort of combined skatepark and orchard. A far cry from the urban concrete of the South Bank where the lads waiting their turn could pick blackberries and scrump unripe apples.

For the buildling of "select" appartments, I really, really hope not. And their first attempt at planning permission was for 11 (I think) town houses that neither preserved nor enhanced the Conservation Area. Then they woke up to the covenant sitting there on the LR titled, large as life and preventing any building 9ft above the ground level) and the existing mound uses up that.

Hopefully if the Haberdashers have the conviction to stand firm the covenant will remain in place and so the land be virtually worthless and in reach of the community.

We'll see. In the meantime I plan to go on a bee-keeping course and will talk to the Orchard Project people.

Anonymous said...

re: skate facilities.

I am not a resident of the immediate neighbourhood (I live in Brockley) but I sympathise with some of the residents' concerns about noise and the 'culture' a it were of skateboarders. However, as some respondents have already said, it's not a fair assumption to associate 'gang', 'grafitti' and other objects of moral panic with skaters. Skaters, on the whole, are not grafitti artists. As with a lot of male-dominated subcultures, skaters tend to obsess about skating. in my experiences as a former skater, I've found that people who vandalised our 'spots' were often confronted and asked to desist since it may threaten the existence of the 'spot'. Skaters are a really great bunch of people. Trust me. It's true.

I want to recommend that any facility is carefully and creatively designed, to ensure that it is NOT a waste of money. It is unwise to allow contractors who claim to design skateparks have too much influence over design and materials used. They need to be VERY carefully supervised and briefed. For instance, metal and wooden structures are often poorly designed and arranged, and that would be a shame. Look into very good quality terrain such as Stockwell skatepark. Don't assume that someone who says they know what to build actually DOES know what to build. Those behind the scheme SHOULD ensure that it is enviable among skaters that this park is well made and popular. It SHOULD be an aim to encourage people to travel to it. Why make something that isn't worth making? It should be unique, in some way, to skaters and BMXers and Trials cyclists (let's not forget them in all this, as they will wanbt to use it too ... this is very important). If the park is popular that would decrease the percieved risks of antisocial behaviour, not vice versa, and discourage those who want to 'cause trouuble' will go elsewhere.

I applaud the efforts of this project. I have a young son and note that, although there are a few parks with play equipment for small children, there seems to be a lack of 'slack space' that is welcoming to adolescents in the area. Young people need places to go that don't demand an ability to pay in order to participate, thus not only given opportunity to define themselves not just by their structured sports, retail and indoor sedantry activities.

If any residents with concerns want to look into this subject more I would recommend an excellent study by Iain Borden called 'Skateboarding, Space and the City', where some of the planning and design theories are explored from an architectural and somewhat unique perspective. It would also benefit those involved in the project to have a look at some of the arguments around preserving, encouraging and developing unstructured play spaces, to the benefit of all, particularly helping those with lots of expendable energy such as children and adolescents focus that energy in socially responsible, artisitc, mutually benefical and contructive ways. It could become the focus of something very special for your neighbourhood, if carefully handled. If you go into this with a knee-jerk 'adult' reaction, you will waste the money. For instance, it may possible to invovle a group of artists who create something like 'skateable sculptures' to contribute ... and actually make a thing of beauty, such as a concrete wave... It needn't be grey! Nor graffiti-covered.


Ben, Brockley.

benDOTleightonATtheppcDOTcom

Anonymous said...

It's good to see that there is a mature debate happening here.
As I write one of the 'skater gang members' is playing with his 3 year old sister, they are tickling each other and laughing like drains. It's hard to imagine this soft, goofy boy shanking anyone or terrorising OAP's.
On a more depressing note. The SPAG people, kids and adults, have been out and about promoting their consultation event on the 27th (from 11am - 3pm Lower Park), posting flyers and putting up posters. Some mean spirited individual has systematically removed every poster from the trees and fences on Telegraph Hill. Come on now people, we are entitled to a debate and SPAG are going out of their way to do the right thing. Shabby, dispiriting behaviour.

