Hackney tenants warn of ‘irreversible consequences’ of community hall demolition
PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:56 24 June 2020
Residents on a Hackney estate have warned of “serious and irreversible consequences” if their community hall is demolished.
Tenants on Frampton Park Estate recently wrote to all Hackney councillors, and Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier, to caution that the loss of the hall could exacerbate inequality in the community.
The hall is one of four sites on the estate earmarked as part of the construction of over 100 homes, around two thirds of which are planned to be social rent or shared ownership and prioritised for families already living there.
Hackney Quest has occupied the hall for six years in a no-rent arrangement with Young Hackney.
READ MORE: Plans to build 235 homes on Frampton Park and De Beauvoir Estates unveiled
READ MORE: Don’t knock down our community hall to build homes, say Frampton Park Estate campaigners
It is understood that residents offered an alternative to the demolition of the hall – a renovation with a low-rise block of 100 per cent social housing behind it, paid for by the private sale of flats on the site of the former Frampton Arms and Lyttelton House.
In 2019, there were 147 families at Frampton Park on the waiting list for a housing transfer, including 22 families in the ‘urgent’ band.
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The council is also planning a “major investment” in the estate’s other community facilities, including the nearby Elsdale hall.
Torren Lewis, the tenants’ association’s vice chair, said: “The council has not been clear and transparent to the residents with its decision and is failing to include the irreplaceable services provided by Hackney Quest and Young Hackney who occupied the ground floor of the hall for more than 20 years in its planning or consultation.”
He asked the council to reconsider and reverse the decision to demolish the hall and refer all planning decisions which involve community services at risk to an independent body.
Cllr Clare Joseph said: “This hall was built for the community and it belongs to the community – it is not right for the council to confiscate it in this way.
“There is no suggestion that there is anything wrong with the building’s structure so why has it been selected for demolition? Young people need spaces like this now more than ever.”
Hackney mayor Philip Glanville said he has met with Mr Lewis personally to discuss the plans.
“Since that meeting we continue to develop plans to enhance community provision on the estate and are excited to hear new ideas coming forward from the TRA.”
He continued: “A planning application will only be submitted once we have continued to work with residents to develop the right proposals for the Frampton Park Estate, at which point the planning sub-committee will fully take into account any views made on the application’s planning considerations.”
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