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Priory Park - Haringey Council

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					                                                                 Agenda item:   [No.]
Executive               on                     4th October 2005

Report Title: Developing provision for skateboarding


Report of: Director of Environmental Services


Forward Plan reference number (if applicable):


Wards(s) affected: Crouch End,               Report for: Non Key Decision
Hornsey, Alexandra, Stroud Green,
Harringay, Seven Sisters


1.   Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this report is to enable Members to consider the issues involved in
    developing skateboarding and other wheeled activity within the west and/or south of
    the Borough.


2.   Introduction by Executive Member

     Skateboarding is an increasingly popular activity in the Haringey. Demand for
     skateboarding facilities has increased, particularly in the west of the Borough. The
     Council has identified the development of improved provision for children and young
     people as a priority. The provision of a skateboard facility addresses this aim. In
     addition, it addresses the Every Child Matters outcomes of encouraging young
     people to stay healthy, stay safe, and enjoy a sense of achievement and well being.
     In addition, the provision of a skateboard facility would demonstrate that the Council
     is seeking to engage young people in positive activities and has empowered young
     people to shape the services they receive.

     Some groups are opposed to the provision of a skateboarding facility in ‘their local
     park’, however, it is my contention that these concerns can be addressed through
     good design, proper management and by encouraging representation from
     skateboarders on Friends groups to enable dialogue and respect for the needs of
     respective groups of park users. Therefore I recommend this report for approval by
     the Executive


3.   Recommendations

3.1 That Members approve, in principal, the development of a new skateboarding facility
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     in Priory Park to be developed with appropriate management measures as identified
     within the report.

3.2 That in conjunction with Finsbury Park Partnership, that Islington and Hackney
    Councils be approached in order to ascertain the extent of support for a jointly
    funded facility.

3.3 That in the short term, and pending the development of a new facility in Priory Park,
    that measures be investigated to safeguard the front of Hornsey Town Hall from
    damage by skateboarders.


Report authorised by: Anne Fisher, Director of Environmental Services


Contact officer:. Paul Ely, Policy & Development Manager, Recreation Services
Telephone:        020 8489 5690            email: paul.ely@haringey.gov.uk


4.   Executive Summary

4.1 The Environment Scrutiny Panel, at its meeting of 30th November 2004, considered
    a report on the initiative to develop skateboarding and other wheeled activity. At this
    meeting, a number of resolutions were agreed including how a facility in the west of
    the Borough could be developed and funded with the preferred site being Priory
    Park.

4.2 The Haringey Community Strategy, through its Environmental theme, identifies the
    development of improved provision for children and young people as a priority for
    the Haringey Strategic Partnership.

4.3 Declining levels of physical activity amongst the general population have been
    identified by Government’s Chief Medical Officer as a problem of growing
    significance with serious consequences for both individual health and for healthcare
    expenditure.

4.4 Advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer is for children and young people to
    exercise for at least 60 minutes per day undertaking physical activity at a moderate
    intensity level. 16% of 2-15 year olds are now classified as obese.

4.5 The Council’s draft Sport and Physical Activity Strategy is seeking to enable more
    local residents to participate in physical activity on a regular basis. Levels of
    participation will form part of the measurable indicators contributing towards the CPA
    score for cultural service provision.

4.6 Within Haringey, it has become evident from the number of young people
    participating in skateboarding that there is significant local demand for this activity.
    However, a recent consultation exercise has demonstrated that any proposals
    approved by the Council to develop permanent provision would be opposed by a
    significant number of the surrounding local communities.



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5.        Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985

5.1 Background Papers

      Skateboarding initiative files.

      Report to Environment Scrutiny Panel 30th November 2004.


6.    Background

6.1   Skateboarding initially became popular in the UK during the late 1970s and peaked in
      popularity around the mid 1980s. At this time many local authorities invested in skateboard
      facilities, predominantly outdoors to meet the needs of local young people.

6.2   In the late 1980s to early 1990s the sport declined, and as a result many of these facilities
      fell into a state of disrepair and were consequently removed for health and safety reasons.

