We have grave concerns about the site known as The Dip being used for a floodlit concrete skateboard park opposite Jedburgh Abbey.
The Dip is a small area of grassland on conservation land situated between the A68 trunk road and the River Jed, which is the second-fastest flowing water in Scotland which bursts its banks regularly and is a very dangerous environment for unsupervised children, especially on skateboards.
We can’t comprehend why anyone would want to squeeze a £200,000 concrete park on to such a small area of land, especially when it is overlooked by Jedburgh Abbey and the war memorial. The overpowering visual and noise impact of a floodlit skatepark in the middle of Jedburgh would not only be distressing to tourists, residents and businesses, it would also devalue this elegant town.
There must be a larger, safer site in or around Jedburgh – for instance Bankend South which is already used by skateboarders.
We have also read that Melrose and Hawick have plans for skateboard parks. Would it not be in everyone’s interest for skateboard organisers to get together and discuss all the options, such as an all-singing, all-dancing skateboard park on neutral ground for all the Borders towns to enjoy?
A good example is the ambitious development being proposed for Hawick. It is for an indoor complex, comprising of cafe, softplay area, mini cinema and mini velodrome – all centred around a skatepark which would cater for girls as well as boys of all age groups.
The Dip is used regularly by people of all ages for walking dogs, ball games, exercise classes and, most of all, relaxing on a nice summer day.
The Dip could be turned into a very attractive picnic area at very little cost. By putting in a few tables and benches, and a bit of imaginative landscaping, it could be one of the best picnic areas in the Borders, with superb views of our beautiful, historic town.
Please, Jedburgh councillors, don’t turn The Dip into a concrete jungle as it could end up the town’s ruin in more ways than one.
W. and J. Kerr