Officer at odds with council

PUBLISHED: 10:35 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:20 02 June 2010

To save or not to save, that is the question.

To save or not to save, that is the question.

A COUNCIL S own conservation officer is fighting to stop the demolition of the historic - but vandalised - bowls pavilion in Wisbech Park. The pavilion is owned by Fenland Council, who support the view of police that it should come down - a view they clai

A COUNCIL'S own conservation officer is fighting to stop the demolition of the historic - but vandalised - bowls pavilion in Wisbech Park.

The pavilion is owned by Fenland Council, who support the view of police that it should come down - a view they claim is shared by residents.

An application for its demolition goes to the council's planning committee next week, but Fiona Macrae is "not convinced that the building is beyond repair or that it has passed its useful life."

She says the pavilion, built in the 1920s, has historical merit.

Its loss would be "highly regrettable and it should therefore remain and be refurbished," she says. "It would be possible to extend it to provide the required accommodation.

"If brought back into community use, anti-social behaviour would diminish."

That's not a view shared by her bosses, who argue that there would be little demand for the pavilion even if it were repaired - and that could cost upwards of £40,000.

Although lottery funding is being sought to improve Wisbech Park, for now the pavilion is more trouble than its worth.

"Anti-social problems caused by the current condition of the building, and the ongoing reactive costs to remedy anti-social behaviour, require the early removal of the building," says an officers' report.

Councillor Roger Green, leader of the town council, disputes the district council's assertion the pavilion has not been used for 10 years, claiming it was used by bowlers' right up to the fire three years ago.

Whilst not against its demolition, he hopes the council will commit to a new pavilion which he is would be used by bowlers, tennis and football enthusiasts.

He wants residents to support his bid for as replacement and has asked for letters to be sent direct to him, or public awareness raised through letters to this newspaper.

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