6.3   Since the mid 1990s, however, “alternative sports” have undergone a massive boom in
      popularity influenced by:

           The emergence of in-line skating, as a complementary sport to BMX and
            skateboarding, utilising the same facilities and increasing the demand for skateparks.
            The dominance of computer games glamorising wheeled sports and board related
            activities, which influence young people’s interests.
           Most significantly, the change in the lifestyles of young people, many of whom find it
            difficult to commit to traditional team sports and club structures owing to the conflicting
            demands on their time e.g. school work, part time employment and friends etc.
           Part of the appeal of the sport seems to come from the lifestyle and culture associated
            with it. Skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding share a similar identity, which
            includes a common clothing style, attitude and language.

6.4   This has recently been recognised by a change in the funding criteria adopted by Sport
      England in the distribution of Sports Lottery Funds with the list of eligible sports funded
      expanded to include skateboarding.

6.5   The opportunity to play and take part in physical activity is essential for the healthy
      development of children and young people. ‘Enjoyment with Achievement’ is one of the
      future key outcomes for children and young people identified in the Government Green
      Paper “Every Child Matters”.

6.6   The Government’s ‘Youth Matters’ new green paper for young people was published on 18
      July 2005. It aims to create a coherent, modern system of support to ensure that all young
      people meet the five Every Child Matters outcomes - being healthy, staying safe, enjoying
      and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.

      It highlights the need to be:
           Engaging more young people in positive activities and empowering them to shape the
            services they receive;

           Encouraging more young people to volunteer and become involved in their
            communities;
6.7   The government's approach to reform is based on six underpinning principles:

           Making services more responsive to what young people and their parents want;

                                                                                                          3
         Balancing greater opportunities and support with promoting young people's
          responsibilities;

         Making services for young people more integrated, efficient and effective;

         Improving outcomes for all young people, while narrowing the gap between those who
          do well and those who do not;

         Involving a wide range of organisations from the voluntary, community and private
          sectors to increase choice and secure the best outcomes; and

         Building on the best of current provision.

6.8   The development of skateboard provision in Haringey and the positive involvement now
      and in the future of young people within the Borough would reflect these principles.

6.9   In London, skateboard provision has been recently developed in the boroughs of Barking
      and Dagenham, Enfield, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. The new Concrete Bowl
      facility in Dagenham has been developed at a cost of approximately £250,000 and can be
      used by wheeled sports such as BMX, skaters, inline skater (bladers) and roller skaters.

      The London Borough Camden is also in the process of developing a £200,00 concrete
      bowl in Camden on the site of it existing skatepark. This is part of a £1.5m redevelopment
      of Cantelowes Park, Camden.

6.10 Within Haringey, the only facility permanently provided for skateboarding provision has
     been at Alexandra Palace. This facility has recently been replaced with new equipment
     and a new location. The previous facility was poorly located and had become run down.

6.11 As a consequence of the lack of suitable provision, skateboarders have used alternative
     venues, not specifically designed for this purpose. The most popular of these has been
     the front of Hornsey Town Hall though there has also been a significant presence in the
     car park of the Civic Centre in Wood Green.

6.12 A report on the skateboarding initiative was presented to the Environment Scrutiny Panel
     of 30th November 2004. The Panel resolved:

         That the Executive Member -Environment be requested to recommend to the
          Executive to agree that at least one permanent skateboarding facility be developed in
          the west of the borough with the preferred site being Priory Park.

         That Recreation Services be requested to investigate how the new facility in the west
          of the Borough could be funded.

         That the Council's motion to support to the creation of a permanent skate park in the
          borough be welcomed.

         That officers be thanked for organising the Summer taster sessions.

         That Councillor Prescott be thanked for his lead in this initiative and his hard work in
          bringing the scheme to fruition.

         That the development of the process and consultation process be commended.

         That Councillor Krokou be requested to present a report to Members on the
          skateboarding facility at Alexandra Palace together with any proposals for
          improvements to the site.

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            That officers be requested to provide an outline report on the provision of BMX and in-
             line skating facilities.

6.13 Though there is a demand for skateboarding throughout the Borough, the area with the
     greatest demand is Crouch End and Hornsey. In this area, there is an informal
     skateboarders ‘club’ with membership of circa 200.

