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Villagers fight for a pavilion
AN Oxfordshire village is facing the prospect of losing every one of its local sports teams.
But Yarnton Parish Council has pledged it will do whatever it takes to get a new venue built to give its football and cricket sides a home.
The current sports pavilion in Marsh Lane is “practically condemned” according to locals and faces being demolished.
It would mean the permanent loss of two cricket teams, both who currently play outside the village, six youth football teams, a woman’s football team and two mens football teams.
Realising the community venue was on its last legs the parish council approached designers to draw up a new development.
Blueprints for a new facility costing £328,772 were created and the parish council voted in favour.
Parish councillor Fred Jones, of Dashwood Avenue, managed to raise £155,500 from local businesses and during a village meeting attendees voted to apply for the rest of the cash from Cherwell District Council.
Now the parish council faces an anxious wait for the district council to approve its loan application for £173,272.
Residents would repay the sum over 10 years through a raise in their annual precept of about £13 per household.
Parish council chairman Brian Newell said: “Fred got a lot of generous donations but we couldn’t secure any more which is why we approached the district council and now we have to wait for their answer.
“If we don’t get the money this year it will be the end for the current pavilion. It simply wouldn’t be safe for another year.
“We’ve got hundreds of children with their fingers crossed and we are pretty confident it should go through soon enough.”
Mr Jones said: “The old one has been there since the 1980s. It was second-hand then and it has been crumbling ever since.
“For the last two or three years we have been throwing money at it to try and repair it, running repairs, but it’s no good and we thought it would be time to get it fully replaced, it is well beyond its shelf-life.”
He added: “In the summer the local Guide group have also indicated they would want to use it “We have clubs lining up who want to use it right across the spectrum; it will be a wonderful thing for our village to have.
“We will charge rates if anyone wants to hire it out, which we would look at next when we think about planning permission guidelines.
“It is a big positive thing for us and we are very excited.”
The public meeting was held on Thursday, March 7, at Yarnton Village Hall, to which 46 attended and 44 voted in favour.
One voted against and one person abstained.