At last night’s Inner West Council meeting, it was resolved to press ahead with the construction of a promised new Skate Plaza in Lilyfield. Council voted 14 to 1 in favour of the Skate Plaza. However, the owners of the Le Montage wedding venue are not prepared to abide by the democratic process and have threatened to challenge the decision in court.
The Council decision last night to press ahead with construction of the Skate Plaza came as welcome news for local children and parents, who have suffered years of frustration and disappointment. More than a decade ago, a new skate park in Lilyfield was promised, only to have three previous projects, in various locations, rejected. So, any further delay caused by the threatened court action will only add to the disappointment of local youngsters and their parents.
As well as the construction of the skate plaza, council also resolved to replace the existing trees one-for-one with mature, appropriate natives and to create a new micro-forest on the site.
Traffic concerns were also addressed with a new pedestrian forecourt between the park and the water, a 40KPH speed limit and the access road becoming one way.
Councillor Philippa Scott said, “There was non-partisan, democratic approval of this skate park in this location last night, and Le Montage needs to respect the community’s wishes as conveyed through their elected representatives.
“While Le Montage claims to be concerned with the environment and the safety of children, it is transparently clear that they are really only concerned with one thing, not having a skate park next to their luxury wedding venue.
“If we want our teens to stay active, healthy, and connected to their communities, we need to build the facilities that make that happen. While there are generally good play facilities for young children, there is a shortage of recreation facilities for teenagers in the inner west who are not on sports teams. The truth is, that skate parks promote pro-social behaviour and it’s unfair and untrue to suggest that our young people are inherently criminal or anti-social.
“The children and parents of Lilyfield, Leichhardt and surrounding suburbs have been promised a skate park for more than a decade and the Inner West is determined to deliver a world class Skate Plaza for the entire community to enjoy.”
The Inner west council stands by its decision to build this Skate Plaza despite the legal threat from Le Montage. Council is prepared to vigorously defend this decision in the Land and Environment Court.