Skatepark ‘shredded’ too soon

Heron Park skatepark has been demolished, only years after it opened. Photo: Gera Kazakov.

The City of Armadale has decided to demolish Heron Park skatepark after locals say it was exceeding noise requirements for a residential area.

Council minutes show independent noise assessors determined the noise coming from the skatepark was 15 decibels above permitted levels.  

The move has left residents divided. Some feel a valuable youth space has been lost from the area.

The skatepark was only a few years old and is now, according to the City, being converted into a “passive landscaped environment”.

The works are due to be completed by the end of April.

Headspace Armadale community engagement worker Brody Nelson says the youth have lost a valuable space.

“Closing down an environment like that definitely could have impacts on young people. Places like skateparks are often like a small community,” he says.

Mr Nelson says skateparks provide opportunities for youth to learn new skills and make new friends.

A “passive landscaped environment” is set to replace the skatepark. Photo: Gera Kazakov.

Curtin University sustainability Professor Peter Newman agrees.

Newman is a former City of Fremantle councillor and says the success of the esplanade youth plaza shows skateparks are an integral part of communities.

“In Fremantle, we shifted the park into the centre of the city so that it could be given priority and given a really good sight with good lighting at night, and [benches] so people could watch it like a spectator sport,” he says.

“That has been the transformation that has occurred for skating in Fremantle.”

He says with skateboarding becoming not only an Olympic sport but also a professional career, it’s important to celebrate the activity.

Hear more from Peter Newman.

City of Armadale mayor Ruth Butterfield says the council has developed a concept plan for a new development which includes youth spaces along with community bushland and sporting fields.

While still in the early stages, Butterfield says the new development will help provide consulting for skateboarding and BMX facilities.

Butterfield says the new space in Harrisdale is “unlikely” to create the same level of excessive noise as the previous skatepark.