PLANS to replace a ‘derelict’ pavilion, that has stood empty in a Southampton park for more than 15 years, have been been approved.

Southampton City Council, which is spearheading the scheme, said it hopes the project in Hoglands Park will allow more community groups to use the area.

Daily Echo: The pavilion (left structure) in Hoglands Park is to be replaced to facilitate community activities and sports.The pavilion (left structure) in Hoglands Park is to be replaced to facilitate community activities and sports.

The project, which will be financed by Safer Streets funding from the government, will see a new structure replace the two pavilion buildings located at the northern most end of the city centre park.

As part of its reasons for approval, a statement from the council said: “Hoglands Park is central to an area with a disproportionately high crime rates, preventing residents from getting full use and enjoyment from the parkland.

“This includes toilets that have been closed for fifteen years and a structurally unsafe and unattractive (due to vandalism) building that currently serves no purpose to the community.”

However, complete with working toilets and double-glazing, councillor hope this building will create new purpose be used by community and sports groups and provide a “staff hub” for large music events.

Construction will be completed by company Mace Ltd. No date has yet been set for when work will start.

Hoglands Park is a centre of historical interest as Iron Age and Saxon artefacts have been found there, so a condition of the plans involves an archaeological assessment of the proposed area to be undertaken.

Marian Hubble, a representative of City of Southampton Society welcomed the replacement of the “tired and unsightly structure”, adding: “Maybe some thought could be given to the external design to provide more visual interest.”

A representative of Southampton Commons and Parks Protection urged the council to also replace another pavilion in the park.

They said: “This proposal will, along with the recently constructed games area will begin a recovery in proper-use, character & appearance of this significant space.”