Parents fight Kidzmania play centre demolition

Kids Mania play centre which could be turned into flats

Kids Mania play centre which could be turned into flats - Credit: Archant

Parents are opposing plans to turn a children’s soft indoor play centre in Hackney into a block of flats.

The owners of the building which houses Kidzmania in Powell Road, Lower Clapton, say the large former warehouse is in a poor state of repair, and needs updating.

They want to demolish the building and replace it with a new and improved community facility over ground and part basement levels, together with some new private and affordable flats over three upper floors.

In a letter they said: “In our view its commercial appearance is a blemish on the streetscene. Turning its back on the street, it presents a blank brick elevation on to Powell Road.”

A draft scheme has been prepared by Nicholas Taylor and Associates, which has been discussed with planners at Hackney


Before submitting a planning application to the council they held a consultation at BSIx on Tuesday night asking for suggestions on how to improve the scheme.

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But parents who use the play centre are concerned at its loss, and have started a petition to retain it.

Alexandra Devine, who has two daughters, aged three years and seven months, said: “Kidzmania is a godsend during bad weather when you don’t want your kids cooped up at home but can’t go to the park.

“It’s a great asset to the neighborhood, especially since most families live in small flats without much space for play.”

Mother-of-two, Anne Soward, added:

“There are plenty of parents at my eldest daughter’s school who have no garden at all, who live on the estates around here, with three or more children, who absolutely depend on Kidzmania, particularly on cold, wet winter days, to let their children run off steam.

“We need this space. We do not need luxury flats. Who is going to benefit from luxury flats?”