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Problem pavilions in Rooksdown could be knocked down
PAVILIONS which have become a hot-spot for anti-social behaviour in a Basingstoke suburb could soon be removed.
Following years of complaints from residents in Rooksdown, developer Taylor Wimpey has finally submitted a planning application to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council requesting permission to knock down the structures.
When the application was discussed by members of Rooksdown Parish Council, some councillors were reluctant to support the plans because of the history of the wooden shelters – but residents’ wishes to have them removed proved to be a key factor.
Council chairman Cllr Colin Statham explained the history behind the pavilions, which were original features of the former hospital, used by patients to sit outside.
Their upkeep was meant to be paid for through a community development trust, paid into by residents.
But Cllr Statham said the trust had never been activated.
A consultation was held with residents asking what should be done with the pavilions, and the overwhelming response was that they should be pulled down.
Cllr Statham said: “Vandalism has continued. There have been issues with drugs and there have been complaints from various householders.”
Rooksdown Parish Council initially supported the proposals, but members were asked for their opinions again in light of the application being submitted.
Cllr Statham said: “My personal view on this matter is that as the chair of the parish council, it’s my public duty to respect the wishes of the residents who took the time and trouble to comment on the proposal to remove the pavilions.
“However, I do believe it’s a crying shame. I personally would like to see some sort of restoration of these somewhere where they won’t be vandalised and looked after properly and remain part of Basingstoke’s recent history.”
Several councillors said they felt the pavilions should remain where they are.
Cllr Nazim Khan said: “The pavilions were put into the community and it’s the community’s responsibility to have them there. My view is they should remain in place.”
Cllr Ailsa Cordner added: “I would like to see them stay but I have to respect the view of the public.”
A vote by councillors showed four in favour of the plans and four against. As chairman, Cllr Statham had the casting vote and chose to support the application to remove the pavilions.
A final decision will be made by the borough council’s development control committee.
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