Youngsters hope £3,810 light will stop drug abuse at Berkhamsted Skate Park

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YOUNGSTERS have submitted plans to install floodlights next to a skate park to deter drug-users from using it as an after-dark hang-out.

Berkhamsted Youth Town Council will have to raise £3,810 for the project – which will only begin if Dacorum Borough Council first grants permission for it to go ahead.

Council clerk Clare Muir said: “It is an incredibly positive thing that the youth council is doing for the benefit of not just the young people but the whole community.”

The group hopes to have floodlights installed by the end of September.

It began its campaign for something to be done at the troubled site in November, after concerns were raised about drug-users deterring ordinary people from using the site.

Clare said floodlights will make the skate park “a safe place” that can be used after dark. The plan won Berkhamsted Town Council’s support at a meeting on Monday night.

But member Penella Warren said the town council had previously objected to plans by Berkhamsted School for an astroturf pitch on nearby Kitcheners Field – partly because of its four-metre-high floodlights.

The two floodlights the youth council has applied for will be on a six-metre column.

Meeting chairman Laurence Handy said the school’s plans were for floodlights in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But councillor Julie Laws, also a governor for Berkhamsted School, said: “Canal Fields is an area we want to preserve. I am concerned about light pollution and the urbanisation of that area.”

Councillor Garrick Stevens said lighting would be directed to cover just the skate park, going off at 10pm each night. He said the plans are backed by neighbours and the police.

If you want to donate towards the floodlighting project, phone Clare Muir on 01442 384349.