A QUARREL is brewing over plans to spend thousands of pounds to move a new skate park just a few yards across a field.
Kirklees councillors claim the park off Cross Lane, Skelmanthorpe, was incorrectly sited and is making the life of elderly people living nearby unbearable.
They also claim the parks’ siting is hitting property values and residents trying to sell their homes are losing thousands, as much as 20% compared with before the park was built.
But Denby Dale Parish councillors, who organised the construction of the park in April 2006, say the £18,000 move is a massive waste of money.
The project came about after local teenagers petitioned Denby Dale Parish Council in a bid to improve and expand the old park with a range of professional standard ramps.
Parish councillors got involved and came up with the money for the project.
But within months local residents complained of anti-social behaviour at the park and of cars gathering in the lay-by on Cross Lane.
At the time Kirklees Council said it was too expensive to move the park and said it would be cheaper to build a new one.
But councillors have now done a U-turn and propose to re-site the park further away from properties on the other side of the recreation ground.
Parish councillor Graham Turner said he disagreed with every single reason that Kirklees had given for moving the park and disputed the projected costs for the project.
He said: “This £18,000 doesn’t stand up. It costs that just for the concrete.
“Where’s that figure of 20% come from? I don’t see any evidence for that.
“They say there wasn’t any public consultation but I delivered the leaflets personally.
“The kids came to us, they designed it and now Kirklees want to take it away from them. It really annoys me.”
Clr Tony Barlow also said he was disgusted at the proposal. “I can’t get my head around the willingness to spend £18,000 moving a park across the field,” he said.
But deputy leader Clr Jim Dodds said he had been to lots of meetings about the park since its creation and insisted that residents were demanding the park be moved.
“Residents say they weren’t consulted fully on the location or the size. It’s too close to the houses.
“The skate park is attracting other people to use the lay-by as a meeting point.
“In the summer people use it until two or three in the morning. The banging noises of skateboards all night is very distressing for residents, especially the elderly.
“I feel the parish council have been very aggressive about this from the start.”
Clr Dodds added that £20,000 for the project had already been given the green light within a £550,000 cash injection to improve play facilities for youngsters across Kirklees.
It is not yet known when the work will take place.