Skate park debate: SPAG hope to grind out the right result

Concept design based on the Croydon skate park

The Telegraph Hill Skate Park Action Group (SPAG) have delivered 4,000 leaflets ahead of the public meeting on the 17th, in an effort to win support for their plans. With two days to go, they say they have three streets left to deliver to. Despite the fact that some people have kickflipped about the idea, they hope that by giving the issue air time on Thursday, they will win people round. Although we have no truck with those who fear our young people, we spoke to the kingpins at SPAG to ask them about some of the issues raised on this thread.

The group hopes to create a concrete skating rink in Telegraph Hill, to be used by local children, from infant school age to teenage. Their plans are modelled on a similar facility in Croydon (pictured) and designed to cater for a slightly younger skater, providing a local alternative to places in Ladywell and Peckham and keeping skaters off the streets outside people's houses and in the line of traffic. Based on their surveys in Peckham, they expect an average of 15-20 children to use the park every day.

The most likely location for the park is the Upper Park of Telegraph Hill, at the bottom of the slope that faces towards the city, out of sight of anyone hoping to enjoy the stunning views, below the picnic benches, near the gates.

SPAG are not fixated on using the Upper Park and acknowledge that the loss of green space and proximity to some houses are understandable concerns. They told Brockley Central that they'd gladly locate on any suitable site within the ward. They'd like to work with the Council and the community to get their park built in the most acceptable location. However, options are very limited.

The idea of closing Kitto Road to create a park there proved understandably challenging, with the group told that they would not receive planning permission. Walbutton Road was also suggested but it appears that the land is targetted for an expansion of Crossways Academy.

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.