Tamsin said...

Not actually quite all of them - having said that I did not see any when putting up the posters for the Farmers Market - I then noticed one still in position just outside the park. It may also be that the ones put up on the park gates have been taken down by the glendale people shutting the park acting under orders. Just as almost any poster used to be taken down, again on instructions, by the street cleaners.

On feels paranoid (the bus consultation posters we have been putting up to ensure that those who use the 343 are aware of that consultation deadline have some of them been removed) but it is not necessarily malice directed at the content of the poster.

Anonymous said...

i skate am 14 and basically really anoyed at everything thats being said. Skaters have nothing to do with gangs and if you think like that you need to get out more. If you are worried about problems like noise and stuff then would you rather us to die infront of cod all day or skate in the park in the sun

monkeyboy said...

Please don't die in front of cod. That would be a waste of a young life, run free little one and pull off an awesome outside board slide.

Actually I think anon @ 20:44 has probably posted the most succinct and sensible comment on here....not sure about the cod though, Pollock is much more sustainable ;-)

drakefell debaser said...

I think the guy is talking about Call of Duty .... one of those video games that the mail loves to hate.

Monkeyboy said...

You see? I'm post 40 so have no idea what all the young kids are up to. I'll get back to griping about my bad back.

I still prefer the idea of a sullen youth being forced to eat a large fish supper.

drakefell debaser said...

Must admit, I did feel a degree of satisfaction in knowing that. I am still down, man...

Brockley Nick said...

The Mail is traditionally on the side of the Nazis, so is unlikely to be a fan of Call of Duty.

Tamsin said...

Happy with you skating in the park in the sun, but not if regulations require so much artificial light where you skate that I (and many others) can't enjoy the night view over London or the meteor showers - as one can now from the Upper Park. Happy with you skating in something set up in Kitto Road so long as it does not turn Arbuthnot Road into a rat run and the junction with Jerningham into an accident black spot.

All great ideas - and I truly admire what you are doing and the energy with which you are doing it - have unintentioned consequences and the trick is to have an open mind to anticipate as many of these as possible and work out some compromise position which will be less than you would ideally like but will make enough concessions to keep most others relatively happy.

Tamsin said...

Also, no need to be annoyed by everything that's being said. Only a few anonymous posters have equated skating with gang culture and they have been already taken severely to task by others who, like you, know that this is not true. The vast majority posting on this thread are fully supportive of your plans.

Anonymous said...

Tamsin, your orchard would't fit with my parkour! I'd have to reroute.

I like the idea of local apiaries though, shame we can't have the stingless bees from Australia as the cold would kill them. Funny how a country with such dangerous fauna and flora ends up with stingless bees!

Tamsin said...

Couldn't you leap Tarzan-like from tree to tree?

The recent talk on bee-keeping at the Deptford Deli was really inspiring and one can have one or two hives almost anywhere. The chap who gave it has a dozen in a tiny patch of land by Deptford Creek - he lives on an adjacent boat - and, the hive mind is not stupid, his bees fly up to forage in Brookmill Park going along under the elevated dlr to keep out of the rain.

sevenoakser said...

Australian bees definitely do sting! I am speaking as a former victim.

Anonymous said...

sevenoakser, they were feral bees!

stingless bees

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of beekeeping but my mum and brother are alergic. If they don't end up in a hospital half an hour after being stung they are dead. I suppose if there is a family falling out it's a good way to keep them away.

Anonymous said...

Tamsin, you thought about your roof? Some young lad from Hackney has about 8 hives on his roof.

Local said...

Nick, maybe a thread on brockley hobbies would be a good idea?

Anonymous said...

