More historic buildings need local listing, say Chadwell Heath campaigners

Mayfair venue. Photo: CHSRA

Chadwell Heath South Residents Association want to see buildings such as the former Embassy Cinema, now the Mayfair Venue, added to the local list - Credit: CHSRA

Heritage campaigners in Chadwell Heath are calling for Redbridge’s local list of historic buildings to be updated. 

Chadwell ward has no statutory or locally-listed buildings, but the Chadwell Heath South Residents Association (CHSRA) say there are many undesignated heritage assets worthy of protection in the neighbourhood. 

They claim that there have been no new listings in Redbridge for more than a decade and have been pushing for a review of the local list since 2017. 

The group said it was told in March by Redbridge Council that resources were focused elsewhere and that the possibility of a review would be examined later in the spring. 

When it asked again recently, the group said it was told the list would be reviewed in summer 2022. 

CHSRA chair Rama Muraleetharan said: “It just goes on and on and on, and in the meantime, many buildings, monuments and places of interest aren’t protected.” 

He said that the south-east of the borough had lost distinctive landmarks such as St Chad’s Well and the Three Windmills, and claimed that the area had been far better protected on the other side of the boundary in Barking and Dagenham. 

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Local lists formally identify heritage value, which can be taken into account in planning applications, but Rama says they also “start a conversation” for buildings worthy of statutory listings, which are otherwise left “to the whim of developers or business owners.”

One building the group hopes to see locally listed is the former Embassy cinema, an art deco building in High Road now run as the Mayfair wedding and events venue.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said that residents would have the opportunity to nominate new buildings for consideration to be listed as part of a forthcoming review of the Local Plan. 

This is due to begin in 2022, subject to cabinet approval. 

They added: “We are extremely proud of the many buildings of historic or architectural interest across the borough.” 

Rama said: “I really hope that this time we push forward and actually get it done. 

“Local lists play an essential role - they reinforce the sense of local character and add to the distinctiveness of the neighbourhood. If you lose all of that, once it’s gone, it’s gone.”