Controversial plans for a half-pipe skate ramp next to a playground in the Jersey Farm open space have been given the go-ahead.

Half-pipe ramps can be used by youngsters on skate boards, scooters and roller skates.

And the planned 2.9m high structure at Jersey Farm will be aimed at children and young people in the area, aged between eight and 16.

Some residents have highlighted concerns about the impact the ramp will have on those living close-by and on those families that use the playground area.

They point to potential noise and litter and the impact that any anti-social behaviour – including music, swearing and litter – would have on existing users.

They say the ramp could be a danger to small children who may fall – and that an ambulance or other vehicle couldn’t access the site if someone was hurt.

And they also point to a previous skate park that had to be removed from the site some years ago.

But on Monday (March 16) a meeting of St Albans City and District Council’s planning (development control) committee central granted the application, which had been submitted by Sandridge Parish Council.

Addressing the committee, parish councillor Cllr Graham Leonard, chair of the parish council’s sports and recreation grounds committee, said the ramp was aimed at ‘slightly older’ local children and young people aged eight to 16.

He said he recognised there had been some issues with the former installation 20 years ago. But he pointed to the availability of quieter materials now.

And he said a noise survey had suggested there would be no discernible  impact on nearby residents.

He said users would understand that they would use the facility at their own risk – just as they did with the equipment at adventure playground.

And he said that with skateboarding set to be an Olympic sport, interest in the ramp would be raised.

However one local resident, who uses he space with her two young children,  and parish councillor Lyn Bolton asked the committee to take account of their concerns.

The resident said she was concerned that the skate pipe would be located next to the children’s playground – and that the appeal appeal of the park may reduce if it were to become a teenage hangout.

She said noise from the ramp – which would be open 24 hours a day – could disturb nearby residents, day and night.

And highlighting existing issues, she said she already had to check for broken glass and laughing gas cannisters before letting her children play.

Meanwhile Cllr Lyn Bolton – who was not a member of Sandridge Parish Council when the decision about the planned ramp was made –  said she had two main concerns.

She said there had been a lack of consultation, which she believed had led to a bad decision. And she said there was a danger in the inaccessible position of the ramp.

She highlighted a previous ramp on the site that had had to be removed  because of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

She suggested that, should there be an accident, the site of the ramp would not be accessible by an ambulance or a four-wheel vehicle.

And she pointed to existing anti-social behaviour that the ramp would exacerbate.

Following a debate on the application a majority of the members of the committee agreed that the application should be granted.

Earlier in the meeting committee chair Liberal Democrat Cllr Janet Churchard and Conservative Cllr Frances Leonard had declared an interest in the item. And they did not take part on the decision.