Skatepark debate, June 17th

Plans developed by a group of local parents and children for a skatepark in Telegraph Hill are to be debated at the upcoming Telegraph Hill Ward Assembly, next Thursday, June 17th at Haberdashers Aske's Hatcham College, Jerningham Road, SE14 5NY from 7pm - 9pm.

There are a number of somewhat hysterical arguments being made against the park. The suggestion that it would lead to gangs, crime and anti-social behaviour misses the point that skateboarders are interested in their sport, which provides a positive outlet for their energy. It's also a scenario which seems more inspired by the Daily Mail than the reality of skate facilities in places like Ladywell, which are friendly and well-used.

However, there are also some very reasonable concerns being raised about the scale and location of the facility, which is proposed for the Upper Park - a beautiful and evocative setting, with housing located right next to it and few walls to screen the likely noise.

Over on The Telegraph Hill Forum, SPAG campaigners have been at pains to stress that they want to work with the community, to create an appropriate park. Campaigner Sophie explained:

The proposed design would take up about 1/4 of the lower slopes just below the picnic benches and parallel to the path. It would be made of free form concrete which is sunk into the ground and which is the quietest material that can be used. This is very low impact and will be designed in such a way as to be as sensitive to the local landscape as possible. Please do not imagine the steel & wood skate parks which are noisy, large and ugly. Ours will be sleek, low and architecturally very attractive, we think!

The large flat piece of grass next to the tennis courts is sometimes used by people picnicking when the weather is hot. I believe most people would still be happy to sit there especially as that wonderful view into the city would not be affected. I am not denying that there may well be the clanking of boards in the near distance but surely that is better than what is happening at the moment; many residents being aggravated by boys skating on the streets right outside their sitting rooms. As well as the real danger of a serious accident happening in one of these roads. Of course when in use there would be an element of noise which will be minimized and dampened by the material used and also the long steep bank of grass, trees and open space. And probably no louder than a game of football on the upper terrace and a full tennis court...

This proposal has got to this stage quite quickly it's true and we need to spend our funding within a few months or it will be lost. So whether we like it or not there is an element of pressure to find a suitable site as quickly as possible...

As has been said before these parks are for the use of everyone and there is absolutely no reason why having a small skate park situated in the upper park should have a detrimental effect on any other user be it jogger, dog walker, young families, tennis players or anyone else who wanted to use it for quiet contemplation. There will be many hours of the day/eve when the skate park will not be in use.

The one thing we have not managed to do yet and I must fully take responsibility for this on behalf of all of us in SPAG, is to try and speak with as many people as possible who live close to the proposed site and to explain in detail our plans. We are drawing up some literature and hope to rectify this as soon as possible...

We will only go ahead with this if we have the majority of local residents behind us as that is the only fair thing to do. We are not trying to push this through on the quiet; in fact we asked the LA to have a more thorough public consultation before allowing this to go to a vote.

Wherever this facility is finally sited, undoubtedly it will not please everyone but hopefully by seeing our plans and having a calm, measured, thoughtful discussion we can come to an agreed position.

153 comments:

Monkeyboy said...

expect it will be less noisy than the Hilly fields play ground? Personally I find movement and variety in a park part of the London experience - use them or loose them. Blur wrote a song about it after all.

Tamsin said...

Read the discussion on the other forum - a lot of people do use it and are worried about losing a signficant proportion of it to a single minority application.

Variety, I agree, is great - but the Park in question is too small to accommodate very much of it. Tiny in comparison to Hilly Fields or Peckham Rye.

TJ said...

It is a very small park - and as Tamsin says a large part of it will be taken up by the skaters. The tennis noise currently is not intrusive and the park is a wonderfully contemplative area with its views over the London skyline.

And that's where this issue lies - this park has great views across London, which the skaters, of course will have little interest in. Why should they? But why not put the skatepark in an area where it will not be a detriment to the main use of the park (in this case, I contend it is looking peacefully at the views).

The action group hasn't mentioned any alternatives - but I belive in the initial discussions there were other viable options; shouldn't the alternatives be explained and considered?

drakefell debaser said...

Is the facility going to have lighting?

Anonymous said...

Agreed that some of the concenrs re tagging etc may be overdone but I'm not sure that the concerns re anti-social behaviour can be entirely disregarded as being unfounded as Nick seems to imply.

And while the SPAG members have indicated they want to hear opinions etc they don't seem keen to hear "not in the park" opinions.

SPAG also seem surprised that people are upset that this very nearly came to a yes / no vote when by and large the only people who knew about it (that is, that there was to be a vote that could have been the "final" decision) were those promoting it. They have made all sorts of statments about wanting democracy in action etc but if that's teh case I think they need to accept that to get an informed view/vote is part and pparcel of the democracy concept and this may take some time.

Anonymous said...

Jesus this place is insular

drakefell debaser said...

Seems to me there is a fundamental problem with the funding process. If you are granted a sum to do something then this should stick and the funds should be held by the funding provider until you are ready to use them. Not indefinitely, but if you need extra time then you should at the very least be allowed an extension.

Having to rush things through, just because you might lose the funding, is very unhelpful in these situations.

Headhunter said...

I agree with TJ and Tamsin. I've nothing against skaters having facilities but do they really have to have facilities which take up a chunk of a tiny park with wonderful views across London, which they will have little interest in. Also I'm sure that no matter what surfacing is used there will be a lot of clattering and crashing across what is a peaceful spot. Surely there's some disused land somewhere that would do just as well, may be I'm wrong, but as I cycle and travel around SE London, I often seem to spot semi derelict and unused patches of light industrial land. Why do we have to lose a chunk of a local park to a specific minority interest?

Anonymous said...

A minority activity? we could replace the tennis court - annother minority activity.

Headhunter said...

I don't know if a major international sport like tennis counts as a minority interest. I'm sure that just about everyone from 8 to 80 has played tennis in their lives, I doubt many people other than teenage boys have skateboarded...

TJ said...

yes, anon it is a minority interest - one of the arguments on the forum is the expense of this for the use of 20 or so skateboarders.

Tamsin has showed how the tennis courts are used by multiple groups - anyway they are already there and not really up for debate - the issue is whether a skatepark should be added to an already small park.

Does anyone know if (as HH suggests) there are any other viable options for the siting of this? The forum suggests (rightoly or wrongly) that the idea of using the Upper Park has been bulldozed through by parents.

Pete said...

There is already a skatepark in Ladywell Fields so if this is considered to be too far away from Telegraph Hill I don't see how you can argue for putting it even further away.

Headhunter said...

I must admit, no specific locations in the immediate locality of Telegraph Hill spring to mind so if the skaters can't travel more than a mile or 2 then it's difficult. As Pete points out though, there's already a skate park in Ladeywell.

I love cycling and there is a cycle track in Herne Hill. If I'm nopt mistaken it's the only one in the whole of London but no one appears to be demanding the creation of other cycle tracks in public parks. That would be unreasonable as cycling is a minority interest.

H said...

quote "...many residents being aggravated by boys skating on the streets right outside their sitting rooms. As well as the real danger of a serious accident happening in one of these roads"

I don't get this argument. Whilst it may reduce it, having a skatepark in the park won't stop people skating on the streets. In fact there are likely to be more skaters around as they travel to and from the park.

Anonymous said...

So we're agreed that whether or not something is a 'minority sport' is not especially relevent?

Headhunter said...

No. Not agreed. It's very relevant...

Anonymous said...

What percentage have to take part in an activity before it's a minority activity and therefore not a valid activity for the park? Most people do not own dogs, play tennis or skateboard.

Anonymous said...

...or is it because it's predominantly people under 16 who skateboard?

lb said...

All I can say is that those people who've been peddling alarmist nonsense about 'gangs', crime and anti-social behaviour clearly have little knowledge of skaters, or of gangs for that matter.

