Chadwell Heath church to knock down hall to build flats in bid to raise £1m for refurbishment
PUBLISHED: 17:05 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:21 11 May 2018
A Chadwell Heath church is planning to demolish its community hall that has been in use for over 50 years and sell the land to raise £1m for a refurbishment including a glass annexe and new coffee shop.
Saint Chads Church in Eric Road owns the community hall a few streets away in Somerville Road and is planning on knocking it down and selling the land to a developer to build houses in its place.
A petition has been set up by residents in opposition to this as they said the hall is “invaluable” to the community.
Children and parents of a pre-school that has been running in the church for more than 30 years have also been forced to find a new home.
Rev Martin Court, 53 - who is the vicar at the church - said that the hall has belonged to the church since 1956 and that the money from selling the land will go towards expanding its current facilities.
He said that there is “no other way” for the church to be able to raise funds for the refurb - which includes a coffee shop, full glass frontage and underfloor heating.
The hall is just too small for the parish according to Rev Court who said: “We don’t really want to do this but there’s no other way to raise the funds.
“We have given all the hall users 12 months notice and told them in June last year that we were planning on demolishing it.”
However plans to tear the hall down has angered some residents.
Marilyn Field, 68, of Brian Road has lived in the area for 48 years and said that the hall will be greatly missed if it is pulled.
She said: “It’s very important that it stays there, everyone in the community uses that hall.
“It’s wrong what the church is doing. We can’t rob Peter to pay Paul.
“We shouldn’t be doing that to fund the church, it already has lots of money.”
Another elderly resident who has lived in the area for nearly 50 years said that she was concerned about the pre-school.
She said: “It is used everyday for the school, where are they going to go? “It is invaluable to the area, and I don’t know what we will do without it.”
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