Council will not take further action to prevent demolition of Gidea Park's Hare Lodge following appeal approval
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 December 2017
Romford's MP, Havering Council and residents remain determined to prevent a period building from being demolished, following an approved appeal to knock it down.
It has been a decade-long battle to keep Hare Lodge, in Upper Brentwood Road, Gidea Park, but following an inspector’s decision for it to be destroyed, it appears the fight could be over.
Havering Council has been approached by many since the Recorder reported the decision, asking for help in stopping the building from being destroyed.
But in a letter addressed to Romford MP Andrew Rosindell, cabinet member for housing Councillor Damian White, and cabinet member for culture and community engagement Councillor Melvin Wallace, chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert says there is “no further action” that the local authority can take.
Mr Rosindell said: “I am wholly opposed to knocking down Hare Lodge, it is a slippery slope and if we set the precedent of demolishing these buildings of character in the area, then I fear we will lose many more over time.
“We are all on the same side but it is a tricky situation, because there has got to be some legal grounds for the decision to be appealed and the council doesn’t want to waste taxpayers’ money if there isn’t a chance of getting it overturned.
“We have been fighting to keep Hare Lodge for many years and we will continue to do so.”
The development proposed is to demolish the existing building, to make way for four one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments with communal amenity space and on-site parking.
The application, submitted in May by Haverbridge Homes, was refused a few months later but following the appeal, planning permission has been granted for Hare Lodge, which is part of the Gidea Park Special Character Area (GPSCA), to be destroyed.
Despite the hurdles to protecting the building, council leader Councillor Roger Ramsey, says the local authority will continue to do the best they can.
He said: “We always aim to protect the character of the local area and have obtained legal advice.
“We have also requested an urgent second legal opinion to be completely satisfied that there is nothing that the council can do to pursue the matter.”