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Politics Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Plans to build skate park in Rhondda Cynon Taf park approved

Llanharry Park In Llanharry (Pic: Google Maps)

PLANS to build a skate park in a Rhondda Cynon Taf park have been given the green light.

Llanharry Community Council’s plans for the skate park at Llanharry Park on Llanharry Road were approved by RCT’s planning committee on Thursday, December 14.

It will be in the north-eastern corner of the park and with landscaping and access would cover a surface area of approximately 989sq m, with a skateable area of 314sq m.

The skateable part will be constructed from freeform concrete, which will enable a range of features, including ramps, pipes, ledges and rails, with the maximum height of any structure being 1.5m.

The plans show that two benches and litter bins will be provided but the site is not proposed to be lit.

Eight letters of objection and one letter of support were received in relation to it.

The objections raised concern over anti-social behaviour and crime, including increased littering, drinking and use of drugs. They said the site and surroundings suffered from anti-social behaviour with gangs of up to 30 youths congregating and residents being verbally abused. It was also reported that community hall staff had been forced to clear up broken glass from outside.

They claimed that older children were coming from other areas to use the park and motorbikes had been using the park and lanes nearby as a circuit. They also raised concerns about the loss of parkland for families, vandalisation, public urination and noise pollution.

They said if the plans were approved, the site should be fenced and locked at 9pm and that there had been no evidence of the park being monitored.

But one comment said the provision for young people in the area was poor and the site was relatively far from many properties.

They urged officers and councillors to consider the needs of young people and not be “unduly influenced” by the “small but vociferous” view that youths gathering bring noise and litter and no provision should be made for them.

In recommending approval, RCT planning officers said in their report: “The location of the proposed skate park within Llanharry Park is one where it would be least likely to have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the closest neighbouring occupiers and would not affect the openness of the remaining public space.

“Furthermore, the skate park would be beneficial to the wellbeing of younger members of the community where there is clearly a demand and currently an absence of an easily accessible alternative facility.”

They said it would “provide the local community with an additional leisure and sport facility within a park that has been long established as being used for these purposes”.

Councillor Jill Bonetto, a member of the planning committee, said that a lot of the time anti-social behaviour was because people didn’t have anything to do and she hoped this gave youngsters something they could enjoy, adding that she wanted to see more of these in other places.