A PARK keeper’s cottage which has become a magnet for vandals is finally set to be demolished - much to the relief of locals who have called for it to be flattened following several serious fires.

The detached bungalow, in Cudworth Park, has been vacant since June 2020 and is currently boarded up.

There has been significant damage to its roof, enabling water and trespassers to gain access, and following an asbestos survey of the property it has been confirmed that the roof does contain the hazardous material.

Cudworth-based police officers have continually carried out extra patrols since it was vacated following pressure from residents and councillors.

A sale was considered by the council but given its current state, its market value was estimated at £80,000.

A report said: “The council has no annual budget to maintain this asset, however it meets recurring costs to make the site safe following entry by intruders.

“Therefore, the recommendation is that the bungalow is demolished - the cost of this is £17,400.

“It includes landscaping of the ground and the land will be incorporated back into the wider park.

“Grant funding could be sought to renovate the building and bring it back in to use.

“However, any such use would have to be ancillary to the park, such as a cafe.

“The estimated cost of bringing the building back to a habitable standard is in excess of £50,000 and there are no resources to bring such a project to fruition.

“A valuation has been completed by an officer of the council who is a RICS-qualified surveyor to ascertain the market value of the property.

“Due to the property's poor condition, it is assumed that the sale would have to be from a cash buyer and offered for sale at a property auction.

“Based on the sale assumptions state and current condition, the property has a market value of £80,000.”

Coun Joe Hayward, who represents the Cudworth ward, said the demolition was a necessary step given the amount of criminal damage that’s occurred.

“For years it’s been a sitting duck in the park and it’s in such a bad state both inside and out,” he told the Chronicle.

“The only cost-effective thing to do is demolish it to avoid further instances of damage.

“It’s become an eyesore in what is a beautiful park and although it’s boarded up, it poses a danger for anyone who does try to gain entry as we’ve seen before.

“It’s been on the police’s local agenda for a while so demolishing the building will be better for everyone concerned.”