7.      Report

7.1     From a taster session held in the summer of 2004 and based on providing the
        opportunity, via a mobile skatepark, for 2 days of provision at 7 different sites, a total of
        690 young people attended, broken down as follows:


                   Site                             Total attendance over
                                                    the 2 day period
                   Albert Road                               220
                   Lordship Rec                              40
                   Down Lane                                  0
                   Finsbury Park                             110
                   New River Sports Centre                   20
                   Chestnuts Park                            35
                   Priory Park                               265
                                      Total                  690

7.2     Following this exercise, discussions were held in April 2005 with 3 members of the
        Friends of Priory Park, the most popular location based both on attendance and young
        people’s choice of location, and 5 options were put forward by officers within Priory Park
        as possible locations, with officers’ preferred location being the former bowling green.
        This location was not supported by the Friends group.

7.3     Subsequent to this meeting, a number of articles appeared in the local press both in
        favour of skateboarding and against. In addition 2 surveys were undertaken, the first by
        the Friends group which surveyed 155 park users and recorded 145 against the
        development of a skatepark in Priory and the second by 4 local young people which
        recorded 1,259 in favour of a skatepark in Crouch End of whom 1,243 said they thought
        it should be in Priory Park.

7.4     Officers then developed plans for a consultation exercise which would seek to develop a
        broader understanding of the viewpoints of a range of stakeholders including young
        people, parks users, residents living within the vicinity of the 3 parks, key agencies and
        Ward Members. The major findings from this exercise are attached as an appendix to
        this report.

7.5     The consultation exercise, as can be seen from the attached results, did not produce a
        conclusive view, either for or against, for any of the identified sites.

7.5.1       The site, with the strongest level of support from park users was Finsbury with Priory
            being supported by the majority of respondents from their site and a majority of users
            from Albert being against.

7.5.2       Residents living within the near vicinity of both Priory and Albert were against the
            proposal, in each case by a significant majority.

7.5.3       Priory Park would be the venue which would attract greatest use though it should be
            noted that a case can be made for all 3 sites based on the needs of young people and
            children.

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7.5.4       There is general support from stakeholders for new provision.

            The council’s Antil-Social Behaviour Unit would support a development at Priory Park
            as this would help to alleviate current usage of Hornsey Town Hall. Finsbury Park
            Partnership would support a development in Finsbury Park.

7.5.5       Based on the feedback from ward members, Albert Road would be the least favoured
            site. Development would be supported at Priory and Finsbury Parks, subject to certain
            conditions being met.




8.      Key Issues/Analysis arising from the consultation

8.1     Safety/Security

        Based on reactions from respondents to the parks user survey, safety and security was a
        major topic whether or not respondents agreed with skateboarding based on their existing
        experience of using the park.

        These concerns appear to be reflected in the responses from the residents survey,
        particularly for Priory Park with residents citing concerns for:

           “Not enough security”
           “Vandalism and aggression in the park”
           “Would further encourage use at night”

        The responses to the user survey at Albert Road were influenced by the presence in the
        park at the time of the survey of a group of teenagers whose behaviour was very
        intimidating to other park users.

        The researcher for the user survey indicates that there would be a more favourable
        reaction from respondents (who were initially against skateboarding) at all three parks if
        they could be reassured about safety issues.

        These would include:

           the new facility being supervised and a proactive approach taken towards programming
           more regular park patrols
           better lighting within the park
           CCTV

        Young people from the Hornsey/ Crouch End area would not travel to Finsbury Park
        because of perceptions about the lack of safety at this site. Parents were also very
        concerned about safety issues at Finsbury Park.

8.2     Public Conveniences

        The user survey indicated a lack of satisfaction with toilet facilities both in relation to their
        overall cleanliness and their availability.

        At Finsbury Park, this was exacerbated at the time of the survey by the closure of toilets
        because of the restoration works. At Priory Park and Albert Road, the issue was the
        availability of toilet provision. Both toilet facilities form part of the cafe provision in these
        parks and when the cafes shut, so do the toilets.

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      If skateboarding facilities were developed at either or both of these sites, a part of the
      management planning would include a review of the opening hours of toilets with a view
      to seeking to extend this.

8.3   Litter bins

      Many of the respondents to the user survey were concerned at litter being left in the parks
      and that this problem would be exacerbated if skateboarding were to become a
      permanent feature. This would be alleviated by the provision of more litter bins both for
      any skateboarding area and the park as a whole.




8.4   First Aid

      Skateboarding is perceived as a dangerous activity and accidents can and do occur. It
      would be important, both to parents and the young people themselves, that there would
      be somebody on hand within the park to assist if someone was injured.

