Locking out trouble makers

NIGHT BAN: Clarence Valley Council will consider placing gates at the entrance of Corcoran Park to restrict access between 9pm and 6am. THE night time closure of Corcoran Park will be put to a vote at next week's Clarence Valley Council meeting after an engineering committee recommended gates restricting access be installed.

At its monthly meeting this week, the committee decided to close the park between 9pm and 6am.

Engineering services director David Andrews said if the recommendation was adopted a gate would be installed near the levee in Kirchner Street at the entrance to the park.

He said people who wished to use the park between those hours would be able to submit an application asking for permission to access the park.

The decision comes after council called for submissions regarding the proposed closure at its November meeting.

According to council documents, 20 submissions from the public were received, with 16 respondents supporting a closure.

The committee recommended the night closure after numerous complaints about noise from nearby residents and because of the rising costs associated with vandalism and anti-social behaviour at the park after dark.

In his report to the committee, Mr Andrews said several submissions noted a need for regular access outside of the proposed hours of closure.

"Further requests for out-of-hours access by those groups can be considered on a case-by-case basis, with applications via council's standard park booking system," he said.

"Applications for access on a more regular basis may require a licence agreement to access the park.

"Local emergency service organisations in the Grafton area who may require out-of-hours access will be supplied with access keys after construction of the gate is completed."

Mr Andrews told the committee funds for the construction were available from the current capital improvement program for Corcoran Park.

Night-time management of the park has been an ongoing problem for police and council officers.

In late June 2004 after a night of hijinx, drinking and showing off, teenager Danny Killmore died in a vehicle driven at high speed through the park by his friend, Shawn Clasohm.

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