As for the grumbles about the lack of consultation, they clearly didn't notice the public consultation event funded by, er, the Telegraph Hill Assembly. Of course, it turns out that their idea of 'consultation' is simply to state "put the park somewhere else".

Anonymous said...

Put simply, if something isn't about nice cafes or organic nonsense, people on this blog aren't bothered.

My support (and sympathies) to the organisers of this.

Brockley Nick said...

"Put simply, if something isn't about nice cafes or organic nonsense, people on this blog aren't bothered."

Er, how do you work that out. It's precisely because they are bothered that there is a healthy debate going on on this thread and precisely because I am bothered that I wrote it in the first place.

lb said...

It's true, Nick's first post on the subject was warmly supportive.

It's quite probable a lot of commenters feel otherwise, but they probably neither skate nor are capable of placing themselves in the shoes of someone who does (skate shoes, in fact). Personally I think it's not terribly obtrusive and would add a lot of value to the park for under 16s, so why not?

Andy Milburn said...

Nick, I thoroughly reject your claim that the fears I - and others - have expressed over anti-social behaviour are 'somewhat hysterical,' Daily Mail-esque and unreasonable. I trust you'll amend your comments to something less unfair.

As other contributors have noted Telegraph Hill has a small but active skate-boarding community. In the past some members have, repeatedly, behaved in an anti-social manner towards residents. Things like using boards at unreasonable hours and in dangerous ways. Why should we assume this won't continue?

Tagging IS an issue. When a small group of local skate-boarders briefly moved in to the Upper Park in March, the entry sign was repeatedly tagged as were a number of nearby walls. Including mine. Why should we assume this won't be a problem again?

These might not seem like important issues to you but no-one is suggesting this thing is stuck 50 yards from your front door. All we are asking is for supporters of the park to address these matters directly - which they have not done.

You've had the SPAG spin about how they're "at pains to work with the community." Now hear the other side. The people who are suggesting this thing be built haven't bothered to ask the neighbours - we've had nothing through our door at all.

Their 'consultation' was woeful. Many residents weren't invited, others went along and were largely ignored. I watched one organiser tell several kids to mark an X on a map showing they wanted the skate-park in the Upper Park. They weren't asked, they were told where it was going.

SPAG has subsequently attempted to get a vote through on building the skate-park at a meeting which was barely publicised.

They have repeatedly failed to address any of the numerous concerns raised, they have not engaged with affected residents at all. They have not asked our views. All they have done is accuse neighbours who object of having some sort of vendetta against the kids or against democracy. Nice.

Telegraph Hill Upper Park is small, steep, closely surrounded by houses, is permanently unlocked, is unlit at night and is unsupervised. It is a thoroughly unsuitable location for a skate-park.

Your article is unusually one-sided and really hasn't done the issues justice.

G Brock said...

it's ok

any day now Broc Soc will

a) serve an injunction

b) provide alternative plans for a skate park which is in keeping with the original conception of the park.

:-))

Rolls eyes said...

The fact that some kids sometimes behave badly can be attached to any activity aimed at that age group, in itself it's not an argument.

TH Nick said...

Headhunter - cycling analogy doesn't work. Herne Hill is London's only velodrome (until the olympic one opens) but it's not the only cycling facility (look at cycling paths in many parks etc) and the lack of one does not stop you cycling. The skate-boarding park has come about because the alternative (skateboarding on the street) was upsetting local residents, particularly with the noise. personally I think there's enough tarmac in the area that they could use without a specialist facility and I'm not sure the Upper Park is the right place for it, but I also think a lot of the arguments against it have got hysterical and don't hold.

Also, in relation to point made earlier, I don't think the tennis courts are used by multiple groups. I certainly don't think you'd get away with playing football on them. But the courts are there already and are sited so they don't impact on the view - despite consideration put to it, I don't think the skatepark meets that criteria

Tamsin said...

But the tennis court space is not permanently blocked for all other uses. Not often, agreed, but on occasion I have seen or heard about a bouncy castle there, chinese lanterns being released, people learning to roller-skate, a snowman being built and, yes, a kids five-a-side football tournament.

lb said...

"the fears I - and others - have expressed over anti-social behaviour are 'somewhat hysterical,' Daily Mail-esque and unreasonable"

Well , let's subject this claim to some analysis via the TH forums, shall we? Some comments there:

"'No one has explained how they will prevent the skate-park becoming a hive of anti-social behaviour"

- This is predicated on the fact that the park will become a 'hive' of such behaviour, which is unproven. This is baseless scaremongering.

"blighting lives [...] mad plan"

- Barely reasoned language, is it?

"become a hang-out for the local hoodies"

- Again, not exactly balanced in its choice of words.

As for people using boards "in dangerous ways", I'd suggest that using them on a dedicated skate park would be one of the safest options.

My own (perfectly pleasant) house is situated next to an area where people skate, bike, make noise and do plenty of other things - it's called a street, and people have a right to be there as it's a public area. Given that the park is similarly a public area, you have no more ownership of it than anyone else.

Headhunter said...

"..or is it because it's predominantly people under 16 who skateboard?"

No. No one has said that. I was under 16 once, I know what it's like.

"cycling analogy doesn't work. Herne Hill is London's only velodrome (until the olympic one opens) but it's not the only cycling facility (look at cycling paths in many parks etc) and the lack of one does not stop you cycling. "

It does work. Lack of a skate park doesn't stop anyone skateboarding. The track at Herne Hill and the future Olympics track are specifically designed for serious sport cycling on fixed gear bikes. If cyclists can cycle on potholed roads where cycle lanes come and go in the gutter as you sugest then surely skaters can also skate on potholed roads too. Or perhaps they could head over to Ladywell which is actually closer to Telegraph Hill than Herne Hill is from Brockley. Surely 16 year old boys have fully functioning legs?

Andy Milburn said...

@lb

I guess it's easier to be dismissive and insulting when you're using a pseudonym. But still: to answer your points.

- This is predicated on the fact that the park will become a 'hive' of such behaviour, which is unproven. This is baseless scaremongering.

Asking how organisers will avoid problems with anti-social behaviour is not baseless scaremongering. It's asking them how they'll avoid problems with anti-social behaviour. They've not answered and nor have you. This park is aimed specifically at a few dozen kids - some of whom have been repeatedly reported to the Safer Neighbourhood Team before for anti-social behaviour. It's not unreasonable to ask what's changed. So can you tell us what's changed?

- "blighting lives [...] mad plan" Barely reasoned language, is it?

If you read the forum you'll see some residents report the skate-boarders have blighted their lives. You might like lots of clanking noise outside, plenty of others don't. And sticking a skate-park at the top of steep hill, in a small, busy, unlit, unlocked, unsupervised park, next door to homes IS, in my view, a mad plan.

- "become a hang-out for the local hoodies" - Again, not exactly balanced in its choice of words.

No one has answered how a small, dark, unlocked, unsupervised park in New Cross, with specific round the clock provision for teenagers will be kept safe for other users. I can't say it will become a hang-out for local hoodies, but then you clearly can't say it won't. It really is best to think of these things in advance to prevent any problem before it starts. In a month when we've already had a couple of young people shot in the area it's really not unreasonable to make sure our park will continue to be kept safe. This is as much an issue for the skate-boarders as anyone else. But still no-one's answered.


- As for people using boards "in dangerous ways", I'd suggest that using them on a dedicated skate park would be one of the safest options.

A skate park would be safer for the skate-boarders - no question. But if they hurt themselves it's up to them. They're choosing to do a potentially dangerous activity. I'm more worried about the other park users who may be injured through no fault of their own. I saw an out of control skate-boarder almost plough in to a group of toddlers in the lower park last week. That's what happens when you try to cram too much in to a small space on a steep incline.

