'Disappointment' as Chch skate park plan put on hold

Sumner skateboarders will continue to use a temporary wooden skate ramp until their new permanent...
Sumner skateboarders will continue to use a temporary wooden skate ramp until their new permanent skate park is built. Photo: Supplied
The wheels have fallen off a Christchurch skate park plan that took decades to get off the ground – and the people who planned to use it are far from happy.

The Bays Skate and Scooter Park project in Sumner is on hold after the Covid-19 crisis ravaged Christchurch City Council’s books.

The council originally proposed spending $417,800 on the park but the funding is missing from its 2020/21 draft Annual Plan.

Sumner Green and Skate was preparing for the project’s consultation phase ahead of its planned construction at the Nayland St site later this year.

The group's chairwoman Charlie Hudson said they are “extremely disappointed” to learn that the project could be delayed.

The plans were set to be presented to the community after “many hours of work” from the city council’s parks team, volunteers and more than 100 young people.

It took the council more than 25 years to deliver a skate facility for the area and even one more year would be a long time for a young person to wait, she said.

Sumner youth were “really frustrated and disappointed at their voices not being heard”.

As a consequence of the postponement, young people might get the impression their interests and passions are not important or worthy, she said.

Skateboarders will continue to use a temporary wooden skate ramp until their new permanent skate park is built, she said.

City council head of parks Andrew Rutledge told the group residual funding from this year will be carried forward to keep the project moving through its consultation, detailed design and other phases.

The build budget would be part of the 2021/2022 financial year but if it were sped up, the council could get the funding in line with construction milestones via a “bring back change request”.

The budget was cut as part of the city council’s response to a $99 million shortfall as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Various other community projects are also facing cuts in the draft Annual Plan, which is out for public consultation until June 29.

 

 

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