WORK has finally begun to demolish a crumbling, asbestos-laden pavilion which sits next to a children’s playground at Hillmorton Recreation Ground.
Contractors have started preliminary work on site ahead of fencing off the pavilion and erecting scaffolding.
A Rugby Borough Council (RBC) spokesman said the pavilion “looks set to be demolished by Christmas” following the safe removal of asbestos from the building, with resurfacing of the site taking place in the new year.
RBC then plans to work with the community before making a decision to either replace the pavilion or develop other facilities at the park – also known as Featherbed Lane Recreation Ground – such as play equipment, nature areas or an outdoor gym.
The demolition was originally scheduled to finish by the end of October, with a development plan for the park earmarked for the end of this year.
The pavilion, built in the 1960s, has fallen into a state of disrepair and become a target for vandals.
In September 2017, the chair of a Hillmorton community group told The Observer that decades of neglect had made the pavilion unsafe.
Jim Ellis, chair of Friends of East Rugby Group, said: “The asbestos-laden shell of a pavilion has been left to rot for decades. This is a genuine health hazard.”
RBC environment and public realm spokeswoman Coun Lisa Parker said: “I’m delighted work has now started to remove the pavilion.
“Once the work has been completed we can start exploring opportunities to improve Hillmorton Recreation Ground.
“We want to involve the community to find out what facilities residents want at the recreation ground before drawing up plans for the future.”
Hillmorton Recreation Ground was granted Queen Elizabeth II Field status in 2012, protecting it as a green space for future generations.