18th February 2018
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Knab skate park unanimously approved – after 12-years

The 12-year wait for a £214,000 skate park in Lerwick is finally reaching an end following unanimous approval for a major development at the Knab.

Members of the SIC’s planning committee this morning brought a halt to long-running uncertainty by giving the plans the green light. Construction is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

David Sandison said he did not believe anything could stop the skate park from going ahead and moved approval. He was seconded by political leader Gary Robinson.

It comes almost two months after the skate park proposals last came before planning members.

At that time members held back from approving after hearing consultation was still underway over a noise impact assessment.

An impression of what the Knab skate park will look like.

An impression of what the Knab skate park will look like.

Back then the full design had not been submitted, and councillors wanted to see detailed plans before granting permission.

Members were today told the use of “acoustic fencing” measuring 1.5 metres  (five feet) in height around the north end of the park would mitigate against any noise. The environmental health department had considered the plans and found them acceptable.

Mr Sandison wasted no time in moving for approval.

“I’m happy to move the recommendations based on the fact the previous issues have been resolved. I don’t believe there is anything now that would stop this from going ahead.”

Treasurer of the local skate park association, Kaye Williamson, welcomed the news.

“We are very pleased that we have finally been granted planning permission and secured the necessary funding for this project,” she said.

“We can now move on to the construction stage and hope to have the park completed before the end of the year.”

Once completed the skate park will comprise of a mixture of bowl and street features.

Association members insist skate boarding is no passing fad.

Plans are already in place to work with Shetland’s Active Schools team to develop sports programmes which will encourage increased use of the park.

It is hoped that experts, coaches and professionals from outwith the isles will attend sessions to provide role models to inspire future generations of skateboarders and BMX riders.

The go-ahead marks the end of a 12-year wait for a skate park complex in the town.

Funding for the plans include a £63,000 investment from sportscotland.

Further investment has been offered from various bodies, including the SIC which has earmarked £60,000 – including £10,000 from its “Quality of Life” fund. The town’s community council has also put forward £3,000.

Chairwoman of sportscotland, Louise Martin said: “We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic project – the first of its kind in Shetland – which will provide a wonderful facility for the whole community.”

Earlier proposals in other parts of Lerwick – such as the Clickimin or Gilbertson Park – were scuppered for various reasons over the years.

These included difficulties in acquiring land, and complaints from neighbours about the prospects of noise and nuisance.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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21 comments

  1. James Stewart

    Delighted to hear this! The hard work of our young members and trustees has really paid off.

    J Stewart
    Ex-chair

    Reply
  2. Wayne Conroy

    Never mind 12 years… 25yrs ago we would get stopped by the police for skateboarding around Lerwick. We were told we were not allowed to skateboard on public pavements and as all the parks had gravel paths we went to school grounds. Of course we weren’t allowed to skateboard there either and were moved! So we tried the Coop carpark… Again we were moved.

    Finally kids will be able to skate. Well done to all involved in making this possible!

    Reply
  3. Jim Leask

    Great news for so many of Shetland’s children and young people (and some not so young folk too). Shetland is very well provisioned with regards to the more traditional sports and it is great to see the skate park finally get the go ahead, providing a platform for those interested in alternitve sports like BMW, Skateboarding etc.
    Well done to the committee of the Skate Park Assc for not giving up!

    Reply
  4. john Irvine

    wid it no been sense til aa hed it somewye lee?

    Reply
  5. David Spence

    I congratulate the Skateboard Committee in getting the necessary funds for the Skate Park, and for their determination and patience in not giving up this goal of providing an outlet for da bairns.

    Just lets hope the Emergency Services are not called out too many times as a consequence of injuries and alike lol (only joking)

    Reply
  6. Shuard Manson

    `it widda been mair sense but dir wir many many objections

    Reply
  7. John Tulloch

    I wid say!

    Reply
  8. Chris Williams

    Wheres this money coming from then???

    Reply
  9. James Stewart

    Chris – it was agreed in 2005 and has been accounted for in every budget since then. When I first took over as chair of the Association in 2011 my first priority was to see if the SIC still wanted to back the project. We put our entire funding on the line and the SIC kept their promise (see here: http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2011/06/08/councillors-approve-100000-for-skatepark-project). We were not in any way required to take that decision but we felt it was best to ensure that everyone knew exactly where they stood.

    That being said, the majority of the funding now comes from external sources.