- My own (perfectly pleasant) house is situated next to an area where people skate, bike, make noise and do plenty of other things - it's called a street, and people have a right to be there as it's a public area. Given that the park is similarly a public area, you have no more ownership of it than anyone else.

I'm not claiming ownership of the park. SPAG are. They want to put something there which large numbers of residents - certainly the majority who've posted on THF - oppose.

Anonymous said...

@Milburn - Can we please stop arguing against this 'facility' on the grounds of delinquency/tagging/muggings? I do sympathise with you when you get annoyed with anyone who tries to say that it's reactionary, hicksvilly and insulting to young people to say that skateboarding sites attract antisocial types. But when you do this, please be careful - you don't want to fall into the trap of alienating people who object to the re-allocation of precious, limited general space to a single-use group just because they don't want to be seen as bigots. That's the nub of the argument (for me).

If the upper park gets tarmacked over with the proviso that it remain vandal-proof and unthreatening - eg having gates locked at night and/or getting lighting then, even if I never saw one 'tag', for instance, I would still feel mightily disappointed.

Anonymous said...

From the same Anon as last post.

Typo. See my CAPITALS.

"please be careful - you don't want to fall into the trap of alienating people who FEEL THEY CAN'T object to the re-allocation of precious, limited general space to a single-use group just because they don't want to be seen as bigots. That's the nub of the argument (for me).

on my bike said...

I thought this was a typo when I first read. They really mean to put it in the park? Yes to a skate park, but not in a beautiful Victorian Park. Isn't there some corner of neglected land somewhere...even associated with a school?

Apart from anything else, doesn't the park close at dusk. Surely skateboarders want to be out later than that?

Tamsin said...

No, the proposed site is in the Upper Telegraph Hill Park which is open 24/7. The lower park was never a prospect for this very reason.

The upper park is not so overtly Victorian, but does have a special atmosphere of its own because of its undeveloped nature, the quiet, the views and the lack of light pollution. All of which could be jeopardised by this admittedly much needed facility.

Tressilliana said...

A curmudgeon writes: much needed? Hospitals are much needed. Schools and fire engines are much needed. A skatepark is a luxury.

If these young people are old enough to be out unsupervised after dark, why can't they get on the 484 and go down to Ladywell Park?

Now Then said...

Interesting argument, I've met some of the Ladywell park skateboarders and they're not bad. Andy Millburn however makes a cogent case. I think this 'park heritage' of open space is not something to be given up lightly to whatever special interest comes along.

That said, the specialised use of some of the Hilly fields area, for example; by certain groups would seem to make the demands of others in other parks unarguable.

Anon@ 19:46 and 20:01. Who cares about your warnings if you're too timid even to give yourself an assumed name, 'Please be careful' indeed.

Now Then said...

Although anon 19:46 and 20:01 after careful rereading, I dont think I can disagree with your post...I think.

Blunderbuss said...

This is probably my favourite place in Brockley, and everyone from out of the area who I take there loves it. Despite living 3 minutes away the only thing I have heard about this is via this blog. Surely the people who are behind this would go out of there way to get locals on their side and explain what they want to do, why haven't they done this?

The reactionary posts about graffiti, undesireables and gun crime. Is ridiculous. I'm much more concerned about the impact to this fairly tranquil and relaxing space. You cannot compare the thwack of a tennis ball with the associated sounds of a skateboard, and that's coming from someone who used to skate as a teenage, admittedly not very well...

Tamsin said...

Yeee-ah! Telegraph Hill Park is your favourite place in Brockley. (Sorry, turf wars and an inevitable jealousy of your shops, cafes and this blog...)

But at least you have heard of it now, which is where Nick, Kate and Jon do such an excellent job for the whole area. There are lots of local things that I first hear about here.

Nevertheless, SPAG did try to put up posters for their consultation day in February, although posters do get torn down, and the debate has featured in the last three Hilly Telegraphs if you are within that slightly variable distribution area. (Maybe I should grab a few spare from the Centre and put them into Brockley outlets east of the railway - I'm pretty sure they already go into the Broca shop.)

Good point that a game of tennis and people skateboarding, even on the low-noise concrete that would be used, would register very different noise disturbance levels.

4x4 said...

Unfortunately part of Skater culture seems to be tagging and smoking spliff's-I await the backlash.
There will inevitably be problems with anti-social behaviour where groups of young bored teenagers hang around with very little to do.
That said, one the main problems for our young people is that they are bored and have very little to do-perhaps the skate park will actually decrease the level of anti-social behaviour rather than increase it?
Our young people are very much part of our community, yet they seem unrepresented and therefore ingnored.

Brockley Kiwi said...

I echo Blunderbuss' comments. I wad mildly supportive/ambivalent to idea as I had assumed it would to located in the lower park. But the idea of imposing a somewhat ugly structure (saying nothing about skateboarding other than it's design must be driven by function over form) in the beautiful hidden oasis in London absolutely horrifies me.

Absolutely rediculous proposal and for the first time I feel strong enough in a local issue to get actively involved to oppose it. Why not just repave the footpaths in low noise concrete? Everyones a winner...

Brockley Nick said...

I have strong doubts about the proposed location too. I have emailed the group to ask them for the plans / details so that we can get a clearer picture of what's actually involved.

When the idea was first proposed I thought a smaller facility (a half-pipe, a rail or two and some smooth surfaces) in the lower park would work.

@Andy - I'm surprised you think the article is one sided, given that I said I believed the concerns raised about the location are valid.

TH Nick said...

4x4:
"Unfortunately part of Skater culture seems to be tagging and smoking spliff's-I await the backlash."
This sort of ridiculous comment is why the anti-social complaints are called "hysterical Daily Maily-esque". Why would having skatepark to use, rather than skating on the street, turn normal teenagers into drug taking vandals?

Headhunter - the lack of a skatepark IS causing problems with the kids skating as local residents are upset at them skating on the road in front of their houses (asdie - I always wonder if they similarly complain about noisy cars going past and people talking loudly, but that's a different discussion). And cycling isn't restricted to roads and tracks, there are dedicated cycle paths in various parks around London (Dulwich and Battersea spring to mind), the canal towpath network etc.
Where I do agree with you, is that given there are suitable quiet roads on telegraph hill, why can't they be shared use with skateboarders using them rather than requiring a dedicated facility....

lb said...

@milburn

A few points. I was drawing attention to the fact that you had used the words "a hive of anti-social behaviour", which strikes me as distinctly tabloidesque language - and yes, it sounds like scaremongering. If you'd been more specific in your concerns, or even suggested a way in which they could be addressed (other than not building the facility altogether) I might believe you.

Moreover, it's a fact that any dark, relatively secluded area within an urban setting is likely to attract any of the more seriously anti-social activities. Making part of it a concrete ramp is unlikely to alter this.

I'm afraid I don't regard occasional "clanking" sounds (and they will be occasional, unless the skaters develop a 24-hr relay team) as "blighting" lives in a country where many people's existences are still blighted by worklessness, chronic ill-health, and poverty, no.

"I can't say it will become a hang-out for local hoodies, but then you clearly can't say it won't"

One could just as easily say this about any park bench, bus stop, off licence, or street corner. The provision of a ramp or two is unlikely to change things, particularly as members of the kind of youth subculture I assume you're referring to by the term "hoody" rarely if ever skateboard. Criticise the plan on aesthetic grounds by all means, but if you insist on sticking to the "crime" argument don't be surprised if some people characterise it as "hysterical".

"I saw an out of control skate-boarder almost plough in to a group of toddlers in the lower park last week"

All the more reason to put them on a dedicated area.

"Their 'consultation' was woeful. Many residents weren't invited, others went along and were largely ignored"

It strikes me that a lot of the problem with the consultation was that someone kept tearing down the posters. What can SPAG do faced with that kind of attitude from the outset?

lb said...

