Barnet Council is under renewed pressure to carry out a full survey of repairs required to restore the dis-used Tudor Park cricket pavilion in New Barnet.
A local campaign led by Barnet Society committee member Simon Cohen believes up-to-date estimates for the work need to be obtained so that councillors and residents can explore the options for returning the pavilion to public use.
Mr Cohen organised a survey of local opinion to test support and he says it shows overwhelming backing for the pavilion to be re-opened.
Of the 1,016 responses to his survey, 984 wanted it restored and the most popular requests were for a café (85 per cent in favour), public toilets (41 per cent) and community space (39 per cent).
“I was stunned by the level of interest,” said Mr Cohen.
“It was so encouraging to get near total backing for our campaign to prevent this historic building falling into further disrepair and then being abandoned by the council.”
Tudor Park’s cricket pavilion, opened in 1920, has been boarded up for the last ten years and the council has estimated in the past that it would cost around £180,000 to repair and make safe.
Mr Cohen says High Barnet councillor David Longstaff has promised to take up their demand for fresh estimates for refurbishing the pavilion which is deemed unsafe because of subsidence and collapsed drains.
“What seems to have happened is that one of the council’s preferred contractors came up with the estimate for £180,000.
“What is needed is a proper survey and for estimates to be broken down so that we can see how much essential repairs would cost and what new facilities might be possible.
“Local residents were so angry when we discovered that the council had downgraded Tudor Park to the status of a “low quality, low value park” and the least the council can do is allow the community to have the full facts and conduct a full and open debate.”
Tudor Park and sports ground is a well-used venue offering playgrounds for both toddlers and children and the Tudor Park Footgolf course which has been laid out on the former East Barnet Golf Club course.
“There is no doubt a café in the pavilion would be extremely popular. There was a previous attempt to open a café there, but it failed because of the cost of repairs.
“A community space within the building could offer all sorts of possibilities. Next door are New Barnet allotments, and the plot holders could be encouraged to use the space to sell surplus produce.”
Mr Cohen decided to launch his campaign – SaveTudorParkPavilion – after realising last year that it was the centenary of its opening in 1920.
“I have known the pavilion for 50 years, and my children have grown up as regular visitors to the park and playground and it would be catastrophic for the community if we couldn’t find a way to put such an historic building to good use.”
Originally the pavilion, built in neo-Georgian style, served the sports ground opened by the former New Barnet medical supplies manufacturer. S Maw & Sons and it bears the logo of S Maw along with the date 1920.
Early in 2020 it was included in Barnet Council’s local heritage list as being of historical and architectural interest because of social and community value, age and rarity, and landmark qualities.