Dunmow Youth Centre, which was temporarily closed in January due to subsidence, is now being partially boarded up by Essex County Council.

The centre has been the subject of an ongoing campaign by Dunmow Youth Club, who want to save the building for community use.

In an update last week, an Essex County Council spokesperson said: "A decision was made to temporarily close the building to ensure the safety of all that use it.

"While the closure has taken place, alternative premises have been offered to the services that use the site.

"The council is continuing to explore options for the site, no decisions have been made yet.

"The safety of residents is paramount and this has been at the forefront of our decision to temporarily close the site.

"The site will soon be partially boarded for safety reasons and to ensure no unauthorised access occurs.

"We are committed to supporting young people and families across the county, including in Great Dunmow. We fully intend to continue to deliver youth services in the town.

"We will continue to work with partners to ensure the alternative provisions they are using are suitable for their needs."

The building has been used as a youth centre since 1959, as well as providing a base for numerous other groups.

The youth club has been campaigning for Essex County Council to transfer the site into the hands of the town council, out of a fear that the county council is hoping the subsidence will get worse so they can sell the building to developers.

Youth club team leader Jeremy Free explained that the youth club and other groups who use the site were told they were unable to use the building on return in January due to it being deemed unsafe, after four years of waiting for the council to repair subsidence.


He added that the alternative premises offered by the county council were not fit for purpose, and they are instead running the youth club from the car park.

Jeremy said: "Now without any concern for the young people or the community, they are threatening to close our youth club by partially boarding and securing the car park so we cannot access our equipment or that area for the young people to use.

"If the area is so unsafe that it needs to be boarded up and not even have access to the car park, why was this not done when the survey took place in December 2022?

"The safety of all people attending the youth club is of course, paramount, but we would not be using that area if we thought there was any risk."

"To ask us to remove all our equipment and resources from the premises is also questionable.

"Dunmow Town Council are in the process of buying the building as a community transfer asset, so why would we have to move our equipment and why would they secure the area if we would be using the building in the future?"