4x4

"Unfortunately part of Skater culture seems to be tagging and smoking spliff's"

Er, surely you mean "teenage" or "youth" culture here. Do you propose to ID everyone entering the park?

"There will inevitably be problems with anti-social behaviour where groups of young bored teenagers hang around with very little to do"

Surely that's the point - if they've got a skatepark, they won't be bored, and they'll have plenty to do. You're hardly going to be happy-slapping someone in the middle of executing an ollie, are you?

Anonymous said...

The odd spliff never hurt anyone either.

Unless you read the Mail of course.

Monkeyboy said...

Happy slapping was the Mail scare from four years ago. We've had the emo mennace and deadly meaow, meaow since then. Keep up!

lb said...

Shit, I guess my 2006 Mail is now out of date. I'll have to get another copy off a train seat.

Monkeyboy said...

Happy slapping was the Mail scare from four years ago. We've had the emo mennace and deadly meaow, meaow since then. Keep up!

Headhunter said...

TH Nick - yes there are some lovely cycle tracks through parks in London where families and kids can cycle/pootle gently along in the sunshine, however there is ONE race track in the whole of London to provide training and track racing facilities. Just ONE in the whole city. Do you really expect serious race cyclists to do race training at 25mph+ on paths through parks and canal towpaths?! Do you think Chris Hoy trained on canal towpaths?

Anyway no one is demanding that anyone build a new cycle track in the middle of Telegraph Hill Park, cycling is a minority interest, just as skatboarding is. Also as someone else pointed out, building a facility will not guarantee that skaters do not use the roads anyway...

TH Nick said...

HH- competitive track cycling is minority to almost vanishing levels - a better comparison would be how many full size half pipes are there in London? None?

its a shame said...

LB - tell us HONESTLY - have you ever been to the Upper Park?

Headhunter said...

TH Nick - If you go to the track at Herne Hill you'll see it's far from vanishing! Have you ever actually been there? Track cycling has picked up enormously in popularity over the past 5-10 years. Sometimes it's impossible to get on the track! Many local clubs arrange nights there etc. Have you seen the number of people who ride single speed and fixed gear track bikes around the streets of London?

There's already a skate park ihn Ladywell aopparently...

drakefell debaser said...

I had a look at the proposed site in the park last night and am certain it will cause more problems than it aims to resolve.

I mentioned on the thread in February that there is a redundant stretch of Arbuthnot Rd by the lower park that I think would be ideal for a skate park. It is large enough to build a proper facility - ramps, grind rails etc that could accommodate BMX riders too.
I can't see anything but a small concrete bowl being put in the Upper Park which, for the fuss it is going to cause, hardly seems worth it.

From what I have seen there are about 5 kids that sate on the road causing a problem so opening it up to include other related sports like BMX would be a good use of the funding. We also get to utilise land that is being left to waste and leave the parks as they are.

Headhunter said...

DD - Don't know the patch of land you're talking about but as I mentioned before there are a fair few patches of derelict land across SE London.

Don't know specifically what a "concrete bowl" refers to but TH Nick believes there is a need for a "half pipe", are they the same thing?

drakefell debaser said...

Ladywell is quite far for those of us who live on and around Telegraph Hill. There is a direct and frequent bus though which is handy but it isn't ideal.

Peckham Rye on the other hand is close and has quarter pipes and rails etc which that stretch on Arbuthnot could accomodate easily.

Headhunter said...

So there's another skate park in Peckham Rye? Jeez the area is already ositively riddled with the things....

drakefell debaser said...

HH, imagine a water pipe cut in half laterally to give you a U shape. That is a half pipe.

A quarter pipe is half of that again.

A bowl is a bit like a swimming pool, sunken into the ground.

Anonymous said...

The only skateboarders I've seen in Brockley are clearly too old to still be doing it. Bald man with long shorts skateboarding down Tressilian is not a cool look. Telegraph Hill isn't Brockley, let them build it there.

lb said...

I's a shame: Yes, I know it pretty well, along with other parks in the area.

I just find the arguments about "anti-social behaviour" a bit laughable, given the fact that the incidents that have already occurred seem to have been largely to do with children skating in the street, something a designated skatepark would resolve. A similar thing applies to the "safety" concerns. Issues of aesthetic impact or loss of amenity would be more convincing, but they seem to have been raised far less, at least on the TH forum.

Tamsin said...

Aesthetics and views have been raised by most of those posting on the TH forum who have reservations about the skatepark going into the upper park. Anyone who says they like the peaceful atmosphere and the views over London are basically talking on this point, and, once said, there is no real answer from SPAG to rebut. That is why the - skateparks cause graffiti - no they don't - yes they do - posts seem to have a preponderance.

As I think I might have said when it was all being discussed on the earlier thread in February - that dead-end bit of Arbuthnot looks an obvious place but both the end houses have garages (and presumably rights of way) opening onto it, it is a designated emergency services route (unlike Kitto at the other end of the park) and also has a considerable slope (again more than the Kitto stretch) which is not insurmountable but, rather counter-intuitively, would apparently cause design problems.

it's a shame said...

Skate facilities in Ladywell and Peckham Rye. Those are both close enough for teenageers to go to skate. This is starting to sound like the sor tof parents' action group who think that their kids need to be provided for on their doorstep.

I originally supported the idea of the park - but not the location. Now I'm wondering why £40k+ is being spent on this.

drakefell debaser said...

Tamisn, the slope on Arbuthnot is not too disimilar to the slope on the park.

I hadn't noticed the garages though which will obviously be a hindrance.

WheelsOnFire said...

Instead of spending £200K on a temporary garden in Lewisham, why not build a temporary Skate Park Instead.

Anonymous said...

Skatepark facilities in Ladywell and Peckham Rye.. Telegraph Hill kids are spoilt! Out of London and you have to travel 20+ miles to get to the nearest skatepark.

But it seems there is demand for another as funding has been granted.. but this is totally the
WRONG location!

lb said...

"That is why the - skateparks cause graffiti - no they don't - yes they do - posts seem to have a preponderance"

I think it may be a combination of that and the fact this now seems to have become a personal, rather than community issue. The fact that pro-skatepark people on the TH forum were immediately confronted by several posts along the lines of "tell us if you allow your kids to skate on the corner of " indicates the sort of depths that "debate" is currently plumbing.

As someone else commented, "Jesus this place is insular".

Anonymous said...

Why is poor coverage outside London relevent? Not sure that the location is right where it's proposed but some of the arguments against the park here are poor

Anonymous said...

Coverage outside London is relevant because we are residents of the UK, not just London. London kids are incredibly spoilt as-is.

Headhunter said...

Yeah! Look at them with their "COD" and their Wiis, Xboxes and PS3s.... Back in the 80s we had a ZX Spectrum, with less RAM than a mobile phone, and a tape deck and thought ourselves damn lucky. They don't know they're bleedin' born these kids.

its a shame said...

you had a ZX Spectrum? - I had 2 dashes that moved vertically and a moving dot that they called 'Tennis'. And I thought it the best Christmas ever.

Eh? said...

That's it? That's your argument? Kids in London are spoilt. With devastating logic like that I think we can cosign the skatepark plans to history.

Tamsin said...

Part of the point about the skatepark proposal is that it gets them away from their COD, PS3s etc., outside, interacting with each other (real people), older ones teaching the younger ones etc., back to the good even older days of the 50s when it was safe to play on the streets with a go-kart made from an old pram.

But, and it's a big "but" as far as I am concerned, the Upper Park is NOT the place for it. Still looking for alternative sites.

drakefell debaser said...

If your search for the group Skatepark for Telegraph on facebook you can see photographs of other skate parks which they are basing their design on. Apparently the drawings for the actual design cannot be transferred to facebook but you can get the idea.

