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Debate rages over new skatepark for Beaconsfield
A HEATED debate erupted at a council meeting last week over a possible new skatepark for Beaconsfield.
Supporters of a course for skateboards, BMXs and scooters at Holtspur Way Recreation Ground say their recent public consultation shows overwhelming support for the project.
But councillors on the Open Spaces Committee questioned the independence of the survey, with some suggesting the skatepark is simply not wanted by people in the area.
A council-led working group hired surveying specialists to assess the suitability of three sites in the town: one off the A40 near Pyebush, another on Wooburn Green Lane and the third at Holtspur Way.
The report indicated Holtspur Way was deemed most suitable in terms of accessibility, safety, access and existing facilities.
A survey run by an independent group raising money for the skatepark received 100 signatures, with 95 per cent in favour of creating the course.
Cllr Graham Davie, who heads up the skatepark group, gave an impassioned speech in favour of the plan, but spoke as a member of the public after declaring an interest in the park.
But Holtspur Youth Club leader Alec Quinton questioned the survey results, saying he carried out his own impromptu study with only five of 114 people asked around Holtspur lending their support.
Cllr Matt Denyer, who represents Holtspur as a district councillor, said he believed the vast majority of residents were against the plan.
And members called for a fully independent survey, claiming no project should go ahead until the people of Holtspur and Beaconsfield were properly consulted.
Cllr Alan Walters said: "The answers they collected from the survey were always going to be yes as it was handled by the people who want the skate park so it needs to be independent.
"We cannot be any fairer than asking for a proper, town-wide consultation."
Cllr Steve Jones said: "It is absolutely essential we ask the right questions and do not rush into anything.
"It is critical the people who live next to it are listened to carefully because they are the ones who will have to live with this."
The Beaconsfield Skatepark Group have raised nearly £10,000 towards the £70,000 project, and are raising the funds themselves rather than asking for council cash.
It was decided that a full consultation will now be discussed at the Town Council.
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