Hobblers skate park: ‘Good idea, bad location,’ say Lincoln residents

A group of Lincoln residents have raised concerns over plans to build a skate park on an area of Hobblers Hole in the West End.

The locals aired their concerns about the proposed park on July 13 at a consultation meeting at the Grandstand.

The group, backed by Councillor Karen Lee and Councillor Neil Murray, felt that while the idea and designs are great, the location is incorrect.

Many of the residents with concerns live close to the prosed site, off Long Leys Road.

They say the the City of Lincoln Council’s idea for a skate park needs supporting, and that the skateboarding community hosts some “talented and enthusiastic individuals”.

However, they feel the skateboarders are not only being “short-changed”, but the Hobblers Hole plan is “flawed” and will lead to the destruction of the green space.

Residents are concerned that the range of wildlife in the area will not be preserved.

The site is also on a hill, covered in natural springs, which would make building difficult.

Lack of lighting, parking, toilet facilities and no bus service after 5pm is also worrying the residents.

Residents local to Hobblers Hole, who oppose the plans to locate the skate park on the green space.

Residents local to Hobblers Hole, who oppose the plans to locate the skate park on the green space.

Local resident Emma Olivier-Townrow said: “I see a huge impact from the university in my local area, and whilst I totally acknowledge that the university is a really positive asset to the city, the impact on the West End is not always positive.

“Lincoln is becoming a matrix of creative thinking and big things are happening, it’s time for the key players in the city to get together and find a realistic solution, the skateboard plaza has been in the making for 12 years or so, which is a very long time in a young person’s life and totally unacceptable.”

Opposition to skate park proposal

City Councillor for Carholme Ward Neil Murray said: “This proposal is wrong for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, the replacement of a natural environment with concrete at the bottom of Hobblers Hole was never envisaged by the person who gifted the land.

“Secondly, the proposal is not sustainable according to the City of Lincoln Local Plan, which states that environmentally valuable sites like Hobblers Hole will only be developed if there is no other land available for such a use.

“Thirdly, in my view a Skate Plaza should be close to or in a much more populous area of the City in order for people wanting to use it to access it much more easily and safely than the proposed site.”

Councillor Murray added: “Hobblers Hole was gifted to the City of Lincoln on the premise that it would not be developed.

“Rather than being the eyesore it is claimed to be, the area is a beautiful area of undeveloped green open space inhabited by many species of wildlife.

“The land has an intrinsic environmental value and we are losing far too many of these kind of green spaces to development.”

Other sites residents recommended were The King George V playing field, the Backies in Moorland and Yarborough Sports Centre.

The skate park plans for Hobblers Hole. Photo: Gravity Parks

The skate park plans for Hobblers Hole. Photo: Gravity Parks

Detailed proposal in development

Antony Angus, Recreation Services Team Leader at the city council, said: “Residents’ opinions are, of course, extremely important to us.

“We have recently undertaken two resident consultations regarding the proposed skate park at Hobblers Hole.

“All comments from the meetings and other communications have been logged and will be summarised in any future reports to the Council Executive.

“In total, so far, we have received 12 objections to the project since we announced we were considering this location in March.

“Officers have had no involvement in the meeting organised for August 2. It would be helpful therefore if residents contact me with their objections to ensure that we accurately capture their views and are able to reflect them in reports regarding the scheme.”

“We have considered a number of sites across Lincoln and believe that Hobblers Hole is the most viable. This location has been warmly received by the user group who are obviously keen for the project to progress.

“Studies over the last 30 years clearly demonstrate that the sites ecology has been declining for many years. A recent survey has concluded that the site no longer meets criteria for a Local Wildlife Site, something it previously did. The project will aim to reverse this trend as well as provide a fantastic facility for people to enjoy.

“When we have further developed the proposal and can answer accurately the various questions that have been raised by consultees, we will undertake further consultation. This will allow residents to have an informed opinion about the proposal.

“It is equally important of course for supporters of the project to voice their opinions. We welcome all comments.”

The council now have a Q&A page on the website to help address concerns.