Skate park fight for bored teens

A PAIR of bored teenagers have taken the initiative by putting together a campaign for skate park facilities in Clipstone.

Pals Joseph Norris (14) and 13-year-old Lewis Batchelor, who live on the Cavendish Park estate, want new facilities for older children and say at the moment only smaller youngsters are catered for.

And it seems their neighbours agree, with more than 300 people signing the boys’ petition.

Joseph’s mum Jayne said the pair came up with the idea for the campaign all by themselves.

“The boys have been really buzzing about it - they have been really pleased about the response to the petition,” she said.

“I think some of the children have a negative opinion of this estate because they say there’s nothing for them to do.

“There’ s a bit of a craze for kick scooters at the moment - but some of the residents don’t like them building the ramps they use to jump off.”

The petition will go before planners at Newark & Sherwood District Council, who are considering a planning application from Taylor Wimpey for 219 new homes on land off Cavendish Way.

Jayne said she hoped the petition would influence any future developments.

“There are many young families on this estate and I think developers need to consider that these young children will grow up and they need to be catered for,” she said.

Clipstone councillor Sheila Soar said although the parish council supported the campaign, no promises had been made about skate parks and facilities for older children.

“It’s all about local residents taking an initiative which the council backs, but there can be no absolute promises,” she said.

“It is hoped the petition will bring pressure to bear on developers and planners when final decisions are made which will be some time in the future.”

Richard Exton, senior planning officer for the district council, said outline planning permission for the new development, granted in 2009, required the developer to build an open space multi-games area and children’s play equipment.

“The current application is only dealing with those matters not dealt with at outline stage such as the detailed layout and design of the housing, and consequently there is no opportunity for us to re-visit the Section 106 contributions at this time,” he said.

“These will be delivered as planned, at set points throughout the development.

“Should other applications be submitted for major housing development in the vicinity, the council has the discretion to ask for specific facilities for older children to be provided through further Section 106 contributions at that time.”