I heard that the location proposed was the top Telegraph Hill site. People's gardens back onto parts of that park, so noise could become a problem for some people who might just want to relax in their own back garden. The top park is a great place to eat, relax and enjoy the views over London, and I wonder how much the tranquillity of the park could be spoiled by the skate park. I'm not entirely convinced by 'low-noise concrete.' It would be a shame to lose any of the grass areas too. I would imagine Hilly Fields would be a better location, as there is much more space, and there are other youth sporting activities taking place there already.

Anonymous said...

From a skaters point of view, we need to be somehwere in the sun for most of the day. One of the main problems with Peckham is that it is mostly under trees meaning it takes far longer to dry than it should.

Tamsin said...

@Anon 17.35 Come along to the consultation on Saturday (11 - 4 in the Lower Park). There are other sites proposed and the whole essence of the consultation process is to be open to people's views and ideas.

But I personally would say now that Hilly Fields is a fair trog away - what these lads are looking for is something local.

Anonymous said...

I tried to email my objections to the skate park but the address given on the leaflet wasn't working. We were bombarded with the noise all day today as we live above the lower park. The park is just not big enough/too close to houses/not suited to this. And our kids grew up playing football/ basket ball there, something they could do with their parents and friends. The rest of the park was today dominated by the skating noise, so that even when with small children by the slide we couldn't escape. And rogue skaters skated on other parks. Please, NO.

ppp said...

"It would be a shame to lose any of the grass areas too. I would imagine Hilly Fields would be a better location, as there is much more space, and there are other youth sporting activities taking place there already." Classic! Good old Brockley to the rescue...again.

Anonymous said...

Christ PPP, will you stop with the 'we in brockley are great'. Makes you sound like a knob.

ppp said...

FFS Get it right! This totally not about Brockley being great, but about selfishness and nimbyism.

I wish people liked having fun more said...

the anonymous person two comments ago needs to stop being such an ignorant twat and shut up- if hed bothered actually coming along to the tent and having a look then you woulld have known that that was a temporary skatepark FOR THE DAY. If your talking about me and my friends going to have a look at the huge slide then were only having fun and we are allowed to. It was a great day and even if you were disturbed by the noise or whatever then you need to stop being such a boring person and get a life and realise that if about 20 or 30 people are having a sick time and you can hear us having a good time then thats a good thing. Also safe to all the grown ups who came along and probably made us a bit more credible- appreciate it. Had a great time despite the weather.

Tamsin said...

@ppp It is undeniable that Hilly Fields is a much larger space than the Telegraph Hill Upper Park and capable of absorbing a cricket pitch and probably more. Pity it is too far for the younger lads -which this facility is largely aimed at - to readily get to.

It is also a bit unfair to just accuse those, and there were quite a few at the consultation, who said that the Upper Park with its peacefulness and stunning views was special and should be kept that way, of nimbyism as if it is a heinous crime.

It should be possible to reach some compromise as long as those in both camps do not get too strident in the demands on one side and the denials on the other.

Anonymous said...

The event in the lower park yesterday was fantastic and served to show the demand for a skatepark in the area. The skaters had a great time and it is estimeted that around 250 people skaters, parents and other interested parties turned up. The displays were good and their were plenty of volunteers on hand to explain what is being proposed. However despite displays indicating the three sites that are being proposed some people seem to think that the lower park/basketball area is being suggested, IT'S NOT. The lower park is totally unsuitable and there is NO suggestion that the skatepark should be built there.
Personally, I think that any development should be outside of the park and I favour the closing of KItto Road. This would tie the two parks together and the new cafe would further add to the unification of the two par areas.

It seemed like the vast majority of people attending the event were very much in favour.

GO SPAG

Tamsin said...

Unfortunately not quite tie the two parks together - vehicles will still need to get in and out of St. Catherine's Drive. But it would go a long way towards doing it. And, if the Wallbutton site (which has the advantage of security gates already in place and the potential to be available really quickly) is deemed too isolated and far from the centre of things and too difficult physically for a suitable scheme, closing Kitto is what I would go for - despite the knock-on traffic issues.