They are really nice facilities but there is one problem. What they have taken photos of will not fit on a quarter of that lower slope of the park unless it is seriously brought down to scale. I question how much fun you can get out of such a small skate park and how long it will be before the kids are back on the roads anyway.

Also, I do not understand the need for the petition for a skate park in the TH ward that they are actively trying to get signatories for from the group – 116 so far. If the funding has been allocated then surely the only debate is where it should go?

I had one of Lord Sugar's CPC 464's with Harrier attack..thank god computer graphics have progressed.

name said...

This thread needs pictures.

Emily said...

I tend to agree with DD. I think it would be an oversight if a closed-to-traffic section of Arbuthnot Road, bordering the Lower Park (connecting Erlanger and Pepys Roads) wasn't at least considered as a possible site. Aren't ALL roads meant to allow access for emergency vehicles? It might be possible that some agreement could be reached with the two garage-owning houses who would be affected. There are a couple of other streets running parallel to that stretch of Arbuthnot, also joining Pepys and Erlanger. I would also include Kitto Road as being worthy of consideration. It's already got a bit of traffic-taming going on and joins the two halves of the park. At least you wouldn't be losing precious green space if you went for one of these tarmacked spaces for the skate facility.

The Cat Man said...

Can we go back to talking about house prices please?

Modster said...

I can't quite believe the hypocrasy of some people. On one hand complaining about skaters on the pavements and on the other condemning a solution that would get them IFC the streets and provide facilities for them. What they actually want is for the skaters to piss off for good.

Well that's not going to happen, so you might as well get used to the fact that a vibrant youth culture will persist come what may. The lower part of upper Telegraph Hill is under used as all of the picnics and sports happen on the top part, the lower bit is full of dog crap and teenage smokers. I think it's a good idea and fully support it.

TGH user said...

Telegraph hill both upper and lower parks are fantastic as they are. Let's not crowbar a skateboard park for a minority group in either park. There's enough amenities as it is for all ages to to enjoy: the tennis courts, basket ball court, pond, swings. I only really use the upper park to play tennis, walk the dog and watch the fire works on NYE.

The skateboard park will eat up too much green space, let people sit and enjoy the landscape as it is.

Headhunter said...

Modster - It appears that skaters already have facilities but yet more funding has been allocated to build another skate park. Whilst the adults in the community decide that it's best not to ruin a perfectly good park, why can't the "vibrant youth" get of its backside and use facilities in Ladywell or Peckham - just round the corner? You remember how to walk or catch the bus, right?

Pete said...

The arguments that revolve around fear of teenagers are really pathetic.

If you drive a car you've got no right to moan about the noise generated by someone skateboarding. Every time you drive past someone's house you're "blighting" their lives.

It might well be the wrong place and I actually think the suggestion of the location in central Lewisham is awesome. What's the point in building another park in a suboptimal location when they could use that land for a massive skatepark?

Anonymous said...

It really does seem too small a site, sorry, I can't support this idea.

Headhunter said...

I think constant skateboard rattle on rough tarmac as skaters pick up their boards and return to the top of the slope and go down again is probably more intrusive than the occasional passing car...

Trixie said...

I don't care if they put the skatepark in the top park, I really hate dogs and dog poo so would never chose to sit there and always go to the lower park. The last time i was even in the upper park was to take photos of the sunset after the volcano, other than that I haven't been in it for over a year... I think maybe people are overstating the amazingness!
Also "a small but active skate-boarding community. In the past some members have, repeatedly, behaved in an anti-social manner towards residents. Things like using boards at unreasonable hours and in dangerous ways" That is NOT behaving in an anti-social manner towards anyone!! It's not anti-social to use a skateboard!!

Anonymous said...

Jeez, thanks for taking the time to comment Trixie.

R Butler said...

Frankly my dear I don't give a damn.............

it's a shame said...

Hey Trixie hates dogs and hardly uses the upper park - so let's tarmac the whole area. Why not just hand it over for housing?

Trixie - got any ideas on how we can stop gun crime? It's another issue we've been experiencing locally and you sound like just the sort of person to tackle it.

trixie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bea said...

Hey - Trixie - good to see you around again!

By the way - just bought a new pair of Thai Fisherman Pants they’re so comfy on fat people ;D

Tamsin said...

It is anti-social to use skateboards for hours on end ten yards from someone's front door.

The parks seem to be currently split quite nicely between active, noisy, family oriented, and quiet contemplative, view/sunset/star enjoying. Worth keeping it that way if we can.

Trixie said...

hi Bea!
I'm currently favouring a sequinned hareem pant... :)
(and usage of the fashion singular)

Headhunter said...

Friday giggle...

After having dug to a depth of 10 metres last year, Scottish
>scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and
>came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone
>network more than 100 years ago.
>
>Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, English
>archaeologists dug to a depth of 20 metres, and shortly after, headlines
>in the English newspapers read: "English archaeologists have found
>traces of 200-year-old copper wire and have concluded that their
>ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a
>hundred years earlier than the Scots."
>
>One week later, "The Kerrymen," a southwest Irish newsletter,
>reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 metres in peat
>bog near Tralee , Paddy O'Droll, a self-taught archaeologist,
>reported that he found absolutely nothing. Paddy has therefore
>concluded that 300 years ago, Ireland had already gone wireless."

Pete said...

If you live on a busy road it isn't the "occasional" car is it?

Fear and demonisation of teenagers is getting out of hand.

Anonymous said...

Trixie is Lou on a REALLY bad day.

Anonymous said...

Or Mrs Baker?

Headhunter said...

No, true, if you live on a busy road then you'd get a lot more traffic noise, however you'd probably be fairly comfortable with it if you had chosen to live on a busy road in the 1st place.

If you moved to a quiet road only to find that soon after moving in that on Saturdays and after school the road turned into a noisy skate park, you may be a bit more peeved.

It's not demonisation of teens, it's just neighbourliness. Kids need to be aware of this too. As pointed out, there are skate parks in Ladywell and Peckham Rye, it's not as if the poor things are hard done by!

Andy Milburn said...

@ Pete

No one has demonised teenagers.

We've asked how SPAG will ensure anti-social behaviour won't be an issue at the proposed new skate-park when it currently IS a problem among some of the skate-boarders on the Hill.

How will this park stop the anti-social behaviour and not simply move it? No one has answered. Can you?

Can anyone? There have been lots of insults, plenty of sarcasm, even some nastiness - but no answers. From anyone. Yet.

Brockley Nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tamsin said...

Hang on, don't associate the strong views of some on the Telegraph Hill Forums - and their rather personal attacks on the SPAG promoters with either Friends of Telegraph Hill Park or the Telegraph Hill Society. (Indeed a couple of them would be horrified by that association.)
The fact is that £1.25m was spent on the park from Heritage Lottery on the basis of restoration of the Saxby original. Concessions to modern requirements like the basket-ball court and wooden play equipment in the Lower Park and the Tennis Courts in the Upper Park were a matter of hard negotation.
It also appears to be a fact that -despite the best efforts of SPAG, this blog and the Hilly Telegraph etc. etc. - a lot of people who use the park regularly or live close to it had not heard of the consultation.
And a further fact that a lot of park users do not want it changed.
Efforts continue to find another site.

Anonymous said...

'Concessions to modern requirements'
it's just that.............'restoration to the Saxby original'...........what depressing bollocks.

Tamsin said...

Excuse me, were you involved, directly or indirectly, in the ten year process to get the Parks restored? Can you remember what they were like before?

Anonymous said...

