“DISAPPOINTED” - the reaction of Ilminster Cricket Club's president after town councillors recommended refusing plans to revamp their pavilion.
The cricket club, based on the recreation ground, were working with architect Ian Pamplin to change the layout of the building to improve its' use of space and allow players' changing rooms to be bigger along with adding a room for officials to change in equipped with a shower and toilet.
But last Tuesday, councillors on the planning, highways and transport committee, recommended refusal as they were worried about a ramp giving access to a disabled toilet, which can only be accessed from the back of the building, along with health and safety concerns.
Concerns included the surface of the ramp to ensure it is non-slip, a lack of barriers or handrails with the ramp, the implications that disabled access is only for wheelchair users, and insufficient thought given to the movements of people with disabilities inside the building.
Mr Shepherd, who is also on the town council, said: “We are very upset that we have not had the support of the council.
“The matters raised are all technical things and if they had asked me to do that then we would have done.
“There is no disabled toilet on the whole of the Recreation Ground and we were going to put one that was outside.”
A town council spokesman said despite the plans being recommended refusal, they would like the application to move forward as they say the cricket club is in need of modernisation.
They added: “The town council is happy to discuss in detail the issues with the cricket club and would suggest Somerset Disability Forum be consulted.”
The pavilion was built in the 1920s to be used by members of Ilminster Grammar School.
It was then extended in the 1980s after a donation by members but, other than some minor repair work, it has not seen any major renovations since then.
In the plans, Mr Pamplin said the building is a “well-used community facility” but one that is in a “poor condition with dated facilities”.
He added that the plans would not only bring the pavilion up to date but also enable the building to be used for all members of the community.
Other changes include creating a single, larger, tearoom with equipped kitchen, installing modern shower facilities and building a grassed access path from and existing entrance gate on Canal Way to the existing concrete surrounding the pavilion to allow disability scooter and wheelchairs during the winter months.
Cllr John Pallister, who is on the town council and also a member of the cricket club, said: “I think they [the town council] want it to happen.
“There are some issues they want sorting out before they can recommend it.”
The plans will now have to go under the eyes of an Area West committee at South Somerset District Council before being either accepted or refused.