Headhunter said...

I'm still not entirely convinced about this. Putting aside all the Daily Mail, they want your ipod, gang warfare descending on Telegraph Hill etc etc, for a minute.

There are genuine concerns that a park, which is currently relatively peaceful will suffer from noise pollution with the installation of a skate park.

I also think that any plan to construct some kind of dedicated facility, be it a cricket pitch, tennis courts or a skate park, on public parkland, therefore excluding anyone other than a minority of dedicated users (tennis and cricket players or in this case, skateboarders) on this part of the park itself, needs to be carefully thought through.

I'm not that familiar with the upper park at Telegraph Hill, but there are already tennis courts on part of the park. How much more space will be sacrificed for the skate park? Will this make a noticeable impact on the free space available to others?

FW said...

I am not against a skateboard park in the area as it would be great if kids had a place to go for this activity. However, the use of the Upper Park for a skateboard park is extremely inapproriate. This historic park with its magnificent views and (fairly limited) open green space is the jewel in the New Cross/Brockley area. It is a peaceful spot used by young and old people as well as a by dogs who need an area such as this to run excercise (the lower part of the Upper Park being the best place to play "catch," etc.). I hope common sense prevails in this process and the Upper Park is not severely compromised in order to cater to a minority of users. This is not NIMBYism -- I simply don't want to see a wonderful historical green space enjoyed by residents and visitors irretrievably and seriously compromised.

Tamsin said...

Careful thinking through is what this consultation on the part of SPAG is all about.

And this extensive debate is presumably going to be taken as a useful part of it, illustrating all extremes of opinion and the rational voices in the midd.e

ppp said...

Ok, I hold my hands up. Its NIMBYISM its NIABYISM. "People's gardens back onto parts of that park," Not in Anyone's Back Yard.

The thing about skaters anyway, is that they're the kids of middle classers, so you needn't alarm yourself about gang warfare breaking out...too much.

ppp said...

forgot to add the 'NOT'.

i wish people liked having fun more said...

i know that some people might get anoyed if the skatepark is built in their spot where they can relax but there are two points id like to make
1) unlike peckham and the temporary park- the planned new skatepark will be all really smoth concrete. Not only is this great for us skaters but it will mean alot less noise. Im not sure if anyone here who is worried about noise has ever been to the skateparks at brixton, cantelowes or mile end but it will be just like those where people cruise around in near silence.

2)To the people saying that we shouldnt make way to a minority of skaters- if you come to a peckham rye on any dry day, you will see at least 20 if not 30 or 40 people skating, roller skating or riding with minimal disruption to everyone else. Although the skatepark is not completely backing on to houses, it is very close but from the closest road it is virtually impossible to tell that there is a skatepark there.

Headhunter said...

Yeah, sorry, still not grabbing me. 30-40 skaters are going to make a fair amount of noise and general chaos no matter how smooth the concrete and a facility large enough for that number would surely take up a pretty hefty chunk of the green space. It's currently a lovely peaceful spot enjoyed by many with beautiful views.

Tamsin said...

There are alternatives. If lots of people are really in favour of having it in the Park but other people really against it - perhaps one could settle on Kitto Road option - near the Cafe and pedestrianising the road. It would certainly be an easier build and is concrete on tarmac rather than taking up any green space.

A worry might be what is under there in the way of water and gas mains, but the water was certainly recently relaid so should be good for a few years yet.

Dylan12345 said...

i cannot understand why everyones slagging it off when skating gets people out of crime (gun and knife etc.) and they actually do something useful and sporty instead of sitting at home all day and playing on their xbox 360s, ps3s ... etc. it wont make much noise because again the ground is going to be smooth and skateparks are designed to be quiet so neighbours do not get angry

Monkeyboy said...

so long as we ban trousers worn low so that underpants are on show and no one calls me 'dude' or implores me to 'chill' then it has my blessing.