I would challenge the suggestions that the people of Telegraph Hill haven't been consulted. The whole of the hill was leafletted and an event was organised that gave people the opportunity to air their views. I attended the event and was able to express my reservations and the person I spoke to was very receptive.
I don't want the skate park in the upper park, it's just not the right place for it. However I applaud the parents who are trying to do something positive for the children within their community. Some of the comments on the Telegraph Hill forum are extremely provocative and unpleasant and the anti mob have started to make me feel very uncomfortable about the so called community that I live in. I was talking with friends earlier today, we all have small children, and we were beginning to wonder about the type of community that we have moved into. We all moved here in the belief that Telegraph Hill offered a safe and inclusive community, the attitudes some on the Telegraph Hill forum have started to make us wonder if we have moved to the right place. We are aware that there are self appointed guardians of the Telegraph Hill time warp project and it's about time they were shuffled off into the margins and a more thoughtful, human and truly inclusive group take their place.

Anonymous said...

I was at my mums last week and sat with my youngest child, sifting through a box of old photographs. I came across one that was taken about 1964-65. It was taken by my uncle John and shows a view of our street on a damp wintery day. My sister Moi is in the foreground with two friends and a skipping rope, wrapped up in duffel coat, bobble hat and mittens. There's a hopscotch box chalked on the road. In the distance you can see me and my mates playing 'three and in' with two dustbins for goalposts. These activities are going on in the middle of the street. It's a long street, we lived at 34, my nan lived at 127. There are just four or five cars parked on the kerbside. I played in that street come rain or shine. Occasionally a grownup would come out and intervene if there was any argy bargy or we were being too noisy and there was one old fella called Mr Badger who was a bit scary and bad tempered so there was a self imposed no go area outside his house. If someone fell off their bike or rollerskates or got slammed in the face with a soggy leather football, an adult would usually come and help you out or carry you home if neccesary. My mum and dad didn't mind if another grown up told you off. We played happily and securely outside our own homes. As we got older we would range further to other streets where schoolfriends lived and we would walk together to the local park
This isn't a romantacised, sepia tinted false memory. This is how it was.
I'm lucky enough to live in house well away from the street so the horrible car doesn't impinge on my life and I count myself very lucky. Perhaps we should take a look at getting the cars off our streets and making those spaces more sociable areas again. I think that I would find the constant presence of cars more disturbing than a group of kids on skateboards. I find the suggestions that a play/sport facility for our children should be pushed off to a brown field industrial site or Sainsburys car park, bizarre and quite disturbing. Some people seem to be saying that its 'probably best' to send our youngsters away to play rather than suffer the inconvenience/noise etc. I'm quite chilled by some of these suggestions. These are our children, not lepers.

Bea said...

I remember playing like that in the 70s too! Not London but still a major city. If you look at old photos of Brockley there's hardly a car in sight either and the roads therefore look much, much wider. However, getting rid of the car is not going to happen!

I guess green space in any major European city is precious. People therefore have stong views on what is the best use of what it available - especially in areas set aside for rest and relaxation (not everyone has access to a garden!).

Puttting into what is a relatively small park enjoyed for its views and tranquility a lump of concret doesn't seem the best use of resources.

Anonymous said...

http://www.wheelscape.co.uk/skatepark-galleries.php?g=22

This gallery shows what the SPAG people have in mind in terms of design. No ramps, half pipes and no evidence of grafitti or tagging There is no lighting and it's unsupervised. This facility was installed some time ago and remains unvandalised.

Tamsin said...

Yes, but look at the size difference in the South Norwood recreation ground and the Telegraph Hill Parks.
And it looks considerably flatter from the photos and without the picnic benches and views.

Tamsin said...

Sorry - links less than ideal. On the first one hone in on the South Norwood Recreation Ground (A) until you gt to the 500' scale and on the other plug the postcode for the Telegraph Hill Centre into the searc - SE14 5TY.

Anonymous said...

I've just taken a walk around the upper park. A warm saturday afternoon and there were 8 people in it including 3 people playing tennis (1 watching). I think that a small skate park would fit in very nicely without causing any obstruction of view to anyone.There were some posters attached to the tennis court fence urging people to vote against the skate park. I spoke to people in the park and there was one objector, a lady who said that the thing she most liked about the park is that it was usually 'virtually empty'. The tennis players had walked up from Peckham to play. I really can't see the problem with putting a small freeform unit there. Apparently, Lewisham Council regard it as an under used space. The lower park was bustling.

Tamsin said...

So let the lower park bustle and have the upper one quiet for those who value tranquillity.

And keep the flexibility - there are times when it is very busy. I took a photo a couple of weeks back when there were over 60 people out on the slopes in question having picnic suppers and enjoying the evening sunshine - including three young men with acoustic guitars (although at that point they were snoozing rather than playing their instruments). Another photo from a few years back, although after the picnic benches were moved so not that long ago, of a solitary gentleman sitting reading a newspaper. Are LBL now requiring us to enter into some dreadful numbers game - that the quality of the experience counts for nothing, it is just how many people come through the gates?

I am not sure how to post pictures here and unfortunately the document I prepared of the pros and cons of various sites which used these pictures as illustration was removed from the other Forum pages at the request of SPAG, but I might bring prints along to next Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Waller Road is blocked off it gets so little traffic?

Tamsin said...

Probably because of the school? Has been that way for decades.

KFH said...

So parks have to be 'bustling' do they? And any tranquil spot needs a skate park does it? And yes people form peckham have come to play tennis (- and in return skaters can go there to skate). What a load of rubbish from the anon.

Bea makes a good point aobut those in flats without gardens who want a quiet place to slip away to, to look at the view and the flowers.

Tamsin makes a good point that if the lower park is 'bustling' then maybe the skate park should be in the lower park.

I don't understand the pressure for this to change - a group of people bought this park back from desolation to what it is today.

Why are the needs of the kids seen to be more important for the needs of those who want to forget teh nosie of the city and sit on the limited grass in Upper Park, or quietly watch the tennis or enjoy the view? Upper Park is so obviously wrong for this skate park, why dont SPAG consider a range of options or indeed Lower Park?

Tamsin said...

Unfortunately the Lower Park is not an option as it closes at dusk and the children whose endless practice on one particular street corner gave rise to the original impetus for the whole project obviously play after dark - especially in winter. What one doesn't want to do is to encourage young people to break into the Lower Park after it is closed more than they do already, especially for a risky activity that might need urgent emergency access.

But it must be possible to find another site.

Tressilliana said...

When I get the 484 I regularly see youngish boys with skateboards getting on at the first stop after Peckham Rye, presumably coming home from the skatepark there. That's about 7 stops from Telegraph Hill.

As there is also a skatepark in Ladywell Fields (maybe about 12 stops on the 484 from Telegraph Hill), why are young people considered old and sensible enough to be out in the street unsupervised in the evening not hopping onto the 484 and using their free travel concession to go to one of these two existing skateparks?

Anonymous said...

In two or three years scketebording may not be cool anymore.

So what will we do with such an imposing abandoned structure?

Not very good idea to put concrete in a park. Lodnon is full of concrete and the green areas keep disappearing. It seems an idea generated by bored parents for poiled kids. I suggest the build one in their back gardens, so at least it is hidden from the streat.

Furthermore there many other better ways to spend the money by regenerating some of the shopping areas or saving some green spots in the village.

Brockley Nick said...

Unpleasantly put, anon.

As for the suggestion that skating might not be in fashion in three years time, you have fundamentally misunderstood the sport.

Skating has grown hugely over the last few decades to the point where it is now one of the most popular and accessible sports in the country, seen by organisations like Sport England as fundamental to the challenge of helping young people lead active lives, particularly in cities, where open space is at a premium.

The public money they secured was ring-fenced for the purpose of providing sports facilities locally, of which there are already too few. So it would not be spent on our high streets in any case, despite the fact that I agree with you this should be a priority going forward.

TJ said...

Nick - what was so unpleasant about the anon's post? It may not be correct (ie that skateboarding will go out of fashion) but I don't see anything rude or overly contentious - are you refering to the opinion about bored parents and spolit children? Even that is not unpleasant but a fairly harmless opinion...

