Burnt Oak skate park revamp agreed to prevent injuries

Facility at Montrose Playing Fields to be resurfaced by Barnet Council after concerns raised by local ward councillor, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

The skatepark at Montrose Playing Fields (credit Barnet Council)
The skatepark at Montrose Playing Fields (credit Barnet Council)

A popular skate park in Burnt Oak is set to be resurfaced to protect users from risk of “serious injury”.

The skate park, in Montrose Playing Fields, will have its surface upgraded to a hard-wearing, porous material at a cost of almost £34,000.

Councillors agreed to award the funding after hearing that the current rubber mulch surface, which was installed on a trial basis to combat flooding, had started to break down.

According to a funding bid submitted to the council’s west area committee on Monday, holes have begun to form in the surface and loose chunks of debris are getting caught under wheels, putting skaters at risk of “serious injury”.

The funding was requested by Sara Conway, a ward councillor for Burnt Oak, who said the “considerable safety concern” had been raised by an “an expert group on behalf of many people who use this sports and leisure facility”.

Speaking during the meeting, Cllr Conway read out comments from skaters who said there had been a decrease in women, girls and beginners using the “incredibly popular” park because of the surface damage.

The skaters warned there was “debris everywhere”, and the surface had “helped with the flooding” but caused a “bigger problem”.

The skate park was installed as part of Barnet Council’s £5million upgrade of Silkstream Park and Montrose Playing Fields.

Under questioning from committee members, Cllr Conway said she believed the facility had been in use for two years, although the official opening took place last year after being delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said officers had recently patched the surface, but although it had been designed to tackle flooding problems it was “not the right material”. The surface will be replaced with ‘Flexi Pave’, which is used around tree pits in pavements.

Committee members agreed unanimously to award funding of £33,810 for the project. The money will come from payments made by developers to support local improvements via the community infrastructure levy.

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