Tamsin said...

Oh Monkeyboy, don't remind me! On Saturday as the consultation was closing up there were some lads, not the skateboarders, larking around on the basketball court and climbing right up to sit on the rails by the hoops. An impressive display of altheticism except that one of them ended up with his jeans slung below his buttocks. Luckily he had nice grey pants on coming up to waist level or there would have been a good six inches of bum-crack on display.

ppp said...

"when skating gets people out of crime (gun and knife etc.)"

I think that's overstating things somewhat.

Tamsin said...

Yes, the argument has to be that it's more prevention than cure.

i wished people liked fun more said...

although i dont know any ex gangster skaters it certainly does give us something to do and probably reduces obesity more than crime to be honest

Monkeyboy said...

depends, have you tried nicking a wallet and running like f**k? You shed pounds.

Tamsin said...

For those interested in the Upper Park (and the issue of the site for a skatepark among other things) there's a park users meeting on Monday - 8pm in the Telegraph Hill Centre.

farfromtheland said...

I am a skater and neither middle class or a lad, nor do I live near Telegraph Hill. Hope you don't mind if I stick my oar in.

Tamsin wrote, "This, I understand it, will be designed for younger extremely local teenagers - and should not be especially challenging or attractive to those outside the area. If you are travelling anyway go to the South Bank, Greenwich or Peckham Rye."
Skateparks, like anything else creative, seem to work better if the whole community - all ages and both sexes - are involved. Are you seriously intending to exclude older women? I'll have to set Germaine on you.

Greenwich and Lewisham currently have the fewest/least good skateparks in London. I wouldn't recommend a visit to Greenwich right now, but in a year or two it looks like we will have a couple of concrete parks to be proud of. Greenwich are working with local skaters to build something of quality that will attract people from other areas.

Telegraph Hill - please don't try to saddle your lovely park with noisy clunky cheap metal ramps. They will not have lasting appeal and could just become an eyesore. Concrete can be a treat to the eye as well as the ear. Naturally a temporary park packed to the gills for your event was pretty noisy. Smooth concrete is much quieter. Most noise from concrete skate bowls - because of the shape - is deflected upwards away from neighbours - site the skatepark in a dip with surrounding shrubs and the noise attenuation is even better.

Louis said...

I'm 22yr old a local resident and a have been skateboarding for over 12 years. All I can say is that I'm dismayed at the negative stereotypes of skaters that are being flung around left right and centre based on completely unfounded preconceptions of the sport by ignorant and closed minded individuals.
Obviously I understand the concerns relating to where the skate park should be, noise levels, etc, but these are things that need to be worked out and compromises are inevitably going to have to be made at some point. It's just not going to be possible to satisfy everyone.
Regardless, a dedicated skate spot needs to be built. The positives for the younger generation far outweigh the negatives.
As has already been said, skating helps to get kids being active, gets them away from crime and other less than savoury activities, but it also has many other benefits. It is a socially cohesive sport.
I personally skate regularly with people aged 15 to over 50. The idea that this park should only be for young kids is ludicrous. You should aim to make a skate park that will attract riders of ALL ages and abilities. Skateboarders look out for each other, and the older skaters will look after the interests of the younger skaters, teach them the skills the need to prevent themselves getting hurt, as well as deterring gangs and antisocial behavior. The only way to ensure you don't build a park that attracts gangs who will come to prey on the young skaters and graffiti the area is to make the park popular enough that there is safety in numbers. Proper lighting must be used if the skatepark is to be open after dark for both rider safety and as a deterent to antisocial behaviour.
Skateboarding gives teaches kids to aim higher, takes self motivation, and has a fantastic social structure that bring people of every creed together through a common love. When I was a younger skater I dreamed of being the best, becoming a professional skater, and travelling the world to skate. Well, I may not have made it as a full time professional, but I have gained sponsors through the hard work and determination that skating taught me, and I actually DO travel the world to compete.
It provides something to work towards, teaches you life skills that apply outside of the sport, keeps you fit and healthy and helps you to learn social skills. And this could be denied to the upcoming generation of skaters because the older generation are too indecisive and self interested?