Anonymous said...

Oh I don't know. The acusation that the kids are spoilt because they are trying to promote a sports facility is knuckle headed at least. The argument ought to be whether the site is suitable or unacceptably disruptive. The idea that they don't deserve a facility is daft.

Tamsin said...

But so is the idea that they should have the facility come what may and however much it impacts upon others just because they are children and the grown-ups mustn't disappoint them.

Good on them for putting so much effort into a presentation, designing leaflets, etc. etc. but welcome to the real world of compromise, negotiation and not necessarily getting all you want or even some of it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ross said...

but tamsin surely they ARE compromising by stopping skating at the bottom of waller rd and campaigning for a skatepark.

Tamsin said...

True to a point, but only after a serious amount of asking - and only intermittently. (The position complicated by there being differnt groups of children, who exhibit different degrees of agression when requested to stop or move on and only some of whom are active in campaigning for an alternative.)

I am certainly not saying that you should dismiss ideas promoted by children/young people because it would be good and character forming for them to be thwarted, but equally you should not accept such a scheme with all its flaws because it is promoted by children and their "hard work" has to be rewarded. Age is totally irrelevant and in entering the adult world they should accept its realities and expect no concessions. And they should also play by its rules, like not thinking it funny to put multiple stickers on your site of choice which I gather happened at the consultation day.

Anonymous said...

How this has been allowed to get this far is incredible, I live in Telegraph Hill and did not receive a leaflet of this proposal. I used to skateboard when I was was a teenager, I used to get on a bus and go to an isolated spot with some concrete and skateboard and love it, if I had an actual skatepark only a single bus ride away I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Even I, as a teenage skateboarder would have thought it a little 'perplexing' if a propsal had been made to accomodate me and my friends by building a skateboard park in the middle of my local common green that was used by the whole community?? I must be missing something here, a skateboard park, in Telegraph Hills communal gardens, surely I'm dreaming!!!

Anonymous said...

Can the skate action group provide details of how they spent the £1000 pounds consultation? As I haven;t seen much consultation?

Furthermore, how can Lewisham justify giving £1000 to aid this consultation. I'd much rather the money was spent on services that people genuinely need and for those in living in poverty rather than on a few people who don;t like skaters going past their house.

local resident said...

I'm one of, it seems, many local people who didn't get leafleted or otherwise informed about earlier meetings on this proposal.

Many many people use the top park to simply enjoy walking, the views of London, contemplating life. In this busy, noisy city can't we keep these small precious fragments of peace and quiet?

Skateboarding is fine, we live nearby, our son was very good at it, but he didn't need a concrete skateboard park in Telegraph Hill top park.

'Must use the money in time' is completely irrelevant.

Danja said...

The upper park is actually pretty revolting due to the legions of irresponsible dog owners who use it as a toileting facility. The presence of some skaters using it in the evenings might help to deter some of that undesirable section of society from going about their criminally irresponsible ways.

It's a shame said...

You think skaters are going to stop the errant dog owner and tell them to pick up after their pooch? I wouldn't hold your breath..

Danja said...

Well I live in hope that the skater gangs will pick off a few of said pooing pooches with their sawn-offs.

Toxocara said...

The upper park is all but unusable due to the piles of dog sh!t everywhere, it's absolutely revolting. Perhaps concreting over half of it and filling it full of skaters will at least deter some idiot dog owners.

Tamsin said...

Never struck me as that obvious or that bad.

LW said...

Just like to start by saying to the few people who still connect skating with gangs or dangerous (except for just skating with the risjk of getting hurt) behaviour that this is completely wrong. As a skater i have never tried to mug anyone/sold drugs etc etc all the other teenage stereotypes etc etc etc. Therefore i just really don't get this argument against the skatepark as in my (slightly biased) opinion, it will bring more perfectly nice young people to the park.

Another of the arguments against it is probably more of a misunderstanding. It seems that alot of people see minority sport and as there are two skateparks in this bit of south london already, some say we don't need more as teenagers are old enough to use their oyster cards.
Admittedly if you came to Peckham Rye (where i skate) on a cold winters day there would only be about 5 people there but if you came down this evening you would find it so crowded that you could barely get a skate in. Although i haven't been to ladywell in a few months since i got mugged there last time i can assume that it would be roughly the same there. So there is definately a need for a skatepark in the area.
Skating also cannot be called a small sport, comparable to this fixed gear bike riding thing discussed earlier. My whole ytear is in the middle of GCSEs and most people don't have huge amounts of free time for things like skting. However in my year of 150, there are about 10 of us who skate regularly and in other years there are alot more. This is about the same amount who play tennis or cricket regularly so, although skating becomes alot less attractive when you get into your 30's (i know many skaters in their 20's but few older than that)it is more comparative to Tennis and Cricket than small sports such as specific forms of bike riding.
Skateparks are also not just for exhisting teenage skaters. Many BMXers, rollerbladers and scooterers (is that even a word) use norwood skatepark (which the potential skatepark is being modelled on) so its definately not just skaters who use the park. Actually a few weekends ago i went to peckham at about 9 in the morning before going to central london on a trip, to find a group of remote controlled car drivers there, using the ramps to prectice. Although this is very rare, it just shows what a skatepark can do for a community and how everyone can come together to use it in new creative ways.
So although it is great having free travel it is alittle pointless when your travelling to somewhere so full you can't skate. I believe tht it is probably this and not a 'can't be askedness' that means skaters are skating infront of peoples houses.

Other people have argued that they think that the sight is not right. I can't remember telegraph hill from when i last went there (i live about 45 minutes from telegraph hill, 30 from Peckham Rte and 45 minutes from ladywell) but i can imagine this argument being alot more reasonable than the other two. Location does play an important part in a success eg.if its in a lonely area that cannot be seen easily then it could be taken over by the sort opf people that get teenagers their negative stereotype, so it is important that people arent rushed into making a decision and i thnk it is pretty stupid of the council to do this to SPAG as no one wants a skatepark that isnt even used by skaters.

The last argument against it was that parents shuold build skateparks in their own gardens. This is assuming that everyone is rich enough to firstly have a garden and secondly has £100,000 spare. I dream of having a skatepark in a garden. I don't have a garden or £100,000.

On a final note i think this forum is not greatly suited to discussion that get people opinions going as much as these as many people who probably should be on the discussion arent. If you go to the facebook page the discussion is definately pro-skatepark where as here is is more against (although tghere is definately a healthy discussion).

HAHA it looks like ive just wasted an hour here

Headhunter said...

I haven't got any stats but I would find it hard to believe that "fixed gear" biking as you term it is less popular than skateboarding. Track cycling is an Olympic sport - the UK won several medals including golds, in the last Olympics! However, the point is that both activities are, relatively speaking, minority sports yet no one is demanding a 2nd or 3rd cycle track to be built in SE London.

You state that the Peckham and Ladywell tracks are sometimes busy, well that's life. Herne Hill bike track is often too busy to use, many public tennis courts are too busy to use, especially at this time of year. You state yourself that Peckham skate park is empty in the winter months. So we're supposed to build a concrete skate park in a small park in Telegraph Hill which, by the sounds of it will be empty as soon as the weather gets a bit cold? Sounds like great use of green space!

Anonymous said...

HH, cycling is not a substitution for a personality. Just saying......

responsible dog owner said...

Danja, perhaps the skata bois should break yer fingers; stop you typing such a load of guff.

I'm a dog owner, I pick up his poop and dispose of it in the dog bins provided - as do many other responsible dog owners who use the park.

At the end of the day it's the dog owner's responsibility to clean up the mess shooting dogs isn't going to solve the problem. What do you suggest picking off dog owners with a sawn off?

hang on a mo, yer complaining about undesirables and their criminal ways yet you encourage skater bois to go round shooting defenceless animals.

