Stockton Council has received designs for a new skatepark to be built in Preston Park. Four schemes have been received from Bendcrete, Wheelscape, Gravity and California Skateparks. What is good here is that Stockton Council is actually asking for your opinion. Usually parks tend to be put together by partnerships with local Councilors and Youth Clubs. This usually resulting in the opinions of the Youth Club (the people that want and will be using the park) being swept under the carpet while the Councilors reap all the credit for ticking the correct boxes in meeting certain criteria. In meeting the criteria I mean “they want a park, we gave them a park” without actually listening to the needs of the users and leaving them with an inferior park that isn’t going to be used. But, Stockton Council appear to be doing it right. They would like you to help them choose a suitable scheme so that a park can be built to correctly satisfy the needs of the user rather than the needs of a local MP.
I’ve pulled the designs off their website for you to look at.
Bendcrete Skateparks Proposal.
California Skateparks Proposal (sorry about the quality of this image, it must be an error on the original because I tried and retried a few times to download it).
Gravity Skatepark Proposal
Wheelscape Skatepark Proposal
Some of the main things you need to consider are –
- Is the park maximising the available space and the best use of it.
- Is the park meeting the needs of its users (Skate, BMX and Blades).
- Flow/Lines and how the park is put together (its no good having a park full of the best stuff if the way it’s laid out interferes with with being able to use it).
Right, so, you’ve seen the park designs. What you need to do now, if you want to have a say in the designs and which company you like to see build the park, is –
- if you want more info go to the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council website, where you can look at the full plans for each and download the PDF file for yourself.
- E-mail your thoughts/ideas/feedback/suggestions/concerns/preferred design/preferred builders etc, to [email protected].
All too often parks have been built without asking for the opinions of the users. When the opinion is asked it’s only to a small amount of people, usually youngsters from youth clubs that tend not to have a lot of knowledge of parks thinking only about “we need a spine” and in turn not taken seriously. This is an opportunity for everyone to have a say here, don’t waste it, get on it and make sure you get the park you want.