New skatepark at Lake Meadows in Billericay to cost £500k

Original skate park in Lake Meadows

Article by Toby Emes: Half a million pounds is set to be spent on a new skatepark in Billericay after the previous one was targeted by vandals, it has been revealed.

Basildon Tories are investigating buying the new equipment for Lake Meadows, after the site had to be cleared due to constant attacks.

The old wooden skatepark could be replaced with a more modern, concrete version, if the plans get off the ground.

However there are questions if the new skatepark would see the same level of vandalism as before, with yobs previously setting fire to the equipment.

Andrew Schrader, councillor of the Billericay East ward, said:

“We want to get something going in there, but we have to consider we’re spending a lot of taxpayers’ money for it to be potentially vandalised again. The Billericay Town Council is also looking at it, they removed the old skate park a few years ago. It was really well used. Conversations are taking place. It was something that came up as soon as we got back into administration.”

A petition was launched earlier this year to improve the current facilities at the skatepark. The petition gained almost 1,000 signatures.

George Bullock, who started the petition, wrote:

“Whilst the current facility is useable for most skateboarders and riders, it would be a great benefit to youth development and other skateboarders to have a more modern and developed skatepark. Structures before have been made poorly, and lacked consultation of skaters. Whilst we are grateful for the current situation and that Basildon council has allowed the skatepark to remain in use, we believe that a more advanced, street-oriented park would allow for a more diversified group of skateboarders and riders to learn new skills and a place to socialise.”

Councillor Phil Turner told the Echo the new skatepark would cost £500,000.

Mike Andrews, vice-chair of the Billericay Residents Associations, added:

“If the youngsters want a new skatepark, then I can’t see anything wrong with that. The issue is whether it’s vandalised again. The park is a really lovely place to go, and you have a lot of open space.”

Article by Toby Emes, The Echo