YOUTHS have turned a seafront landmark into a “deluxe skateboard park by the sea” following its £500,000 revamp, critics claim.
They said up to a dozen youngsters at a time, some on BMX bikes, were riding over new boulders and seats at Splash Point.
An undulating cream-coloured feature is now covered in rubber tyre scuff marks – just days after work on the repeatedly-delayed scheme was completed.
Cyndy Downie, of the nearby Warnes apartments, said Splash Point was now a glorified skateboard arena.
She said: “I am somewhat bemused that we have spent a considerable sum of taxpayers’ money developing a fun park for skateboarders.
“Didn’t the experts in the planning department consider the obvious implications of their short-sighted design?”
She said it was only a matter of time before somebody slipped on the sharp-edged rocks and seriously hurt themselves.
Christine Stasi, owner of the Sunny Café, at Splash Point, said: “I am pleased it’s done. I think it’s nice, though I don’t know if it’s money well spent.
“It has brightened up this end, and I have noticed a difference in trade. It does bring people down.
“It’s early days but I think it will be good.
“Skateboarders are going to be a problem. When we opened the other Sunday, it was like a skateboard park. There were 10 or 12 kids with boards.”
Bryan Turner, the borough council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “You would expect youngsters to come along and have a look at it but the beach inspectors are wise to it and will be keeping an eye on it.
“When I went down there, they had built a little ramp.
“It’s not a purpose-built glorified skate park, I don’t agree.
“We shall keep moving them on until they get fed up coming.”