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Rooksdown residents still waiting for problem pavilions to be removed
3:00pm Tuesday 18th February 2014 in News
FOUR pavilions, which have become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, have still not been removed – despite a housing developer promising to take them down more than a year ago.
As reported in The Gazette in September 2012, Taylor Wimpey said it was preparing an application to remove the pavilions in Rooksdown, “due to repeated acts of vandalism and anti-social behaviour committed here.”
But residents who live near the problem structures have lost patience with the company after 16 months has passed and the pavilions are still there.
Taylor Wimpey installed the pavilions when it developed the site. But those living nearby say they are used by youngsters who gather in large groups.
It was decided the pavilions should be pulled down following a consultation with residents in January 2012.
Anthony Brown, 31, who lives near one of the pavilions, believes Taylor Wimpey should maintain them while they are still standing.
He said: “If that means their staff are out cleaning them every day, then that’s what they should be doing. Otherwise, they should do what they’re meant to do, submit planning as agreed and get them removed. They are legally responsible for the management of the pavilions. So why can’t the council enforce this? It must be an environmental hazard.”
He added: “The tiles have been smashed and are hanging down, the windows have been pulled off, and there are several smashed bottles around the pavilion and on the grass.”
Mr Brown has written to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, asking staff to put pressure on Taylor Wimpey to take action.
A response from Rachel White, principal conservation officer, sent in August last year, said the council was seeking an update on when an application to demolish the pavilions could be expected. But by October, Mr Brown had still not received a response.
An email sent by Councillor Karen Cherrett on October 25 said she shared his frustrations. But she added: “The council has no power to force Taylor Wimpey’s hand.”
Mr Brown said his husky dog’s paw has since been damaged from broken glass left at a pavilion, and added; “I don’t understand how Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planning people can approve these structures and then wash their hands of them.”
A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey said: “We have been finalising the application for demolition of the pavilions, which has included liaising with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and other statutory authorities, and the application was submitted.”
However, details of the application are not yet on the council website.