Calls to preserve the “character” of a 1930s Romford shopping centre have been growing amid plans to split up some stores into smaller premises. 

The Quadrant is already under pressure from the Romford Civic Society to retain its distinctive art deco look following a proposal to divide up three of its shops.  

After its chair called for more detail about the plans, many online want the style of the shopping centre will be maintained if any work is to take place.

Carol Fleming was one of those to say The Quadrant should be kept “as it is”, adding much of the “historical market town” has already gone. 

Tricia Jones meanwhile commented that “Romford has lost a lot of its history and character over the last few decades”, asking the shopping centre to “hang on to the little it has left”. 

Deji Fadahunsi also said The Quadrant “needs to stay as it is”. 

“I love art deco,” he added. “It reminds me of my hometown Tunbridge Wells.” 

Others pushed for a compromise. Diane Vassiliou said: “The shops below could do with improving. Leave the building above alone. Adds character to the area.” 

Christine Flack also commented that while the building should not be changed, “the shops need a shakeup”.

Andrew Curtin, chair of the society, told the Recorder last week: “The proposed changes may enable The Quadrant to remain viable in the context of new shopping requirements.

“However, this is a fine and distinctive 1930s building, and there is not yet enough information for us to judge whether they will be made well and to the benefit of the environment, character and image of Romford.”

In a letter included in applications submitted by The Quadrant’s agent, Upp, it said splitting up the shops would enable it to “promote a wider retail offer and choice to consumers”.  

A Havering Council spokesperson has since said no planning application is necessary, and that it would be asking the applicant to withdraw the submissions. 

Cllr David Taylor, a St Edwards ward councillor, has also spoken publicly about the proposals, saying: "I'm pleased to see that there is continued interest in investing in Romford. However, we must ensure we preserve our town's character.   

“The Quadrant arcade is a beautiful piece of art-deco architecture. Any application for the centre should clearly outline how it will preserve its look."