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Elm Park residents 'disappointed' as owner of Carrie's Hall submits appeal against refusal to knock it down

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 September 2019

Former users of Carrie's Hall in Elm Park have held several protests over the past few years to stop it from being demolished. Picture: Ken Mears

Former users of Carrie's Hall in Elm Park have held several protests over the past few years to stop it from being demolished. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

A community is "disappointed" that the owner of a community hall still wants to knock it down to build homes.

Last year, the owner of Carrie's Hall, Maybank Avenue, Elm Park, resubmitted a planning application to build two three-bedroom houses and two four-bedroom houses on the land, against the wishes of neighbouring residents.

Havering Council refused the application but the owner is now appealing against the decision.

Jackie Walsh, who has been living in Elm Park for around 40 years, said: "I am disappointed for the local community.

"She [the owner] is looking to demolish the community hall and build four large houses on that small plot.

"Don't be confused, the plot only includes the site of Carries Hall and attached car park, it does not include the green space behind.

"However, I would urge and encourage everyone interested in saving this popular and well used community hall to write in with their objections."

The hall and the surrounding land was donated by Round Table founder Louis Marchesi in 1958 to be used by the community.

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In his memory, the land was called the Louis Marchesi Maybank Open Space.

However, the site was sold off to a private owner and now once again faces the risk of development, having submitted three planning applications.

Carrie's Hall was home to groups including WeightWatchers, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Phoenix Pre-school, as well as pilates, zumba and yoga classes to name a few, before their contracts were no longer renewed in 2017.

This is the third time the owner has tried to demolish the community hall.

The decision on the appeal will be determined by written representations which must be submitted by Tuesday, October 1.

Cllr Barry Mugglestone said: "The owner purchased this as a community hall so it should continue as a community hall for all, not so someone can make loads of money developing the site at the cost to the greater Elm Park community."

Jackie said: "Together as a community we are stronger and can possibly make a difference to the outcome."

Have your say by visiting acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk or email north1@planninginspectorate.gov.uk by.

The Recorder has been unable to get hold of the owner of Carrie's Hall for comment.

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