      This could be incorporated, either through the presence of a worker, or by arrangement
      with the cafes within the park.

8.5   Noise

      Concern about the noise that skateboarding could generate was a very significant issue,
      particularly for residents responding to the residents survey concerning Priory Park where
      53 of the 100 respondents not wanting a skatepark cited noise as a reason.

      During the trial undertaken in the summer of 2004, Environmental Health were asked to
      monitor the noise impact produced by the mobile skatepark which was located on the
      basketball area.

      Their findings are quoted below:

      “We found that the noise generated was not significant overall. The noise was just above
      background noise level.

      To reduce noise any one, or more, of the recommendations may be used i.e. installing
      fencing, relocating the ramps at least 100m from the nearest house, putting absorbent
      material to the ramp, restricting opening hours.

      We don’t envisage problems with the installation of a permanent skate park”.

8.6   Children’s playgrounds

      Taking younger children to the playground is one of the major reasons for visiting parks
      and was amongst the most frequently mentioned improvements that park users would like
      to see.

      A new play facility is currently being constructed at Finsbury Park and major
      refurbishment is also proposed this year for the play facilities at Albert Road.

      Renewal of the play facilities at Priory Park, exploring the potential for external funding, is
      programmed for 2006/7.

8.7   Catchment areas

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      The new facilities located at Alexandra Palace are approximately 1200m from Priory Park
      and 600m from Albert Road.

      The primary catchment area for any new facility would be 400m based on GLA standards.
      This indicates that the facility at Alexandra Park would not meet the needs of young
      people from the Crouch End/Hornsey areas but would be capable of meeting some of the
      demand which Albert Road could otherwise provide for.

8.8   Perceptions regarding the acceptability of the activity/ age group

      Skateboarders were viewed by some respondents in the user survey as being
      intimidating, noisy and anti social. In part this may be as a result of large groups of young
      people congregating in areas which are inappropriate for skateboarding i.e. Hornsey
      Town Hall.

      On a more general level, there was a concern at both Priory Park and Albert Road about
      providing any facilities that would bring more teenagers into these parks, expressed both
      in the user and resident surveys.

      This is a difficult issue. Skateboarders would like to have facilities provided at both Priory
      Park and Albert Road because they feel relatively safe in these parks. Alternatively, their
      presence can increase safety concerns for some other park users.

      This potential conflict can be mitigated through a number of proactive measures:

         Staffing of a facility to monitor behaviour;

         Development of a programme of activity; events, exhibitions, and coaching courses;

         Encouraging representation from the skateboarders on the Friends group to enable
          dialogue on problematic issues;

         Developing the interest shown in the initiative from other agencies/ services so that
          any problems that arise can be dealt with in a co-ordinated manner.

8.9   Design/Planning issues

      Officers have not at this stage invested in any significant design work as it was judged
      that this would be inappropriate prior to obtaining a fuller understanding of the wider
      community and stakeholder views on this activity.

      Based on ideas generated through the consultation undertaken last summer with
      skateboarders, the following approaches have been suggested in connection with the
      different sites:

      Finsbury Park        Development of a concrete bowl
      Priory Park          Development of a “streetcourse” consisting of lower level structures
      Albert Road          Development of higher, more challenging ramps.

      Examples of each of these are appended to this report.

      Any proposed design would need to take into account a number of factors including
      location, fencing heights, noise generation and how it blended with existing park design.

      Should Members decide to proceed with the project, designs would be developed with the
      advice of the Council’s Development Control Service to determine the need for planning
      permission. Specifically in relation to Priory Park, the most suitable location would appear

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      to be the large tarmac area currently used for basketball and other recreational activities.
      Beneath parts of this area, water tanks under the remit of Thames Water are located.
      Should development take place in this location, the advice of a structural engineer will be
      required to ensure that the weight of any skateboarding facility does not exceed the load
      bearing capacity of the underlying surface conditions.

9.    Financial/budgetary implications

9.1   Proceeding with the project will have implications for both capital and revenue expenditure.

9.2   £196,000 has been identified through the Parks Improvement Programme for capital
      expenditure. This sum will enable the costs to be met of facility expenditure, fencing,
      landscaping, CCTV, signage, litter bins and development costs.

