Skatepark a fit with recreation hub plan

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ELEVEN years after it was first suggested, Mt Martha seems set to have its own skatepark.

Mornington Peninsula Shire is inviting public comment on plans to build the skatepark as part of a revamp of the playground opposite Mt Martha Primary School, in Glenisla Drive.

A public meeting was held on Monday night to discuss the plans and online comments will be accepted up until 5 January next year.

The $500,000 plans outlined to councillors at their 22 October meeting describe the Eco Park playground as an active recreation hub that will include a skate and scooter bowl with pockets, hips, waterfalls and transfers; play equipment; scooter path; a flying fox; basket swing; multi-use ball court; and shaded picnic tables.

The accompanying report by sport and recreation team leader Mark Stahel, open space project officer Nicole Fitzpatrick says shire officers had been investigating options for a skatepark in Mt Martha for “several years”. The need for a skatepark was first flagged in the shire’s 2008 Skate and BMX Strategy.

Four years later, officers proposed spending $850,000 building a skatepark near the tennis courts on the corner of Kilburn Grove and The Esplanade. However, this plan was finally dropped following opposition by Mt Martha Tennis Club which was leasing the land from the shire and had its own plans for new courts where the skatepark was set to go  (“Back to the start for skatepark” The News 20/8/18).

This time around building a skatepark at Eco Park is seen as “a good option for redevelopment of the existing playground park area”.

“The redevelopment is proposed to include elements of formal and informal play, as well as incorporating some beginner skate and scooter facilities,” the officers’ report states.

Time taken in finding an acceptable site has also led to changes in the “traditional model of a skate facility … while specific purpose-built skate parks are still being provided, recent trends have been towards making these spaces more diverse in their use with other sporting, recreation and play opportunities”.

“The provision of a skate and active hub will attract a community that is likely to stay longer in comparison to a traditional skate facility.”

Providing a public toilet is estimated to cost an extra $300,000.

If the toilet is included the all up cost will be closer to the $850,000 originally quoted for the much more elaborate skatepark near the tennis courts.

On Friday (22 November) the shire issued a news release inviting comment on its plans for Eco Park.

“Council is committed to providing recreational facilities and spaces for our young people and families for all to enjoy,” the mayor Cr Sam Hearn said.

“We know how important recreational spaces are to our youth here on the Peninsula. Let us know your thoughts”.

An online survey and view the draft concept plans are at: mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay while forms will be available to complete in hard copy at the shire’s Rosebud, Hastings, Mornington and Somerville offices.

First published in the Mornington News – 26 November 2019

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