Plans to demolish more than 80-year-old pavilions in Boston’s Central Park for a new £306,000 skate park and multi-use games area have been approved.
The timber-framed buildings, constructed in 1937, were previously used for bowls and tennis, however, they were last used for that purpose in 2013 and have since become targets for what Boston Borough Council calls “increasingly prevalent” vandalism, antisocial behaviour and rough sleeping.
The pavilions are not listed, but are in the Boston Conservation Area. However, Heritage Lincolnshire, which originally had objections, said the removal had been justified.
In its application, the council said: “Grounds and property teams have … maintained liability for maintenance, cutting the grass, repairing the buildings and litter picking. but have experienced continued and costly vandalism, included smashed windows and doors, damaged tiles and attempted arson.
“From a use and grounds maintenance perspective, these pavilions have no further use.”
They added the risk of fire or arson could also not be mitigated and no alternative use could be found.
Boston Borough Council says the planned skate park will meet the “need and demand for safe facilities that support healthy activity aimed at children and young people.”
It will also include table tennis facilities.
Young people have previously campaigned for new facilities in the town, claiming the existing St John’s Skate Park on Skirbeck Road had been “run-down, unlit, dangerous and out of sight”.
In 2017, then 13-year-old Dibber Summerfield petitioned the council saying young people felt “very unsafe” using it and were travelling to Skegness to access far better facilities.
Approving the plans this week, officers said the demolition of the scheme would be outweighed by the “positive public benefits” arising from the scheme.
Funding for this development has come from the Community Migration Fund of £269,000 and Boston Town Area Committee have awarded £37,000.
It has been designed in consultation with young people from Haven High Academy and the community though final designs are yet to be agreed.
It is hoped work will start on the multi use games and table tennis areas in the next three months and the skate park in the next five months.
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