The closure of a Stevenage skate park due to safety fears is not linked with a town centre redevelopment, say Herts County Council.

The Comet: Jonathan Harrison on his BMX at Bowes Lyon skate park in Stevenage, which has been shut due to safety fears.Jonathan Harrison on his BMX at Bowes Lyon skate park in Stevenage, which has been shut due to safety fears. (Image: Archant)

County Hall shut the Bowes Lyon skate park in St George’s Way on a temporary basis on Friday after an independent inspection.

A spokesman said: “It is too early to say when it might reopen. We will need to get quotations for the work and draw up a schedule.”

It was closed after an inspection raised concerns about the deterioration of some surfaces of the 1970s park, which is one of the oldest of its kind in the country.

Since this happened on Friday there have been rumours circulating on social media that the closure is part of a ploy to redevelop the land for housing or build a car park as part of the Stevenage First’s plans to regenerate the town centre.

These rumours originally started in August when people noticed that concept drawings of a redeveloped town centre didn’t include the park. This came around the same time a new £125,000 skate park was opened in Hampson Park and some people thought the two were linked.

A petition was subsequently started to save the park and gained nearly 2,000 signatures but the county council and Stevenage First dismissed the move as pure speculation and said the drawings were just an artist’s impression of what the town might look like.

Malcom Armstrong uses the park and said: “It seems such a contrived way to fool the community in Stevenage that it is dangerous when the woefully inadequate skate park they built in Hampson Park is too small for purpose, has no regulation or staff members, but is considered safe? How is this double standard allowed to happen?

“It’s just their way of providing a green light for the redevelopment of the town for a car park that will make them money.”

A spokesman for County Hall said: “The decision to close the park has been made to ensure the safety of users.

“We will now be looking at options to make the necessary repairs so the facility can be reopened. This decision was made on safety grounds only and does not relate to any possible regeneration developments being explored by Stevenage First.”