    James Stewart
    SSA Chair 2011-2013

    Reply
  10. Shuard Manson

    Chris Williams, If du reads da article in front o dee dat should answer dee question!

    Reply
  11. Jenny Murray

    63% of the money for this project has been secured from funding sources out with Shetland. 28% has been received from Shetland Islands Council with grants awarded under a previous Council back in 2006 and 9% has been secured from other local sources, including a substantial fundraising effort by group members. We have done a lot of bagpacking and take this opportunity to thank all the shoppers for their kind generosity.

    Reply
  12. ian tinkler

    Chris , Councillors approve £100,000 for skatepark project. Its good to know our funds are in safe hands!!! Pity about the cut backs to education and the elderly.
    http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2011/06/08/councillors-approve-100000-for-skatepark-project

    Reply
  13. Gordon Harmer

    Please Sir could I have a nice artificial ski slope, I don’t mind where it is as long as there are nice views and a bar / cafe at the bottom for refreshments.

    Reply
  14. Stewart Mac

    Indeed Ian it is a shame that there are cuts to those services, but the Council provide funds to other groups – Life in shetland is not to stop until the education budget and spending on the elderly has been taken care of.

    Mind you £100,000 from the council doesnt add up to 28% of a £214,000 Skate Park project, looks more like 46% to me – James, can you explain the discrepancy? 28% from council should be £59,920 or pretty close to the £60,000 mentioned in the lead story as having come from the Council no? – Perhaps the skate park had its original funding allocation cut too

    Reply
  15. Jonathan Wills

    Sorry to spoil Mr Tinkler’s fun, but once again he really ought to check his facts. The council did agree £100,000 for a skateboard park, but that was five years ago, before the scale of the cuts required became apparent. It actually paid a grant of only half that sum, several years ago. That £50,000 will now help to build the skateboarders’ new park, and good luck to them. They’ve done a grand job of fund-raising. And the council’s spending on education and the elderly continues to be far ahead of most of the country, even after the cuts.

    Reply
  16. Kaye Williamson - Treasurer

    Thank you for clarifying that Jonathan.
    The Association was greatly relieved to retain the £50,000 of the original grant awarded by the SIC considering the current financial climate. The young people of Shetland have waited a long time to see this come to fruition and certainly deserve it. I would like to congratulate our young people for their ongoing efforts and commitment to this project. It is this which has served to encourage the older committee members, all volunteers, to continue to dig deep to help enhance our local community.

    Reply
  17. ian tinkler

    Did you read my reference, Jonathon? Was “The Times” wrong in its article by Rosalind Griffiths? Please check and let us know your reference or are you wrong again as is so usual? Another public apology due perhaps.
    http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2011/06/08/councillors-approve-100000-for-skatepark-project

    Reply
  18. Shuard Manson

    I would concur with Kaye and Dr Wills.
    It’s odd that the best Dentist i ever had was Ian Tinkler.
    Believe it or not he can be a man full of empathy,humour and compassion.
    The least Judgemental dentist.
    To him the pain I inflicted on me own teeth was a challenge.
    It saddens me that made such a mistake.
    I used to be good judge of people.

    Reply
  19. paul barlow

    5000 hours of home care. i hope its well used. they may have raised the majority of the money from outside sources but to spend 50k even from previous budgets is stupid.

    Reply
  20. ian tinkler

    So it is only £50,000 of Council funds to date, good, better than £100,000, but still too much! Now who pays the maintenance and repairs for the park for the next 25 years or so? SIC of course. When construction cost overspend as so typical for Shetland projects, whom picks up that cost? The SIC I should imagine. If Jonathon Wiles plays his usual tune of protecting the previous investment! (e.g. Mareel) no expense will be spared. I would expect over the next 25 years at least £50.000 of further costs. Now we have SIC involvement, no doubt, the legal bureaucrats will start justifying their existence, health and safety, public liability costs, accident insurance and so it goes on, more and more costs.
    I am sorry for being so down on what is a great project, but using SIC money, some priority! On The Nab, a more exposed place would be hard to find, probably rendering the park unusable for much of the year. Another hunk of concrete in a beauty spot, truly sad. Away from the new Anderson High and recreational facilities, stupid. How about an intelligent sitting down close to the Clikimin, surely the £50,000 put up by the council could be raised out with council funds. Would that not be more sensible at this time?

    Reply
  21. paul barlow

    what a good idea get the school builders to build it near the new school. it should cut the costs a lot. plus they may even do it for free if they asked nicely enough.

    Reply

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