Villagers want rusty old hut - dubbed the “tetanus cabin” - to be removed from village park

Villagers want the rusty hut removed from the play park at Southoe

Villagers want the rusty hut removed from the play park at Southoe - Credit: Archant

Villagers in Southoe are lobbying the parish council to remove a dilapidated old hut - dubbed the “tetanus cabin” - as they believe it poses a health risk.

The rusted cabin is situated on the edge of a children’s park and football field and locals have discovered drug paraphernalia and other waste inside and want the parish council to make the area safe. The steel hut was erected by the parish council about 16 years ago and intended for use by teenagers, but campaigner Sebastian Hunt believes it has deteriorated to the point where it is now dangerous.

“Right in the middle of all this wonderful provision is what can only be described as a dangerous blight. It is now associated with anti-social behaviour and is said to be used by visitors coming from outside the village who are parking up here and using it for reasons unknown. My problem with it is that it has become unsafe. It has deteriorated to the point where it has become a danger to users of this playing field. The parish council has a common law duty of care to maintain the facilities and a clear obligation to make this hut safe as a matter of urgency.”

He continued: “I suspect that the way to do that is to dismantle it, take it away, make the area safe and then go back to the parishioners and find out what would be a suitable replacement.”

In a meeting held on November 7, councillors reported that a volunteer had carried out an inspection and there was “no evidence of misuse in the cabin”. Under the heading of “actions to be taken” councillors said they were looking into sourcing a small shipping container to replace the hut and would be considering what should be done with it in the future.

A formal inspection, carried out in November by an outside company concluded the hut was “structurally unsound, although, in theory, repairable”. Warning signs have also been placed at the site.

Mr Hunt believes the majority of people in the village would prefer the hut to be removed.

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“Most people believe the hut is dangerous and should be removed. It is not safe and it doesn’t need to be there. If this was a rusting old car or a slide or swing in the park, it would be removed. It is incredibly frustrating.”

Alan Marnes, chairman of Southoe and Midloe Parish Council told The Hunts Post the council had “dealt with the item raised” and they were “looking to replace or repair the cabin in due course”.