An online consultation has today (Friday, 15 January) opened, asking respondents to choose whether they would prefer Jersey’s main skatepark to be built at Les Quennevais Sports Centre or South Hill Gardens, in St Helier, and inviting them to comment on the sites.
The survey will close on Monday, 25 January, after which the results will be published and used by the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture and his Assistant Ministers to decide the location.
The concept design of the mixed-use park, where skaters, rollerbladers, BMXers and scooters can learn and improve their skills, will be completed, and a planning application submitted, by the end of the February. After the site is agreed and the concept design is complete, the users of the skatepark will have the opportunity to shape the specific details. Once the main hub is built, work will begin on creating satellite facilities elsewhere in the Island.
The Assistant Minister with responsibility for sport, Deputy Hugh Raymond, said: “Our objective is to build a modern, accessible and open facility which will become a hub where Jersey’s urban sports can flourish.
“Both sites have enough space for a world class, 2,000m2 skatepark that includes features and obstacles for all users, of all abilities, and the timescale for design, obtaining approval, building and opening the skatepark would be approximately the same for both.
“This survey is an opportunity for people to give their views, and possibly to raise issues which have not yet been considered, and which could influence the final decision. The site that is chosen will become the hub; the site that is not chosen will very likely become a secondary location, so we will serve the needs of skaters in both areas.”
In June 2019, Les Quennevais scored top in a desktop site suitability assessment of 15 locations (South Hill Gardens was equal third). While Les Quennevais Sports Centre scored top overall because it is deliverable quickly, it scored lowest of all options in terms of accessibility for the majority of the island. Since 2019, potential sites have been reviewed in greater detail, and the issues around planning sensitivity and engineering challenges which affected South Hill Gardens’ scoring are now considered less of an obstacle to the site being selected.
“There is no change in the Government’s absolute commitment to deliver a skate park and satellite facilities in 2021,” Deputy Raymond said.
Details of the consultation can be found at www.gov.je/consultations.