• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Cholsey villagers upset with noise from skate park

Byoxfordnewspaper

Aug 22, 2022

NOISE from a skate and mini-wheel park in a South Oxfordshire village is causing residents to have “sleepless nights”.

The facility, which was built on the Recreation Field in Cholsey near Wallingford last summer, was proposed by the parish council to “give youngsters a space to be active and socialise”.

Outline plans were approved by South Oxfordshire District Council in February 2020 despite concerns from villagers that the park would be too noisy.

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Alan Baldwin, who lives in the middle of the village, said he can hear noise from the park inside his home with the windows shut.

He added that he has to call the police on several occasions due to “increased anti-social behaviour which has made him feel “threatened” in his own home.

“It has really upset a lot of people,” he said. “It has been imposing. It’s attached to a lot of antisocial behaviour and I’ve had to call the police a number of times – it feels really threatening.

“My neighbours feel the same about it and many have had sleepless nights because of the noise. I sent Cholsey Parish Council an email sometime ago about my concerns and they didn’t even respond to it – it’s really appalling the way they are behaving.

“I’m not opposed to people having nice things to do it. But I feel disgusted that they have done this.”

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An environmental sound assessment was carried out before the skate park was built which states the sound would be “expected to be audible outside the nearest dwelling at the busiest times”.

However AIRO, who carried out the assessment, said: “Although the character of the skatepark may be perceived as more annoying than a more anonymous sound such as road traffic, it could be anticipated that there will be less significant periods when the skatepark is little used – [such as] at night lessening the overall effects.”

Mr Baldwin said he must wear ear plugs at night so he can sleep.

He said: “They said it would be made of quiet materials but it’s not quiet at all. Skateboards in particular are very loud, the smack of the wheels on the ground is the worst.

“There are quite a few of us who feel this way but we feel like it should be closed off and fenced off at certain times.

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“It should have done like that anyway but the recreation ground is never closed. It would be fine if it wasn’t for the antisocial behaviour.”

Richard Harrison, who also lives next to the park, added: "It's just absolutely non-stop at night, we just cannot sleep – it is really impacting our health.

"Since it has been there, the sound of the skateboards has been constant. Anti-social behaviour is another big one.

"There were out there until 2am the other day, screaming and shouting. They had a wireless speaker going as well.

"It's just an absolute pain in the backside and it happens a couple times a week. It's like there is no common sense from these kids these days – there's no respect at all."

Cholsey Parish Council have been asked for a comment.

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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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