Louth Scout Hut proposals get the green light

Charles Street Recreation Ground
Charles Street Recreation Ground

ELDC has given the advantage to a scouting group’s plans to take over tennis courts, bowling green and fishing facilities in Louth for just £1.

East Lindsey District Council executive served approval on Louth Scouts Community Centre Partnership taking over the Charles Street Recreation Ground to use it as their headquarters.

The ground includes the tennis courts, a bowling green and a pond to the rear and is currently used by a local croquet club, Home-Start Lincolnshire, and a fishing club.

Councillor Graham Marsh said he was “really pleased” with the scheme, and added: “We need to look at assets that we’re not making best use of and invite the community to enhance what we have got.”

Other councillors said it would “breathe new life” into the facilities.

Councillor Sarah Parkin, who is vice chairman of the LSCCP and chairman Adrian Beech both thanked the committee, with Coun Parkin saying the time it had taken for the proposal to be finalised was “testament to the collaborative work being done.”

Documents before councillors said the group’s plans included replacing the existing pavilion with a modern one which will make the running costs “sustainable” and “cost-effective”.

It outlined the scouting group’s business plan to spend around £240,000 on the building costs, and £14,000 on demolition.

It says the replacement facilities will create an “equivalent provision that helps meet the sporting/recreational needs of the district.”

ELDC has spent an average of £2,795 per year over the past five years on maintaining the ground but officers warned a survey due to be carried out could result in higher costs.

The land is currently partly leased to the Crown and Woolpack Angling Club and also Magna Vitae, with the latter agreeing to the 
termination of the contract.

Ward member and vice chairman of the Scout group Coun Parkin, said: “This is ours forever, we’ll own it, we will be able to use it to really harness the partnerships we have already started with organisations like Home-Start and the Croquet Club to build a really good new community centre right in the heart of Louth and linking to the open spaces on the site.

“It will be the perfect site we can incorporate indoor physical activities with attempts to reduce social isolation.”

The plans include the demolition and rebuilding of the pavilion which stands on the site, along with development of the fishing ponds to create a better access – including for disabled people.

There will be spaces for existing partners and new ones to use the site, as well as for the scouts to use it for their own activities such as camping and outdoor cooking.

Chairman and Scout Leader Adrian Beech said the aim was also to link the Fourth and Second scouts into one place and added he was 
really pleased with the short space of time in which the decision had taken place – within 12 months of the plans first being put forward.

He said the Scouts already had a considerable portion of the money ready and would be working hard to make up the remainder.