Nambucca Valley Council calls for community feedback for Scotts Head skatepark proposal Nambucca Valley Nambucca Valley by News Of The Area - Modern Media - December 3, 2021December 3, 2021 Nambucca resident John Gilroy’s photograph of the area referred to as Option/Site 1 in the survey which was the source of his initial concerns. A COMMUNITY survey has been released by Nambucca Valley Council for Scotts Head Skate and Recreation Park which seeks feedback from the community on the proposal. Deborah McCabe, Project Administration Support Officer at Council, said the survey has been designed to ensure feedback informs Council on the needs of the community, in particular the youth, and provides a safe healthy environment that can be enjoyed by all. “Submitted survey data will assist Council staff to determine the preferred site for the proposed Skate and Recreation Park and the size of a skate park that can be reasonably accommodated on that site. “ To complete the survey log on to www.nambucca.nsw.gov.au and follow the prompts. Access is also available by using a QR code, or by visiting the Macksville or Nambucca Heads Library to complete the survey online or by hand using the paper version of the survey available from the counter. The survey closes on 14 January 2022. “We have seven possible site locations in Scotts Head, the survey discusses these and asks survey participants to rank their preferences as well as one site where they definitely do not want the proposed skate park located,” Deborah said. Nambucca Valley resident John Gilroy told News Of The Area, “I’m not opposed to a skatepark – my concerns are related to the lack of community consultation. “Council’s Infrastructure Manager Matt Leibrandt had previously prepared a report to Council proposing to construct a skatepark near the Bowling Club, on the back of a superficial attempt to engage the community. “In addition, Council’s staff were proposing to approve this development under Division 12 and section 65 of the State Environmental Planning Policy. “This allows Council to develop without consent, even though Council’s Local Environmental Plan specifies that development on land zoned RE1 Public Recreation can only be undertaken with consent i.e. Council approval. “Thankfully the Mayor, Cr Hoban identified that an environmental impact assessment had not been undertaken, nor were the community adequately engaged. “Accordingly, I appreciate the decision of Council to undertake this community engagement, as this provides the community with a voice to determine where to construct the skate facility and have input into its design. “With regard to the original site, which buttresses the Bowling Club, referred to as sites 1 and 2 in the current survey, there are no toilets or garbage bins located in this location. “Also, there is no parking (excluding the Bowling Club) and Adin Street is very narrow at this point, which would mean cars would have to pass in single file if other cars were parked on both sides of the road. “With regard to the trees and scrubs, kids already damage the natural environment by sliding down the embankment on cardboard, and the site also floods as it is a retention basin. “In my personal view, this site is not suited to constructing a skatepark. “My preference are sites 3 and 4 as they are in full view of the public, are close to toilets and bins, and are close to the shops. “That said, this needs to be a decision of the Scotts Head community,” said John. Crystal Vowels, a Scotts Head mum of Avalon (12) and Sandon (10) keenly supports her children’s enthusiasm for skateboarding, a sport they now compete in, locally. “In Scotts we are fortunate to have a lot of natural activities on our doorstep, but surf can be fickle and a skate park would be an awesome alternative physical activity for the kids in the community. “Skating is an extremely physical and technical activity and caters to all ages and abilities. “Skating and surfing are generally a compatible sport so in a surfing community a skate park would be a great asset. “A skate park in Scotts would give kids of all ages a community meeting place to get out and be active.” Crystal asked Avalon why she would want a skate park in the village. “I’d like a skate park in Scotts so I can practice skating without having to go to Macksville or Coffs Harbour. “You can’t skate in the rain and sometimes we get to Macksville or Coffs and the skatepark is wet,” Avalon commented. Sandon’s reply for News Of The Area readers is, “It would give us somewhere to skate instead of skating around the streets and on the road in Scotts Head. “It’s a good way to be active and is in walking distance from home.” Local skateboarder Solomon Hill told News Of The Area, “I think that skating is such a great way to challenge yourself whilst still having fun. “Lots of people find they run out of things to do while the surf is flat in Scotts Head, and I think that building a skate park is a great way to provide people with a place to have fun and make friends.” Dr Emma Gentle, President of the Scotts Head Community Group, told News Of The Area, “The skate park proposal has been in the making for some time. “Recently, the Scotts Head Community Group completed a survey with over 200 responses where the community saw a skatepark as a much-needed facility for the young people living in and around Scotts Head.” By Andrea FERRARI Option/Site 1 for the skate park has no toilets, no rubbish bins, no parking (excluding the Bowling Club). Photo: John Gilroy. Solomon Hill says a skate park is a fun and healthy alternative when the surf’s flat at Scotts Head. Sandon (left) and Avalon Vowels travel from home in Scotts Head to Macksville skatepark to practice their sport.