The Petition of supporters of the Hawthorne Skate and BMX Park Desborough, Northamptonshire,
Declares that the Petitioners support the campaign to save the Hawthorns Skate and BMX Park in Desborough, Northamptonshire, which is a large park, with ten varied wooden ramps built to national competition standard, which was first established in 1999 and which has since benefitted from National Lottery funding and has been maintained, repaired and rebuilt by the voluntary efforts of the local community; further that it has been used by thousands of local boys and girls, and now faces the threat of closure by Kettering Borough Council, which owns the land on which the park is sited and which wishes to build residential properties on the park site and the eight acres of neighbouring green space, which were established for leisure and sports use in 1974 and which the Petitioners believe are unsuitable for housing development because they are located by a nature reserve.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Department of Communities and Local Government to encourage Kettering Borough Council to review the planned closure of the Hawthorns Skate and BMX Park.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Philip Hollobone, Official Report, 4 July 2013; Vol. 565, c. 1160.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:
Decisions about the future of this skate park are a matter for the local authority. It is important, as with all decisions about the provision of local facilities, that there is effective consultation with the local community.
Sport England works closely with local authorities to develop a strategic approach to the provision of facilities ensuring that local authorities have the right mix of sustainable provision. Sport England is supporting the provision of new facilities in Kettering, which has now been incorporated into a borough wide sports facilities strategy currently being implemented by the council.
If there is to be a material change of use for the site this will require planning permission. In considering any application there will be an opportunity for those with an interest to submit comments which the local planning authority can consider in coming to a decision on the planning application.
While this is a matter for the local authority, it would be inappropriate to comment on the detail of any proposal as it might come before the Secretary of State in due course.