Anonymous said...

....all the above and the occasional bruised coccyx.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something I experienced after my last night up Hilly Fields...

Tamsin said...

Louis, you sound as if you've a lot of experience and ideas to contribute. I'm not a part of it, so perhaps not in a position to give such an invitation, but would you consider joining up with the Skatepark Action Group to share these? I believe they have a facebook presence and can probably be contacted through that.

Louis said...

Hi Tamsin,

I will take a look on facebook, thanks for the heads up.

Tamsin said...

That's OK.

Although I'm not entirely sure of my motives - to be open and angst-ridden. I am agin' any more development in the quiet and peaceful upper park, and definitely opposed if it requires lights, fencing or is in anyway a large project. So by pointing you at the group with your quite high expectations and hopes for what is to be built am I making it easier or more difficult for an appropriate place to be found...

Louis said...

Hi Tamsin,
I'm not really sure that I can actually get involved in this project anyway, but I just thought I should add my opinion to the discussion.
I can agree that building something that would be to the detriment of other park users and to the park in general would not be a very good idea, but at the same time I feel that there are many postives that could come from a skate facility if the proper location can be found. And if it is to be built then if should be done properly, with the best possible skate park being built with available funds... no half measures!
I guess all I really wanted to say was that
a) I support the idea of a skate facility
b) that there are more positives other than just getting kids active that should be taken into consideration
c) it should aim to attract all riders of all ages and as many as possible so that it isn't a waste of money and is safer for all concerned
.......d)....Skaters are not thugs, and would not ruin anything theyre provided through anti social behaviour!

david said...

Have followed the discussion with interest. I must admit I find it difficult to see how the residents nearby would be protected from the inevitable noise of a skate park in the UP. While some additional noise might be acceptable I'd have thought (and this may simply be ignorance) that a skate park with both the noise of boards etc (smooth concrete or not) and the people using it would be a fairly significant intrusion into what seems to be an otherwise relatively peaceful spot. Perhaps more acceptable to occassional users of the park but if your house backs onto it and so it becomes a constant it would be pretty hard to take.

The idea of closing off the upper end of Kitto has some attractions but the knock-on consequences for traffic are fairly significant. I'd hate to see a closure there result in the opening up of Arbuthnot (which I live on so this of course influences my views) or the changing of the one way nature of the streets (Sherwin) lower down the hill. A lot of locals (east side of the hill) use Kitto when coming back from the city and points west and this is probably likely to increase given the changes to the Kender gyratory that are taking place. To divert the traffic that currently uses Kitto to Erlanger, Waller, Arbuthnot, Ommaney and Sherwin would be less than appealing (to some at least) and opening up Arbuthnot (or indeed the upper section of Pepys) is likely to encourage more traffic to use this as a cut through as these a bigger, wider roads (and don't have Kitto's mountainous speed humps) and thus it seems to me that more rather than less people would be likely to use them as rat runs than is the case with Kitto.

As a thought - has anyone from SPAG spoken to the developers of the site next to (east of) NXG station? They said at their consultation that they had been looking to incorporate a community facility (although they were largely thinking of libraries and the like I think) but there was no interest from the council etc in any facilities being incorporated. I wonder if they could be convinced to add a skate park which, given the location is already noisy (a train line immediately adjacent) and the build will need to take this into account might work. I guess there's a question of whether this is too far to go for the age group the park is being aimed at and of course the convincing the developers that it should be done (likely to be difficult I accept).

