'Historic decision': New skate park to be built by 2022
SKATERS and young families will soon have an incredible facility at their disposal, thanks to Ballina Shire Council.
On Thursday, councillors unanimously approved plans for the Wollongbar District Park and skate park.
After 17 years of agitation, the Wollongbar Alstonville Skate Park association were elated.
"This decision is historic, thank you for keeping your promise to deliver this skate park in your term on council," WASP spokeswoman Bianca Urbina.
"We think the plans are a perfect compromise which reflect the diversity of our community."
The $1.5 million district park will include public amenities, a skate park, a covered barbecue area, picnic tables, junior play equipment, fitness equipment, a multipurpose court with a basketball hoop, an outdoor table tennis stand and a multipurpose pathway with distance markers
Mayor David Wright said the facility would be immensely popular.
"This issue has been long and contentious, but the outcome is going to be incredible," Cr Wright said.
"I think it will be very well used."
Cr Sharon Cadwallader said council's discussions with police had allayed fears the park could heighten the risk of crime in the area.
"This proposal has the support of the crime prevention officer," Cr Cadwallader said.
Lighting has been central to the crime prevention strategy for the park.
"The dim lighting is designed to minimise and discourage use at night," Cr Keith Williams said.
Council planners expect the project to be complete "Well before 2022," and councillor Ben Smith said he was so keen to get it off the ground, he would be out there with a shovel himself as soon as it was approved.
The district park will be located within approved lots at 93 Rifle Range Road and No. 55 Avalon Ave, Wollongbar.