Stafford Skatepark Removed

Stafford Skatepark Removed

In January 2021 Stafford FM wrote about a skatepark (known as The Crem in the skating community) on the Redrow housing estate that was causing anti-social behavior issues.

On the 12th January 2021 a letter was sent to local residents which mentioned due to a number of anti-social Behaviour issues some of which have involved the police, Redrow was submitting a proposal for the replacement of the skatepark with something they feel would be more appropriate to the estate. The proposal suggested removing the skatepark and replacing it with what is known as “Trim-Trail” a natural wood play and exercise facility aimed at younger children.

Following this Stafford FM submitted a freedom of information request to Staffordshire Police to be provided with crime stats related to the skatepark. The information showed that on average the police recorded an incident at the park roughly once every 2-3 weeks.

Source: https://www.premierplaysolutions.co.uk/trim-trails/trimtrails

On the 22nd of April 2021 a planning application was received by Stafford Borough Council “21/34255/FUL | Removal of existing skate park secured via planning obligation (associated with planning permission 13/18697/OUT), earthworks and ground reprofiling to facilitate the creation of a new children’s play area within public open space associated with the residential development of land at Tixall Road, Stafford”

The status of the application is still listed as awaiting a decision on the borough council’s website, however, demolition of the skatepark has already begun with much of it already turned into rubble.

Local residents raised many concerns about the skatepark to Redrow, Police, Council, and Stafford FM. In a statement to Stafford FM a resident wrote:

“Most residents of the Redrow estate believed the MUGA and skatepark were to be for the benefit of us and our children. Sadly, the skatepark has caused many, many issues which the wider development may or may not be aware of.  It continues to attract youths and adults (much older than anticipated) from far and wide across Stafford (and some from as far as Dudley and West Midlands!) some of whose behaviour has actually become a deterrent to children, youths, and adults in the immediate area.  Some parents will be aware that there are long spells where it becomes a “no go” area and even us adults may not relish walking on the public open space at certain times.”

We spoke to a number of skaters who believe they are being unfairly targeted as they feel the majority of the people use the skatepark with respect, however they cannot help the action of a few who ruin it for everyone.

One skater said to Stafford FM: “It’s the best public skatepark in Stafford by a long shot, a welcoming environment for young people and parents and children willing to learn to skate. If it were to be demolished, and an equal standard skatepark not be provided in a local area, the council and Redrow Homes, would have failed the general public”

Despite these comments from skaters, on Stafford FM’s visit to the site today there was very visible graffiti on the street furniture around the former skatepark. There are also signs that residents are fighting a battle with people that use the facility. A number of No Parking signs are visible in the area along with a CCTV camera (which was pointed at the floor when we visited)

Stafford FM understands that residents have been kept informed of the future of the skatepark, however, the local skaters only found out the fate of the park today upon arrival to use it. Last year when Stafford FM spoke to Redrow they clearly stated “Should any changes be made, we will proceed through the official channels in a transparent manner.”

There are currently a number of public skating facilities in the Stafford area, most notably Victoria park. Other skating facilities in the area include Wildwood Park, Charnley Road, and Holmcroft – https://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/stafford-borough-parks

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