Mecca Bingo Hornchurch demolition halted by Havering Council
PUBLISHED: 11:51 02 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:59 02 October 2015
A dramatic turn of events has seen the demolition of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch halted by Havering Council.
An Article 4 Direction has been served on the owners Lidl to remove their development rights, meaning they will need planning permission before tearing down the 1930s Tower building in High Street.
Should the supermarket chain still wish to demolish the landmark, which was not previously protected, council officers will be able to consider its heritage value.
The Article 4 direction will be in place for six months, and in the meantime, Historic England has received formal requests from the Cinema Theatre Association and a resident that the building be given listed status.
Historic England will assess the heritage value and The Department of Media, Culture and Sport will confirm whether or not the building will be listed. The Article 4 will give them time to make a decision.
Cllr Osman Dervish, cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “We know many residents had expressed concern about the possibility of this building being demolished after being a feature of the High Street for over 80 years.
“That is why we have taken this action to protect it and provide a genuine opportunity to consider its heritage and give enough time for the building to be listed if that’s what Historic England decides to do.”
The building was constructed in 1934 as the Towers Cinema and the exterior and interior have remained largely intact.
More information about planning can be found at havering.gov.uk/planning.