Perhaps before you shoot yer mouth off talking a load of s**t you should engage your brain being tiptapping a load of contradictory offensive nonsense.

responsible dog owner said...

Danja, perhaps the skater bois should break yer fingers; stop you typing such a load of old guff.

I'm a dog owner, I pick up his poop and dispose of it in the dog bins provided - as do many other responsible dog owners who use the park.

At the end of the day it's the dog owner's responsibility to clean up the mess shooting dogs isn't going to solve the problem. What do you suggest picking off dog owners with a sawn off?

Oh hang on a mo, one minute you're complaining about undesirables and their criminal ways yet you encourage skater bois to go round shooting defenceless animals - can you define what criminal activity is acceptable and what's not.

Perhaps before you shoot yer mouth off, talking a load of s**t, you should engage your brain being tiptapping on a load of contradictory nonsense.

Voice of reason said...

Don't think he was, you know, actually advocating shooting dogs from a moving skateboard. Taking a steady prone or kneeling position would be far more effective and safer to other park users.

Tamsin said...

To get back to being sensible - LW touched upon the nub of the matter in his ante-penultimate paragraph. Quite apart from the views and the present peace and tranquillity enjoyed by many the site is wrong for the reasons stated. It is isolated at times and could give rise to older undesirables hanging out there, with the result that the young people for whom it is intended being too intimidated to use it and so go back to using the streets. The park keeper himself has agreed that Kitto Road would be a better position - subject as it would be to casual supervision by passing adults using the Centre and a regular passage of traffic (including buses) round the roundabout.

Headhunter said...

"cycling is not a substitution for a personality. Just saying"

Really? Someone shoulda said... Oh well, that's me finished then...

Danja said...

Heh, truly a Voice of Reason.

Toxocara is right, it is terrible.

Is the Kitto Road idea to close the bit outside what was Cafe Orange?

drakefell debaser said...

I received the SPAG letter about the facility last night. Within the letter it clearly states that the skate park will not be lit at night and there are no plans to skate after dusk.

From what I have read on the various debates, the only objection to placing it in the Lower Park is that it is locked at night.

Surely then, it could be situated in the Lower Park becuase the kids have no intention of skating at night?

Danja said...

I don't get why anyone would want it in the lower rather than upper park, when the former is busy enough as it is, and the latter's only use of any intensity is as a dog exercising area/toilet.

Brockley Nick said...

I've not experienced that aspect of the upper park, but the lower park seems to be the "play" park, with a bit more space and lots of facilities for young people. It made sense to me to keep the football, basketball and skating in the same place. Set further away from houses.

TJ said...

Danja - the Upper Park is not a dog's toilet. Many people do walk there dogs there - and there is NOTHING wrong with that. Most pick up after their dogs.

If it was a dog's toliet as you suggest - then why would it be used for reading, picnicing, lying on the grass etc.

Anti-dog rhetoric is just as boring as the skaters are thugs diatribe.

Tamsin said...

Given that in practice it was kids skating at all hours from after school to mid evening (i.e. long after dusk in the winter) that started the whole thing off, putting the new skatepark into a location that shuts at dusk will just mean that nearly £50K and a lot of angst has been spent on not solving the original issue. Nice while it is open but not meeting the actual need.

To secure the fenced area in the North East corner currently used casually for for little kids foot-ball so that it could be open later than the rest of the park would add considerably to the cost - you would need suitable full height railings - and would need clearance with the Heritage Lottery who funded the restsoration. Also to persuade the residents just opposite that the low noise concrete is as low noise as it is claimed.

The deal between LBL and Heritage Lottery was that the Lower Park would be supervised during the day and locked at night - so later opening hours for the whole Park are not really feasible.

drakefell debaser said...

That’s all very well Tamsin, but, if the group are stating in their promotional material that they have no intention of skating after dusk then they cannot then go onto complain if the park is locked at dusk.

As the latest thread points out, the lower park is the preferred location for the group so they must be aware that they can’t skate after dark and as the facility will have no lighting, it would probably be dangerous to try anyway. Besides, the only time the locking of the park becomes an issue is in winter, which is probably not ideal skating weather anyway.

I think the issue of noise applies to both parks but probably more so with the upper park because it is has fewer trees around it and is higher up which allows the sound to be carried further. The lower park is sunken in to an extent, has more trees and shrubbery and ambient noise already from the other activities that go on there.

Danja said...

I'm not anti-dog at all, I quite like them. I'm anti-irresponsible-dog-owner though, and there are many of them that use the upper park. A bit more active use around duck might deter them, that's all. That's insofar as the original post had anything more than satirical intent.

Anonymous said...

@DD It might have been amended, but the latest thread actually says that SPAG's preferred location is the UPPER Park, although (with Kitto Road being effectively ruled out) the Lower Park was being looked at this afternoon. It may be that this is the only alternative if a vote ultimately goes against the Upper Park as, despite what was reported by Nick on the other thread as being said to him, the couple of people from SPAG I was talking to were not at all sold on the idea of anything north of Arbuthnot or, although we did not have any specifics to consider, presumably South of Drakefell.

And it then remains - I contend - that if the skatepark facility is closed at dusk some anti-social and dangerous skating on the streets (not the SPAG young people but others) could well continue. Maybe this will not matter as the police can be called upon to go in heavy handed and issue ASBOs or whatever, but it does seem a very unhappy outcome. The only thing worse, to my mind, would be to have the tranquillity of the Upper Park irreperably damaged.

Tamsin said...

Oh, sorry. Didn't mean that last to be anonymous - pligged the wrong button.

drakefell debaser said...

Tamsin, I am talking about the last paragraph of todays thread -

Sites in the lower park were the group's preferred option and one of the organisers tells us that siting it in the lower park is still an outside possibility. The group are still open to alternative suggestions from anyone with a good idea.

The leaflet going around makes no mention of this though and it just tries to sell the upper park.

Anyway, hopefully something will come out of tomorrow nights meeting.

Tamsin said...

True - I'm now totally confused. Got the impression this afternoon that the Lower Park had not been considered before. But let's see.

Something that has been requested is definitive and clear proposals at an early stage so that in September (in whatever body it is being voted on) people know exactly what is in issue.

LW said...

@Headhunter

FIrstly and mostly off the topic the reason that skating is not an olympic sport is that it is debatable whether it is avtually a sport as there are so many different forms of it and it is more about creativity than measured goals. It is completely down to opinion who is the best whereas in cycling you can just time or measure distances to see who is best.

As i went on to state a skatepark is for rollerbladers (quite alot more popular than skating), bmxing, other types of bike riding and scootering, the later is more popular among primary school children.

From what is being said, i would defiantely support a skatepark in the lower park and this shuold definately be brought up in the meeting. It seems this would keep almost everyone happy and i can't see any reason why this can't happen (except for the inconvenience in winter months as most people wouldnt be able to get to the skatepark before dusk so it would be almost unused on winter weekdays.)

However i don't think noise should be an issue. It shoulnt be any more noisy than anywhere else where young people gather.
Those who have had people skating over uneven pave,ment outside their front doors shouldn't imagine this clatter but just wheels running over a compl;etely smooth surface (more like a car driving.) Go over to brixton, mile end or camden to see what i mean (it would be on a much smaller scale than those though.)

I would imagine that the noise will be more from just general talking than the actual skating

Anonymous said...

I think that SPAG were told that the lower park wasn't an option, so it was discounted. It isn't true that SPAG weren't considering other sites, I walked around the ward last week with a SPAG person trying to identify other possible sites.
However, last nights meeting seems to have ended on a very positive note with the two opposing groups coming together to look at an alternative proposal.

Tamsin said...

@ Anon 10.13 Any results of your bimble (too long since that word has been used on this blog)? It would be good to have any potential sites flagged up as soon as possible so pros and cons of all can be freely discussed.

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