      At this stage, as detailed designs have not been developed, it is not possible to provide
      costings. Officers estimate that the sum available would certainly pay for the costs of one
      facility and may be sufficient for two.

9.3   There would be revenue expenditure associated with provision of a permanent facility for
      staffing, maintenance, additional attendance, if required from Parks Constabulary, litter bins
      emptying and CCTV monitoring. This would be contained within existing Recreation
      Services revenue budgets.

10.   Summary and Conclusions

10.1 Provision of permanent facilities for skateboarding will be contentious if either Priory Park
     and/or Albert Road are identified as preferred sites. Based on the results of the user
     survey, Finsbury Park would be a venue where the activity would be acceptable to the
     majority of users.

10.2 Additional sites have been investigated at Shepherds Cot, St. Aloysius School and Rectory
     Gardens. Of these, Shepherds Cot and St. Aloysius School would definitely not be
     suitable. Rectory Gardens is a better site, however, this is not recommended because of its
     location outside St. Mary’s Junior School, because of the absence of toilet facilities and
     because an alternative use of the site has already been consulted upon and agreed as part
     of the Hornsey High Street regeneration project.

10.3 Priory Park would be the priority site to seek to develop permanent provision as this would
     best meet the needs of young people interested in this activity.

      The preferred location at Priory would be a section of the current tarmac area used for
      basketball and other activities.

10.4 However, there is a significant number of users of Priory Park and local residents who
     would be opposed to this development. Part of this opposition can be won over through the
     incorporation of appropriate design features to mitigate concerns and management
     measures to integrate the users of the facilities with other park users.

10.5 Alternatively, there are large numbers of young people who wish to participate in
     skateboarding and who will continue to do so irrespective of whether or not the Council
     develops a permanent facility.

      The needs of these young people could be incorporated alongside the needs of other age
      groups at Priory Park.

      Taking this course of action would also offer a learning opportunity in providing for the
      needs of young people alongside other age groups which would have implications for other
      open spaces within the Borough and most likely for other boroughs.
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10.6 The position for each site can be summarised as follows:

      Priory Park

         Best for meeting the needs of skateboarders

         Alexandra Palace facility does not meet local demand

         Issues to be overcome in relation to opposition from residents, a significant minority of
          parks users and Friends group

         Management measures i.e. staffing, restricted opening hours, proactive programming,
          inter-agency working, can mitigate opposition

         Recommended location: Basketball area.

      Proposed action: proceed with scheme on site of basketball area incorporating
      management measures outlined above.

      Albert Road

         Also considerable demand for skateboarding in this area

         Alexandra Palace facility will meet some local demand (if safety issues can be resolved)

         Majority of parks users and local residents currently opposed

         Management measures required to mitigate opposition

         Recommended location: Boundary with Alexandra Park School

      Proposed action: work with Alexandra Palace facility to reduce safety concerns.

      Finsbury Park

         Would meet demand from Hackney and Islington as well as south of the Borough;

         No other facilities in the area;

         Is supported by majority of parks users and Friends group;

         Would require proactive management to address safety concerns;

         Recommended location: south of new tennis courts.

      Proposed action: work in conjunction with Finsbury Park Partnership to ascertain extent of
      support from Hackney/ Islington for jointly funded facility.

10.7 Hornsey Town Hall has become an established location for skateboarders whose presence,
     because of residents’ complaints, has come to the attention of the Anti Social Behaviour
     Unit. In the short term, pending the development of a new facility at Priory Park, it is
     recommended that measures be investigated to safeguard the front of Hornsey Town Hall
     in order to prevent damage by skateboards.

11.   Comments of the Head of Finance

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11.1 Environmental Services capital budget for 2005/06 contains a total provision of £1.3m for
     improvements to parks and open spaces. A sum of £196k has been earmarked for the
     development of skateboarding facilities at a site(s) to be identified and agreed by Members.
     The cost of any agreed facilities must not exceed the sum currently earmarked for this
     development. Any residual revenue implications arising from the capital spend will be
     contained within the Parks revenue budgets.

12.   Comments of the Head of Legal Services

12.1 The Head of Legal Services notes the contents of the report and does not have any
     comments but should be consulted on the specific projects/initiatives set out in the report.

