TEENAGE playground equipment has been given the go ahead at a recreation ground where a skate park was controversially removed last year.
A skate park on Flackwell Heath’s Straight Bit Recreation Ground was removed by Chepping Wycombe Parish Council last year after complaints from residents about noise and anti-social behaviour.
And now councillors have voted to install parkour, or free running, equipment on the other side of the park – a move which has proved equally as unpopular with some residents.
The £14,000 area is paid for largely by money secured from the Local Community Partnership, but must be spent by March otherwise it will be lost.
This led to accusations that the move was rushed through by councillors without proper consultation with young people in the village.
Residents contacted the BFP to complain the chosen spot for the new equipment - near the existing outdoor gym by the bowls club - is just as near to houses as the old skate park.
Concerns were also raised about the potential for anti-social behaviour at the new hang-out and the site's poor visibility from the main road.
But councillors insist it is the best possible location, after agreeing with Wycombe District Council, police and community safety groups on the spot.
And given the time restrictions, members insisted the consultation event to coincide with the Christmas light switch-on in the village was sufficient and provided positive feedback for the project.
Parkour involves learning to navigate obstacles quickly and using the best method for jumping or climbing over them.
The equipment includes a series of bars, jumps and obstacles.
The parish council confirmed work is expected to be completed on the new park before the end of March, weather permitting.
Councillors also insist a replacement for the skate park and BMX facility is still being investigated, with a suitable location yet to be found.
See next week’s BFP for more information and reaction to the decision.