Stevenage skate park to re-open despite failure of campaign to have it listed and fears over development
- Credit: Archant
A popular skate park which was built in the 1970s is set to reopen – dispelling doubts about its future.
Hertfordshire County Council has said that Bowes Lyon skate park in Stevenage will reopen in the ‘next couple of weeks’ for skaters and BMXers to use.
It follows the park’s closure in October 2015 because of the ‘deterioration’ of some of the surfaces.
Herts County Council issued a statement this week saying: “Following a routine safety check of the park at the end of last year the facility was closed so essential repairs could be carried out.
“This work has now started and will be completed by the end of the month.
“It will then open daily from 11am to 10pm. The skate park is for the use of teenagers and is unsuitable for younger children.”
But doubts about the long term future of the park are still circulating.
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A new skate park was opened at Hampson Park last August, and Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland has stated his belief that redevelopment of the town by the Stevenage First partnership will see a car park built on the Bowes Lyon site.
Last year residents launched a petition to try to safeguard the park and Mr McPartland was so concerned about its future he made an appeal to Historic England to have it listed.
But the heritage organisation has rejected the plea and now Mr McPartland is blaming Stevenage Borough Council for failing to get behind the bid to list the park because he says it has outlined plans to build a car park on in.
But HCC, which actually owns the park, denies that it is part of any development plan and Historic England says it is not worthy of listing.
Tony Calladine, listing team leader at Historic England, said: “The requirements for listing a structure of such recent date are high, and in a national context it is too altered and does not have the design interest to merit adding it to the list.”
The park is unsupervised and its use is entirely at individual’s own risk.