WORRIED pensioners say the planned skatepark for Lower Meadow, Abergavenny will have a devastating effect on their lives.

Several of them met their local member, Cllr Rob Griffiths, at Wellfield Close on Friday to hand over a petition containing 585 signatures objecting to the new siting.

Monmouthshire County Council has amended their original plans to site the skatepark in Lower Meadow, so that the facility will be moved closer to the Welsh School rather than nearer Penypound.

This places the skatepark just 37 metres from the nearest flat in Wellfield Close, say angry residents. One of them, Elwyn Jones said: "It will have a devastating effect on our lives.

"We get plenty of noise already because we are surrounded by three soccer pitches, but this lasts just two hours, and there is supervision.

"With the skatepark the youngsters using it will be unsupervised and it will be open 12 hours a day and have floodlights so there will be constant noise.

"The council built this place as a little haven for the elderly and vulnerable so they have a moral obligation to keep it as one."

Another resident, Ron Carter, said his three neighbours were very elderly, with one widow being 92, and their block of flats was closest to the proposed site.

Cllr Griffiths said he would be presenting the petition to the planning department and at the next full council meeting. It was handed over by Charlie Hill, chairman of the Old Hereford Road Residents' Association which includes people living in both Wellfield Close and Ysguborwen.

Abergavenny town council received a letter at their meeting last week about the new plans from Sue and Tony Konieczny of Park Crescent, Abergavenny, who object on the grounds that residents living within a 100 metre radius of the site are likely to be affected by the noise generated.

They said: "The disruption of gouging out a massive hole in this quiet green area, to be subsequently filled with concrete, would have an adverse effect within the Abergavenny Conservation Area and would be visible from higher ground on the Deri, Sugar Loaf and Rholben."

Cllr Paul Jordan said it was a very well thought out letter and if the town council had received it before deciding to recommend approval of the new plans, they could have taken into account some of the points raised.