13.   Comments of the Head of Planning Service

13.1 Planning regulations do give Local Authorities certain permitted development rights for
     some buildings, works or equipment on land belonging to them, in connection with the
     carrying out of their functions; this would cover structures in parks, but is subject to a size
     limitation that none of the structures should be more than 4 metres in height, and that the
     total volume of the structures does not exceed 200 cubic metres.

      Dependent on the eventual size and height of the skateboard structures, they might be
      permitted development and hence not require planning permission.

      If permission were required, then, apart from the appearance of the structures, which would
      not be expected to be a problem, the main issue would be of noise. If sited anywhere near
      residential properties, there could be quite justified concerns that use of the skateboard
      structures, particularly in hte late evening, would be disturbing to local residents. It might
      not be always possible to prevent use of the facilities after say 10. p.m. by teenagers.

      Timber structures, which resonate when jumped upon, would be more of a problem than
      say solid concrete structures in this respect.

14.   Equal Opportunities Implications

14.1 The immediate direct beneficiaries of this initiative would principally be children and young
     people aged 7 and upwards.

      Though girls and young women participate in skateboarding, this is in relatively low
      numbers at present.

      One of the benefits of providing supervision would be to enable young women to use the
      facilities without fear of being intimidated. Also, taking a proactive approach towards
      programming would enable targeting of young women.

14.2 Alternatively, a central issue underlying the consultation process and the project as a whole
     concerns the wider community’s attitudes to the presence of teenagers in communal areas.

15.   Appendices

      Appendix 1

      Overview of consultation/research for the skateboarding project.

      Appendix 2

      Indicative designs.


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Appendix 3

Map of Priory Park.




                      12
                                                                                                 Appendix 1


           Overview of consultation /research for the skateboarding project.

           In order to ascertain the views of a range of stakeholders with an interest in the development
           of a facility, the Council developed a consultation/ research plan to enable information to be
           obtained which would enable a more informed view to be taken of the issues, both for and
           against.

           The consultation /research took place between June to August 2005 and was undertaken on
           the Council’s behalf by an independent company, Inspire2.

           It involved the following elements:


                  Parks User surveys
               Finsbury                          224
               Priory                            207
               Albert                            211
                                                 642

                  Residents survey
               Priory                          139
               Albert                           16
                                               155
               (No residents surveyed for Finsbury)


                Young People
                    4 Focus groups

                Stakeholders
                    Telephone interviews with Anti-social Behaviour Unit, Youth Service, Alexandra Park
                    Manager, PCT, and Finsbury Park Partnership.

                Members
                   Structured interview with 2 Liberal Democrat Members.
                   Questionnaire sent to all Labour Members in adjoining wards.

1.    Parks User Survey

1.1        A quantitative research study was conducted within the three parks with a total of 642
          respondents, 211 from Albert Rec, 224 from Finsbury Park and 207 from Priory Park. A key
          objective was to determine which park would prove to be the most suitable for a skateboarding
          facility and to discover which park would meet the needs of young people and be capable of
          integrating a new activity space with the identified site, both from a design perspective and
          from the point of view of other park users.

1.2        A further objective was to seek to gain a better understanding of which activities and facilities
          people used and/or would want to see improved and how the park might be improved in
          general and specifically if a skateboard facility were developed.




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1.3   The headline results for the 3 sites were the following:

             q)       Would you like to see skateboarding facilities in this park?

                                         Yes                   No              No reply
                  Finsbury            132 (58.9%)             66 (29.5%)      26 (11.6%)
                  Priory               97 (46.9%)             84 (40.6%)      26 (12.6%)
                  Albert               84 (39.8%)            114   (54%)      13 (6.2%)

             q)       Whereabouts in the park do you think is the most appropriate place to put
                      skateboarding facilities?

               Finsbury (top three answers, total respondents 131)
               Near tennis courts          35       (26.7%)
               Near basketball courts      16       (12.2%)
               Anywhere                    10       ( 7.6%)

               Priory Park (top three answers, total respondents 79)
               Basketball area            37       (46.8%)
               Any far corner              9       (11.4%)
               Bowling green               8       (10.1%)

               Albert Rec (top three answers, total respondents 84)
               By the cafe                 12       (14.3%)
               By the playground           10       (11.9%)
               Don’t know                   8       ( 9.5%)

2.    Residents Survey

      Self completion questionnaires were hand delivered to properties that were judged to be
      potentially affected should skateboarding facilities be developed.
      332 questionnaires were delivered around Priory Park and 37 at Albert Road.
      No questionnaires were delivered to residents in the Finsbury Park area as it was judged that
      no households would be directly affected should skateboarding facilities be developed.

