A CONTROVERSIAL plan to knock down and then rebuild a key community building which has divided neighbours is set to be given the go-ahead next week.

North Hinksey Parish Council wants to demolish the Louie Memorial Pavilion and scout hut, in Arnolds Way, Botley, and replace it with a more modern complex.

But some users, including the 4th Oxford Scout Group, are opposed and say the new building would be costly and unnecessary.

The leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, Emily Smith, and her deputy, Debby Hallett, are in favour of the proposal. Both live nearby.

READ MORE: New playground at Louie Memorial Fields is unveiled

But while 33 of their fellow Botley residents are supportive, another 47 have told the district council they are opposed.

Part of the Louie Memorial Fields lies in the Oxford Green Belt. The site has been used as recreation ground since 1939 and the parish council undertook a consultation and feasibility study into the changes last year.

As part of those alterations, the parish council would replace the current building with a new main hall with storage, toilets and access.

Another linked block would also contain changing rooms, showers, two referees’ changing areas and other toilets.

A new adventure play area was opened next to the development in January, the first part of the parish council’s £1.2m revamp proposal.

It includes a 40m zip wire, swings and a trampoline in a playing field next to Matthew Arnold School, also in Arnolds Way.

READ AGAIN: Fourth Oxford Scout Group object to Louie Memorial Playing Field development

But opponents to the rebuild stage of the project, such as the Oxfordshire Badger Group, say they worry about the possible impact to wildlife ‘due to pollution and disturbance'.

Friends of Louie Memorial Fields chairwoman Julia Hammett said: "There is no evidence for need or demand for a building on this scale and costing at least £700,000. This is a clearly an overdevelopment on Green Belt and does not meet the 'exceptional' need required."

The Open Space Society is another detractor. It said the damage to the Green Belt if the revamp is completed ‘outweighs its benefits’.

The application will be decided by Vale of White Horse District Council’s planning committee at The Beacon in Wantage on Wednesday.