Pre-school and community groups may need new home if Elm Park's Carrie's Hall is demolished
PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:09 05 May 2017
A community hall which has been home to a pre-school, clubs and exercise classes for almost 60 years is being threatened with demolition.
Carrie’s Hall, Maybank Avenue, has been at the heart of the Elm Park community for decades.
A decision will be made on Monday by Havering Council on whether to approve a planning application to knock down the hall and build four two-storey houses in its wake.
The proposal also includes private gardens for each house and a communal car park.
Niki Monk, owner of Phoenix Pre-school which has been based at Carrie’s Hall since 2010, says she is concerned what this will mean for her business.
She said: “We are all worried what is going to happen.
“We have never struggled with numbers and families often don’t just take one, but all of their children, to us.
“This is our livelihood but I think this would be a big loss for residents.”
The hall and the surrounding land was donated by founder of the Round Table, Louis Marchesi, in 1958 to be used by the community.
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 faces the risk of development.
Carrie’s Hall is home to groups including WeightWatchers, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, as well as pilates, zumba and yoga classes to name a few.
Jackie Walsh, who has been living in the area for 38 years, said: “I believe that the closure and demolition of this hall will have a serious detrimental effect on the immediate and surrounding community of Elm Park and beyond.
“Community halls provide important facilities in which people can meet and interact.
“They need to be close to places where people live to serve local communities. If this facility is lost, it will be almost impossible to replace and as a result, the local community will lose an accessible facility.”
Find out what the council decides by going to www.romfordrecorder.co.uk on Tuesday.