A sports pavilion plagued by vandalism is set to be demolished at a “miserable” recreation ground.
Jackey Bakers in Highfield Road, Ramsgate, was gifted to the people of the town by the first female mayor in 1924.
But residents who use the site say the building is unsafe due to the structure being in very poor condition and having asbestos roof panels.
A planning application has now been submitted by Thanet District Council for demolition of the site.
It says repairing the building “does not represent value for money” as it will be expensive to retrofit mechanical and electrical equipment.
“The property has been repeatedly vandalised externally with elevations subject to graffiti,” documents reveal.
“There are multiple asbestos roof panels that have degraded and broken.”
Jackey Bakers has seven full-sized pitches and caters for football, hockey and cricket.
But it was previously reported using the grounds costs about £400-a-week and players want to know what their money is being spent on.
Insurance requirements dictate the building and site in Newington be inspected at least three times each week, which the council says involves the resources of two officers for each visit.
“Previous inspections have encountered illegal trespassers on the site and the associated risk of possible confrontation linked to personnel safety issues,” the planning application added.
“There are numerous hazards within the building associated with the damage and disrepair of the structure.
“In addition, there is a high level of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in the structure which poses a hazard to those who illegally enter the building.
“The removal of the ACMs on the structure would open the building directly to the external elements and further to unauthorised entry.”
Last month at a full council meeting, campaigner June Tyrrell presented to members a 1,500-signature-strong petition calling for the overhaul of the site.
“Jackey Bakers, once home to a football and hockey astroturf pitch and cricket ground, has seen a huge decline in its facilities over the years,” the 37-year-old told the chamber.
“The cricket ground is no more and the amount of vandalism caused to the astroturf pitch has deemed it unusable.”
The motion was met with support from councillors, including cabinet member Steve Albon (Lab).
“Jackey Bakers and the redevelopment of that land is a priority for me, and I can assure you that along with myself and the senior officers of this council that is what we intend to do,” he said.
Once the building has been demolished, temporary changing rooms can be installed.
Reacting to the planning application being submitted, Ms Tyrrell said: “Things are not moving as quickly as I would like but I knew it was going to be a long process.
“I am glad the planning application has been put forward and it has got the ball rolling, which people have struggled with before.”
The changing facilities are now out of bounds but some footballers still used the site at the start of this season.
“I am pushing for the temporary ones to go in as soon as possible as the footballers do not have anywhere to get changed,” Ms Tyrell, who is secretary of the Jackey Bakers Community Action Group, added.
“Although it says there is no timeframe, I am hoping to get this in place sooner rather than later.
“We are still in discussion about what will end up there.
“The idea is a new pavilion with changing rooms, showers and toilets, and the community would like a cafe.”
Thanet District Council says the demolition will reduce the current risks and liability to the authority and public through unauthorised entry.
No details about the plans for a replacement have been drawn up at this stage and further details are expected to be produced at a later date.
“A cleared site will improve the immediate area by reducing the attraction of antisocial use and vandalism on the site,” the application states.
“The budget within the revenue account cannot fund the continued rate of vandalism to the buildings.
“There has been a significant piece of master planning undertaken on the general future of Jackey Bakers estate, including the location of a new pavilion, although timelines for this are currently unknown.”