SKATEBOARDERS in Swansea will have to be patient after a judicial review was lodged about a new skate park on the seafront.
Opponents of the £330,000-plus scheme have commissioned lawyers to challenge the decision made by Swansea Council to transfer land at Llwynderw, West Cross, to Mumbles Community Council for the skate park.
The community council has spearheaded the project from the outset and gained approval last February to build the skate park when Swansea Council’s planning committee voted in favour of it by just one vote.
More hurdles had to be overcome. A due diligence exercise was carried out to ensure the Llwynderw site – where the mini half-pipe is – was the most appropriate in the area for a skate park, and the land then had to be transferred.
And it is this land transfer that is under the spotlight.
Responding to the judicial review, Martin Nicholls, the council’s director of place, said:
“The council has been served with court proceedings relating to a judicial review of the decision to dispose of land at West Cross to Mumbles Community Council for use as a skate park.
“This action is a disappointing response to a proposed community project that has the potential to benefit and support the well-being of many young people in Swansea now and in the coming years.
“It is clear that the process to date has demonstrated a need and support for such a skate park for young people in our communities.”
Mr Nicholls added:
“We are studying the contents of the court documents and will respond in due course. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”
The community council is also aware of the judicial review, which is a means by which individuals or groups can challenge the lawfulness of decisions made by public bodies.
The Llwynderw skate park project by Mumbles Road has widespread backing, but concerns were raised about its proximity to the promenade, security, and that parents might try to drop their children off on the busy road to access it.
The community council has commissioned a company to build the skate park and will apply for grants to fund the bulk of the cost.
The flowing, bowl-shaped skate park would be suitable for skateboarders of all ages and abilities, as well as BMX and scooter riders.
Speaking at the planning meeting last year, West Cross councillor Mark Child told committee members: “You have the chance to make a decision which will bring a lot of joy to a lot of young people.”
Cllr Linda-Tyler Lloyd, whose Mayals ward just incorporates the Llwynderw skate park site, said she had received a lot of emails from residents querying the proposal and also emails in favour of it.
Her head, she said, was “like a spin dryer”.
After the committee’s narrow vote in favour, the then Mumbles Community Council chairwoman, Carrie Townsend Jones, said:
“We were just delighted that we got approval, and now we can really start moving forward and getting on with it.”
photo credit: Google maps