Oh - and I don't subscribe to the skaters are all thugs thory of the world but also think that it should be acknowledged that places where there are gatherings of larger groups of people (be they adult, teenage or ten year olds or combinations thereof) are also places where you get to see the good and the bad side of people. I can't imagine that the introduction of a skate park would be problem free but done right I don't imagine that it should mean the end of what passes for civilisation in these parts either. That said, I think those proposing this need to be absolutely clear who they are aiming the park at (and from what I have read so far they have consistently stated young locals although others seem to have suggested it should have a broader target group) as to my mind this necessary to fairly assess whether the proposals for any given location and type of faciltiy make "sense".

Anonymous said...

Why do they have to ruin the upper park with a sodding skateboard park? I'm local and this is the 'quiet park'. People go there to read, walk dogs, play tennis and admire the view. Serenity and contemplation. There are skate parks nearby and the lower park is already provisioned with great facilities for children of all ages. I remember going to the undercroft at the South Bank when I was a kid, and that's alot farther than Peckham Rye. Why can't they walk there or cycle there? If they're old enough to skate they can go there.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Brockley last year but before then lived in Woolwich for 20 years. I saw the introduction of the skater park situated by the Woolwich ferry. I know first hand what goes on because I used to hang out there with my friends after School, and believe me the last thing anyone did was Skateboard. I can understand why parents want to build this for their children, but trust me they won't get a look in. It will be taken over by gangs of older teens from out of the area and the local kids who actually want to skate board will be to intimidated to go. If this thing is built in telegraph hill you'll never get rid of it, this is a slippery road.

Anonymous said...

The thought of a skate board park in any part of Telegraph Hill is CRAZY!Just because a few parents have teenage kids that skateboard does not give them the right to a concrete skateboard park in one of the smallest parks in London. I mean for gods sake how about the needs of everyone other than the 3 teenagers that skateboard around Telegraph Hill, at least leave us the tiny area of the upper park! The lower park has far more facilites for kids than most parks for its size, and surely the main point of having a conservation area is so that people can't build ugly, noisy, concrete monstrocities RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT!

Welcome to 2010 said...

no offence, but the whole of woolwich is like that. It's not skating, it's woolwich.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeh, because no-one gets shot in Brockley!

Welcome to 2010 said...

I'm not saying Brockley is crime free, but Brockley is a buzzing, vibrant place where community facilities get really well used.

Woolwich is a depressing dump where community facilities have tumble weed blowing through them.

Better comparison is the one in Ladywell which as lots of people have pointed out already is used lots and doesn't have any problems.

Anonymous said...

So was Woolwich before the skateboard Park!

On a serious note, do you live in Brockley? It is a two sided animal, you describe one side, lets not encourage the other.

M said...

Apologies for going off topic but talk of Ladywell Fields has reminded me - they seem to be building some kind of wooden structure in the middle field there, looks like perhaps it could be an adventure playground or something similar? I can't see anything mentioned in the landscaping plans. Does anyone have any more information?

Matt said...

A skatepark nearby is wonderful, currently mudchute is the nearest one, and ladywell fields is despicable.

I have a feeling if this was a football pitch there would be few complaints, but the idea that skateboarding is a pursuit for 'the youth' is still pervasive.

dan b said...

It would be far more productive if the people who are for this park, were a little more focussed in their comment and responses on here. I attended the Assembly meeting last night and it was amazing to see how many residents were for it. I live 2 minutes out of 'the ward' but have been skateboarding for 20 years and now have a young son whoI'd hate to see have to grow up like I did, getting on tubes and buses to get back from skating late in the evening when there could be somethign nearby. It has worked perfectly well in Peckham, Bromley, Camden and South Norwood. There's no excuse for a negative reaction to the proposal. Especially when the funding is there - which is often unheard of in these cases.

Samuel Pepys said...

I find the number of negative comments regarding skateboarders as thugs and antisocial quite astounding. Now 21, I have skated for 7 years and have only met friendly and considerate skateboarders across the country. I'm currently living 5 minutes away from telegraph hill and know this will be greatly appreciated by local skateboarders- it definitely will be by myself!

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