Action call as Rowlands Castle pavilion plan stalls

URGING ACTION Cllr Marge Harvey
URGING ACTION Cllr Marge Harvey
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A ROW has broken out over plans to renovate a village’s run-down pavilion.

Former members of Rowlands Castle Parish Council had planned to give the pavilion at the recreation ground in The Fairway a makeover.

This included improved changing facilities, toilets and a kitchen.

But, as previously reported in The News, all six of the serving councillors decided not to stand in the election, with an entirely new set of parish councillors being voted in last May.

Now Marge Harvey, the village’s councillor at East Hampshire District Council, who was one of the six to step down, says she is frustrated with the lack of action on the pavilion plans.

She has urged the new parish council to advance the plans by submitting an outline planning application.

Cllr Harvey said: ‘The previous committee had plans drawn up and wanted for the plans to be sent to East Hampshire to get outline planning.

‘This committee has not carried that through.’

Cllr Harvey said the approval of outline planning permission would trigger up to £100,000 of funding already set aside for the project, including from developers’ contributions.

She added: ‘It’s dilapidated. It’s not big enough. It doesn’t meet health and safety requirements in lots of areas. It really does need refurbishment.’

But there was a split vote at a parish council meeting on whether to submit the plans now.

Chairman John Pickering said the former parish council had underestimated the cost of the project, which could be up to £180,000.

He said: ‘The design the previous council came up with seems to be too expensive and needs to be reconsidered.

‘Secondly, some of us would consider this is not a pressing issue because it is not as though we are seeking to buy land that we don’t already own.

‘Why do you need outline planning permission for something that is already built on?’

He said getting outline planning permission would cost the parish council £855, including planning and architect’s fees.

He added: ‘We don’t have £855 to throw around on things which many of us believe to be unnecessary.’

Cllr Pickering said the parish council was working hard on submitting a detailed planning application as soon as possible.