Don’t knock down our community hall to build homes, say Frampton Park Estate campaigners

How the first phase of the new development will look.

How the first phase of the new development will look. - Credit: Archant

Tenants on the Frampton Park Estate are preparing for a battle with the council over its plans to demolish a community hall and replace it with flats.

The estate off Well Street is one of 18 across Hackney undergoing a major redevelopment under town hall plans to build 2,000 homes by 2022 to reduce the 13,000-strong housing list.

More than 100 new homes are planned to be built on four sites of “underused land” - one of which is the Frampton Park Community Hall.

The first two sites, the old Frampton Arms pub and Lyttleon House, are already underway, and proposals to build on Tradescant House and the community hall will soon be consulted on formally.

But some people on the estate have already hit out at the plans because they want the hall to be kept for use by community groups and for private functions.

Torren Lewis, 43, lives in Woolridge House, 14 metres from the hall, and says it is only now underused because the council has stopped people using it.

“Residents are against this,” he said. “They are saying they hall is underused, it was never underused before but they have made it underused.

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“I’ve tried to book it for a christening and a meeting and they’ve said no. There’s a lot of resentment about it. They are taking away a masive community service that oculd keep all the kids off the street.”

From this month the hall will only be used three-and-a-half hours a week. The council has banned it from being hired for parties due to noise complaints, but says it can still be hired out for other events and has denied a borough-wide rent increase three years ago has forced any to stop using it.

Youth charity Hackney Quest used to use the hall but after a temporary agreement with the council ended it has moved elsewhere on the estate.

Mayor Phil Glanville said: “I’m proud Hackney Council is building nearly 2,000 new homes by 2022 despite receiving very little government funding.

“Our housebuilding programmes on the Frampton Park Estate could deliver more than 100 new homes across four sites – with the vast majority for genuinely affordable council social rent and shared ownership.

“Our proposals to redevelop the current Frampton Park Community Hall are at a relatively early stage, and we’ll be starting detailed consultation work with local people soon on what new homes and better community spaces could look like – including improvements to the two other community halls on the estate.”