Saturday, 25 June 2022

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Questions and concerns answered

Questions and concerns answered

Raewyn Duggan from the working group presents the replies to questions asked/concerns raised to the proposed wheelie area in Hertford Heath Park from the recent consultation/questionnaire.

A toatl of 270 replies were received, 259 from Hertford Heath residents and a further 11 from outside Hertford Heath.

0
Adults
0
Teenagers
0
Under 12

Agree/Strongly Agree

Disagree/Strongly Disagree

Neither Agree nor Disagree

Responses to queries raised

 

Type of area

We wish to clarify that this is NOT a skateboard park, but a WHEELIE AREA.  It will be very basic, to keep the children off the road.  Please see below for further clarification

Users

As stated in the questionnaire, this WHEELIE AREA concept is for the children of the village.  Aimed at those that are currently not old enough to go to the skateboard parks at Hartham, Hoddesdon or Ware.  Our aim is to provide an area for children who want to be a little more adventurous than the provided swings and slides provide, who are moving forward in their growth and want to expand their play, so in a nutshell between 5-13.  We also hope that we can provide an integrated this area for the less abled in the community and will work with the correct authorities/charities to provide this as much as possible.  We want to make this accessible to all. 

Design

We hope to have plans drawn up very soon.  It’s been a catch 22 situation.  If we couldn’t go ahead with this idea of a wheelie area, what was the point of doing a drawing due to costing, but without the drawing it is hard to visualise.  Instead, we put the written plan at the top of the questionnaire, and like us, you just had to use your imagination until such times as plans could be drawn.

Effect to wildlife – surrounding area

We are aware that there is an SSSI to the woods and we will adhere and be respectful of any laws and protections needed. 

Boundaries

There are boundary rules that must be adhered to, and we will of course do that.  This will be looked at more fully when plans for the area are drawn up.

Lighting

We currently have no plans for lighting.  We feel that this area is aimed for the younger children in the village who should not be out after dark, and we do not wish to encourage this.  Lighting is also costly and expensive to maintain and will annoy surrounding houses – and we are trying to keep the nuisance of noise/anti-social behaviour to a minimum.

Safety

There is already in place access to the park for ambulance.  Perhaps we can also ask the football club when they are doing their new club - is it a possible solution that a mobile defibrillator could be put on their building. 

Positioning

After consultations/talks with the Parish Council this is the only viable area that is safe for the children to use.  If this area is not suitable, after checking planning permission, then there is nowhere else suitable until such times as the new houses will be built, and we can request that a wheelie area be in place (but that is in the future).

Funding

We are hoping to pay for this via grants and funding from charities.  We are waiting on costings for this venture and once planning is started look at options opened to us.

Noise to surrounding areas

This is a park, people who live near it must expect noise.  But we hope to minimise any extra noise by landscaping (we have talked with designers of the wheelie park to this effect).

Seating

We hope, as we are aiming at younger children to young teens that we can have a seating area for parents whilst they help their children on the flat wheelie area (beginners’ area to learn how to scoot/skateboard and cycle) in a safe environment. 

Construction materials

Preferably concrete as it is easier to maintain, and for safety reasons. Concrete can also reduce noise levels.   If we are able to get the halfpipe, it will be enclosed so not to encourage sitting underneath it and thus avoiding anti-social behaviour.

Anti-social behaviour 

There is already anti-social behaviour in the park.  Some of the very young children feel intimidated by the older children in their play area, as they are using the area to wheelie around in.  We hope by building a scooting/skateboarding and cycle domain (the area to the back of the playing fields) this will stop the younger children feeling intimidated and enjoy their playing area. 

This wheelie area can provide a venue for leisure and physical activity and also act as an important social space for young people.  We have heard from a few of the younger members of our Working Group, learned how they have interacted with other members of a local skateboard park, who have helped them with their techniques and the sense of achievement they feel on learning new skills.  Whilst we are aware of negatives, we must also push the positives of doing this for the younger members of our village.

We have been in contact with the local PCSO and hope to meet with him soon.

Working Group 

We have various people in our group.  Some with no children (myself, who just believe that the children in the village need something to get them off the roads) to parents of children wanting to learn how to skate/scoot.  We also have children in the group who are aware that by the time that this is done, they will probably be able to get to the skateparks at ware and Hartham, and this will not be useful for them, but are willing to help so that others can get the benefit.

Moving forward

We are looking at planning and funding and talking with the Parish Council during the process and keeping them informed.

Raewyn Duggan

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