The skate park development at Percy Doyle Reserve in Duncraig is progressing well after Joondalup City Council voted to send the project into a concept design phase.
In addition to the skate park with bowl, the proposal includes BMX facilities, a multi-purpose field, nature play elements, climbing frames, barbecue and picnic areas, and spectator areas.
The youth recreation facilities would be on the site of the old tennis courts on Ron Chamberlain Drive, with CCTV and lighting.
The estimated cost is between $4.3 and $5.7 million.
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According to the city, the size of the works matches other similar contemporary play and skate spaces, including the town of Stirling’s Bina Parkland, Briggs Park in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, the city of Perth’s Wellington Square and Mills Park in the city of Gosnells.
While most councilors agreed to put $200,000 in the 2022-23 budget to pay for the draft design, some expressed concerns about how the overall project would be funded.
“Once you get to the design concept, you’re stuck with an expense that we don’t know the source of,” said Cr Russell Poliwka.
“I worry once we go down this road, we won’t be able to go back. I support the concept but would like to know the possible funding sources.”
Chris Leigh, director of land use and community development, said the draft design would be presented to the council with more detailed costs, after which the board would determine where the funding would come from.
He also confirmed that the city would seek grants to cover the costs.
Mayor Albert Jacob said the council voted only to “start the process” and not commit them to the project but that a draft design was necessary to seek funding.
He also said the $200,000 was “largely funded” by operational savings from the Duncraig Leisure Center so that the budget would have little impact.
Cr John Raftis also sought to delay deciding to consider the skate area part of the overall Percy Doyle master plan to ensure it would fit into plans for the reserve.
But the motion was defeated 4-8, with Cr Russ Fishwick saying it would “destroy the project for 10-15 years”.
Cr Fishwick, who first introduced the concept six years ago, said there was “a void of skateboarding facilities in the area compared to other sports such as football, soccer, netball, baseball, basketball, hockey, cricket and tennis”, but the sport seemed to be growing while team sports were declining.
He said skate parks have “many benefits”, including providing a safe place for young people to recreate; they are designed and built to be “tax conservative” and require very little maintenance.
Skateboarding was also a “vital part of the urban community,” and the facility was safer than the streets.
“Skate parks are where skateboarders can recreate with others and meet people they might not meet on the street,” said Cr Fishwick.
“They are social spaces that will attract interest from our community.”
CR Fishwick also said the site in Percy Doyle would be highly visible, located far from residents, and accessible by public transport.
Concept design preparation includes community consultation and more detailed cost calculations.
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Percy Doyle Reserve marked for BMX andis skateboard park.