A SECOND World War Army recreation hut used by a preschool for 40 years will soon be demolished.

The rec rooms at Wallingford's Bull Croft park are set to be bulldozed before designs for a replacement have been completed.

Wallingford Town Council agreed the buildings were unsafe in 2018, saying the preschool would have to leave, as well as the food bank and citizens advice bureau that used the rooms.

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Those groups have all now moved out of the hut, and the council has submitted a formal planning application to knock the 80-year-old building down.

Writing to South Oxfordshire District Council, the town's planning agents LAPD, based in Culham, said: "The ‘rec’ rooms are now in an advanced state of disrepair that economically cannot be put right.

“Whilst the building has more than served its original purpose, it can no longer be justified in its current use and form. Therefore, regretfully the removal of the existing structure will best suit the redevelopment plans for the Bull Croft.”

The planning application, which also seeks permission to demolish the rec rooms playground and fencing, is now in the public consultation period.

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Rrsidents of Wallingford can have their say until Wednesday, February 5.

The building was constructed in the early 1940s as a temporary structure and was used as an Army recreational hut in the Second World War.

Due to the age of the building, the council has acknowledged that it does have historical significance to the town.

The Rainbow Pre-School had been using the recreational rooms since 1974, but it and the other tenants of the building were forced to go and find new premises ahead of the proposed demolition.

In November 2018 before finding a new base, pre-school manager Sheila Millett said: “This has left families feeling very anxious because we could end up homeless.

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“The building is 77 years old and is in a bit of a state but it is our home and we don’t want to let families down. This isn’t just affecting us, it’s the CAB, food bank and the bellringers’ group who use it as well.”

Parents from the pre-school were alarmed by the proposals back in 2018.

One said: “This will have a dramatic effect on staff, children and parents. There are not enough spaces at other childcare providers to cover the 50 or so places Rainbow offers, and with new developments being built in Wallingford it’s not clear what the council expect working parents to do about childcare.”

The council has commissioned LAPD to ' look at concept studies for a replacement community building on the Bull Croft site to consolidate existing uses on the park', but the planning agency said this was still in development.