Families and young people will soon be enjoying the thrills of a state-of-the-art wheeled sports centre in Oxhey Park, following the decision last night by Watford Borough Council’s Development Management Committee to approve plans for the new facility.
The Committee heard the proposal will be a major enhancement for Oxhey Park and a welcome addition to the borough’s sports and leisure facilities, providing a free and safe place for children and young people to enjoy cycling, skateboarding, BMX, mountain biking and scooting. The plans also feature an outstanding community hub, which offers much-needed facilities for all park visitors including a café, toilet facilities and meeting space for community-led and educational events. In keeping with the park location, the building will have a green roof and an attractive river-side terrace.
Speaking on behalf of the proposal, local resident Amy Carr said: “This will benefit the whole community, with something for everyone. It is great the council is still choosing to invest in new sport and community facilities for local residents and is taking the opportunity to rejuvenate this open space. My son is a keen skateboarder and I know how excited young people across the town will be with this fantastic free facility. But the plans are not just about skateboarding and cycling. The new play area and community facilities mean we will all enjoy spending more time in Oxhey Park, which is really good news.”
Deputy Mayor of Watford, Councillor Peter Taylor, said: “I am proud that our council is prepared to invest in excellent sports facilities for local families. A tremendous amount of planning and discussion have gone into getting the Oxhey Park plans to this stage. We had a dedicated community forum for the project and I would personally like to thank all the residents who have taken the time to get involved. These plans are as good as they are because of their input and contributions.
“If you look at the proposal in detail, you will see how much green space has been kept on the site and that we will be planting more trees, establishing wildflower areas, wetland ponds and really good walking routes around the area. Other great ideas we have incorporated include a new play area, outdoor table tennis tables as well as plenty of seating for people to relax and just enjoy the surroundings.”
Sports England gave their support for the scheme stating they see it making a great contribution to getting young people more active and increasing people’s involvement in cycling and skateboarding, whether at beginner or more advanced level. Overall, the council received 71 comments of support for the planning application and a petition in favour, signed by 174 people, was also submitted to the Committee.
Commenting on the next phase of the project, Cllr Taylor added: “Now that planning has been approved, we can start on site. We hope to welcome the first visitors to the wheeled sports centre and the café by autumn 2019.
Oxhey Park North – artist’s impressions (above and below)