PARENTS have hit back at opposition to the proposed skate park for Hanwell.
The controversial site, which if approved would be at Elthorne Park, has become a contentious issue for the area. Critics of the scheme say it could be a magnet for anti-social behaviour and would have an adverse impact on the character of the area.
Elthorne Park High School also joined the objectors, listing concerns in a recent newsletter. But now residents have spoken out in favour of the facility.
Alf Bottoni, Elthorne Resident and father of Zac, 12, who is a pupil a Elthorne Park School said: "I think having a skate park here will only benefit the local community. I can't see that it will distract the pupils at Elthorne Park School any more than any other sport taking place in the park and I believe there are plans to screen it off from the school."
Mum-of-three Mel Cattaway, who lives in Elthorne Park Road said: "As a mum of three children under 10, I'm very happy to take my kids to skate parks. "All the teenagers are always very friendly, helping out the younger ones and showing them tricks. We've never seen any anti-social behaviour at any of the parks we've visited."
Parent Sara Macintosh said: "Teenagers must be able to use our parks in the same way that we all want to. We must offer them things to do. We cannot let our fear of anti-social behaviour from a few teenagers arrest the opportunities for all.
"We must, as parents and adults, continue to engage with teenagers as they develop. A skate park is a sports facility for in-lining, skate boarding, BMXing for all ages that also enables us to have contact with teenagers.
"Well-designed skate parks are misunderstood places and we underestimate the value of them in a community."
More than 2,800 questionanires were sent out by Ealing Council to residents living in the immediate area around the park. Results revealed 67% of all repondents were in favour of the skate park being built on the park site.
Over 700 people responded to the paper questionnaire and 62% said they wanted the skate park in Elthorne Park. Out of the 405 people who shared their views online, 76% agreed.
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