2.1   139 (41.9%) of households responded from the Priory Park area and 16 (43.2%) from Albert
      Road.

      The headline results for these 2 sites were:

             q)    Would you like to see skateboarding facilities in the Park?

                                          Yes                   No
                  Priory                26 (18.7%)            100 (71.9%)
                  Albert                 3 (17.6%)           12    (70.6%)

             q)    Whereabouts in the park do you think is the most appropriate place to put
                   skateboarding facilities?

               Priory Park (Total respondents 34)
               Basketball area       22    (64.7%)
               Bowling green          9    (26.5%)
               Others                 3    ( 8.8%)




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              Albert Road (Total respondents 3)
              The Valley              2  (67%)
              “Anywhere but
              the hollow by the cafe” 1  (33%)

3.    Stakeholder consultation

3.1   Telephone discussions were held with the Anti-social Behaviour Unit, Youth Service, PCT, the
      manager of Alexandra Park, and Finsbury Park Partnership.

         The Anti-social Behaviour Unit would support a development in Priory Park as this would
          likely assist current problems generated by the presence of skateboarders outside
          Hornsey Town Hall.

         The Youth Service would be supportive of the project and could themselves provide
          some assistance on the management of a site through the Outreach Team. They
          stressed both the importance of listening to the views of young people and that they
          would support the development of safe spaces for young people who are often
          disenfranchised.

         The PCT would support any development which could assist in contributing towards the
          achievement of new government targets for regular physical activity.

         Alexandra Park have very recently opened a new facility for skateboarding partly funded
          through the HLF.

         Finsbury Park Partnership have long been in favour of skateboarding facilities being
          provided in Finsbury Park, as have the Friends of Finsbury Park.

4.    The Views of Young People

4.1   Six focus groups have been held with young people to ascertain their views on where they
      would like to see facilities located, and what are important issues for them in terms of
      management relations with other parks users. These were held in the Moravian Church in
      Priory Road, and Priory Park, so reflect the views of young people from the Crouch End/
      Hornsey/ Muswell Hill areas.

      Priory Park is viewed by the young people spoken to as a very desirable location as it is
      accessible, feels safe and is a site they already use both for skateboarding and other
      activities.

      They did not feel safe using the facilities at Alexandra Park which has had to employ security
      guards this summer for the skatepark.

      Young people from this area would also be prepared to use Albert Road, though it is far less
      convenient, but are reluctant to travel to Finsbury Park which does not feel safe to them.

      Young people felt that any new facilities should have at least some element of supervision.

5.    Views of Ward Members

5.1   Officers have sought to obtain the views of members whose wards would be affected by the
      development of new facilities in any of the 3 sites. This has produced the following feedback:




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         Major reservations concerning Albert Road and particularly given the new facility at
          Alexandra Park;

         General support for provision in Finsbury Park though some members would like to see
          this developed on a cross-borough basis;

         Support for Priory Park on the hard standing area only and subject to certain conditions
          being met.

5.2   Members also asked officers to visit and assess 3 other sites. These were:

         Shepherds Cot
          This houses a range of private sports clubs including those providing tennis and cricket
          clubs. It was not felt to be a viable option due to a lack of suitable public space, poor
          transport links and safety concerns.

         St. Aloysius Playing Field
          This is a private sports ground which is not accessible to the public. It is poorly located in
          terms of transport links.

         Rectory Gardens
          This location, which is located in Hornsey High Street outside St. Mary’s Junior School,
          was considered to be a better potential site. The principal problems identified were:
         Lack of access to toilet provision
         Lack of access to phone in the event of an emergency
         That the site is isolated and would potentially not feel safe
         That St Mary’s Junior School would likely oppose the development as the site had
          formerly been used as a play facility which had become a meeting place for vagrants and
          subsequently been removed.

      This site is also part of the wider regeneration of Hornsey High Street. There has been
      extensive consultation concerning the Hornsey High Street development and designs have
      now been finalised.




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