Residents’ anger following noise abatement order on skate park

The skate park is extremely popular with children in Market Weighton.
The skate park is extremely popular with children in Market Weighton.

The Mayor of Market Weighton has been instructed to register a complaint about a noise abatement order issued by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The abatement order was issued after residents complained about the noise of the skate ramp at the War Memorial Play Park.

A public meeting to discuss the order voted unanimously to contact the ombudsman, complaining that it was unreasonable to expect a playground and the play equipment associated with it to be used quietly.

People at the meeting did not think that a house built up to the boundary of a skate park could reasonably expect to avoid noise from children and equipment in use.

Councillor Peter Hemmerman said he will register the complaint if he does not gain any satisfaction with his dealings with ERYC over the issue.

Councillor Hemmerman said: “We have had a skate park in Market Weighton since 2003. In 2017, the equipment was past its best so we got commuted sums from housebuilders to replace the ramps.

“We went through a process with ERYC officers who recommended the council buy the type of equipment that was virtually identical to the ramps we had before.

“As soon as we installed the new skate equipment we started getting complaints from the houses nearby, saying it was much louder.

“These houses were built in 2007, so the people knew they were moving next to a skate park. There were never any complaints before the houses were built.

“We tried everything we could to mitigate the effects of the sound, including adding sandbags and using a sound engineering company.

“The reduced noise was not low enough to satisfy the environmental health people, so they served an abatement order for that piece of equipment which we had to take away.

“We kept a smaller section at the park but there has been complaints about this equipment on a regular basis.

“The environmental health team said the noise was too loud even though there is no agreed level covering skate parks. It is unreasonable to expect a play park or skate park to be quiet.

“We had a meeting to discuss the situation and around 40 people turned up.

“Opinions were expressed during the meeting that the complaint is really about the noise of children and youths in the park, which is not a subject for enforcement, rather than the actual noise generated by the skate ramp, which is being used as an excuse.

“The meeting agreed unanimously that the order was unfair. It has cost a lot of money and just to close it down due to two or three people is not democracy in action.

“It was the ERYC that helped us get the equipment and now its the ERYC that is telling us to shut it down. We could be facing a large fine if we keep the site running.”

A spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “The council has received a number of complaints about the noise coming from the skate ramp at the Memorial Playing Fields in Market Weighton which resulted in an abatement notice being served on Market Weighton Town Council.

”The appeal period has expired and we have been informed by Market Weighton Town Council of its intention to remove the skate park from the playing fields during the first week of September.”