A lookout station at a beauty spot has suffered thousands of pounds of damage after mindless vandals went on the rampage.

The £40,000 Saltmarsh Coast Hub, in Maldon’s Promenade Park, has suffered repeated vandalism after opening a year ago to give stunning views across the Blackwater Estuary and Northey Island.

The latest attack saw glass panels on the viewing platform destroyed, leaving just five panes intact.

The panes – costing a whopping £315 each – will now be replaced with railings because the repair bill is too high.

The bottom area of the hub had already been targeted by vandals, sparking calls for security cameras.

Maldon resident Dave Hamilton said: “Nearly all the windows have now been kicked out. Maldon District Council were going to install CCTV, but it is obvious this has not happened.”

The lookout station was a part of the now-stalled Dengie Gateway Project, which was launched in 2015 in a bid to boost visitor numbers by up to 50,000 and bring in £1.8million of revenue.

Maldon District Council previously said it had installed CCTV to overlook the lookout station, but that was also vandalised.

Residents continued to air their frustration about the ongoing destruction.

Nicola Martin said: “There have always been idiots that will not have respect for anything and each time they replace the panels the same idiots will get great pleasure in destroying it again.

“The park rangers cannot be expected to be guarding it round the clock.”

John Guiver added: “A structure like this in an isolated spot was always going to be extremely vulnerable.

“Unfortunately, it was naive to think it would escape the attention of those few who are short-sighted enough to destroy their own environment.”

A council spokesman said: “It is extremely disappointing the glass panels, which enable panoramic views from the hub, have been the target of mindless vandalism. As a result of this we will no longer be replacing the glass panels, which cost around £315 each. Instead an alternative railing system will be installed.”