PLANS to replace a Hampshire cricket pavilion badly damaged in an arson attack have been approved.

Paultons Cricket Club has been given the go-ahead to demolish the fire-ravaged building at Whitemoor Lane, Ower, and build a new facility on the same site.

In January last year, a van was driven onto the pitch and set ablaze beside the existing pavilion.

Crews from four fire stations, Eastleigh, Redbridge, Romsey, and St Mary’s, arrived to find half the building engulfed in flames. The blaze destroyed a changing area and a room with a pool table.

Now a £630,000 scheme to replace the clubhouse has been given the green light by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

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Hampshire Chronicle: Paultons Cricket Club was targeted by arsonists in January 2022Paultons Cricket Club was targeted by arsonists in January 2022 (Image: Paultons Cricket Club)

An NPA report said: "Paultons Cricket Club is a well-established facility with the original pavilion having been permitted in 1980.

"The building has recently suffered from extensive fire damage and the western end has had to be demolished.

"The application seeks consent to replace the building in its entirety, enabling the provision of improved facilities for players and visitors.

"In addition it is proposed to create two more hard-surfaced parking spaces to improve access for the less abled.

"The replacement building is to be located on substantially the same footprint as the existing, and is well within the site boundary.

"The building is not significantly larger and would contain the same facilities in terms of changing rooms, toilets, bar, club/function room and storage, though the layout has been rationalised to improve the accommodation for home and visiting teams.

"It is not considered the proposals would alter or materially increase the level of activity on the site."

READ MORE: Paultons Cricket Club awarded grant towards cost of replacing arson-hit pavilion

Hampshire Chronicle: Plans for a new pavilion at Paultons Cricket Club have been given the green lightPlans for a new pavilion at Paultons Cricket Club have been given the green light (Image: New Forest Architectural Services)

Summing up, the report said the proposed development would not result in an unacceptable increase in activity on the site, adding: "It can be accommodated without an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding area."

As reported in the Daily Echo the club has launched a major fundraising campaign to finance the scheme.

A club spokesperson said: "Applications for funding are still going in and we'll have some more fundraising events over the summer.

"We are trying to concentrate our efforts on finding materials and items for the build for either cost price or free, so if there are any local companies that would like to help, please do get in touch.

"We need everything from plasterboard to showers to light fittings."