New powers to tackle Pavilion Gardens disorder?

The Pavilion Gardens Octagon and replacement marquee
The Pavilion Gardens Octagon and replacement marquee

It could soon be an offence to enter certain parts of Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens at night and drink alcohol, smoke or swear, as the council attempts to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

High Peak borough councillors will meet today (Thursday) to discuss introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order for the Gardens,

It comes after a spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour, and if the order is passed it will be in place for three years.

Borough councillor Julie McCabe, the executive member for housing said: “The activities that have taken place in the Pavilion Gardens car park, the bandstand and enclosed children’s play areas have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the area.”

Executive councillors are expected to approve the order, which would prohibit entering the covered, lower level of the Pavilion Gardens car park (also known as the Undercroft) at any time after the car park’s official closure time.

Loitering in the Pavilion Gardens car park (upper or lower levels) and the Don Redfern Memorial Bandstand, including the steps, would also not be allowed.

It would also crack down on people loitering in the toddler play area (including the adjacent swings and roundabout), but would not apply to those supervising children under the age of seven who are using the facilities.

Coun McCabe said there would be no riding of bicycles or smoking in the toddler play area, and it would also prohibit dogs from entering the enclosed area.

Anyone using foul or abusive language, or consuming alcohol or being in the possession of alcohol in an unsealed container, in the car park, bandstand and the play area would be in breach of the order. It also contains greater powers for tackling other anti-social acts in the car park, such as drifting.

A spokesperson for The Friends of Pavilion Gardens said: “Members consider this order would help to control the takeover after dark by gangs of mainly youths up to 30 strong who have caused so much damage in the gardens.”

Anyone who is guilty of an offence under the new order would be liable for a fine.

Enforcement of the Public Spaces Protection Order would largely be carried out by Derbyshire Constabulary - which is supporting the move - through the issue of fixed penalty notices.

The council may become involved in the prosecution of individuals for any breaches of the order, where a fixed penalty notice was not an appropriate response.