The charity responsible for an iconic pavilion has declared it is the “end of the beginning” for the building, which is set to be demolished after years of debate surrounding its future.

Braintree Council has given permission to the John Ray Recreation Ground Trust to begin demolition work on the historic building off John Ray Street following lengthy discussions between the two parties.

The trust was refused permission to knock down the pavilion last year due to a lack of clarity on why restoring the building was no longer a viable option.

Fresh demolition plans were submitted last month, with trustees claiming it would cost more to repair the pavilion than to knock it down and build a new one.

The extra information was met with approval by planning officers, who gave the green light last Thursday.

Following the decision, the trust has announced plans to protect the recreation ground from development and has confirmed it will look to replace the building.

In a statement, the charity said: “After much time spent reviewing options and costs for the renovation or replacement of the Braintree and Bocking Recreation Ground Pavilion building, the trust has come to the final conclusion that removal of the existing building and replacing it with one designed and built for the needs of today and into the future is the only viable way ahead.

“Our biggest task moving forward is to correctly understand the community needs with regard to sport and recreation, and then look to building a facility that will best suit these requirements.

“To achieve this we will be opening talks with all interested parties in the coming months.”

Trustee Rob Thompson added: “I guess you could call it the end of the beginning. Lots of work needs to be done in the future but we are keen to work with the community.”

The trust also announced it is planning to restructure and reform into a charitable incorporated organisation.

It is looking for more people to step forward and act as trustees to work on future projects at the recreation ground.

'Sad to think pavilion will be lost'

A CAMPAIGNER admits he has to be realistic and accept the John Ray Pavilion needs to be demolished.

Aidan Kelly, who has long fought to save the historic building, insists there are positives to take take forward, despite confessing it was sad to think nothing could be done to save it.

Mr Kelly played a key role in the Save Braintree and Bocking Recreation Ground Pavilion campaign which was launched when plans to demolish the building were first announced.

He said: “The initial idea from our perspective was to save the building but we are realistic and accept that just wasn’t financially viable.

“I’m sure there will be some people quite angry about it but it’s difficult to put blame on the trust. It’s just sad to think the pavilion is lost. I’m a big fan of keeping these old buildings and preserving parts of the town’s history.

“There are positives to take out of this. The trust are keen to keep some of the historical aspects of the building and maybe replicate the clocktower. The new building will be able to reflect the community and suit its needs best.”