Goodmayes community hall closes after asbestos found

A community centre has been closed for more than a month over safety fears after inspectors found a catalogue of hazards.

Parkside Community Centre, Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes, was closed on December 6 by council bosses because of a problem with a storage tank, but officers then found evidence of asbestos, and a dangerous roof, stage area and electrical wiring.

The ongoing survey, the results of which are expected early next week, has forced the cancellation of pantomime performances and left user groups struggling to make other arrangements.

Bryan Porter, president of the Ilford Magical Society, which uses the building regularly for meetings, said: “It is extremely inconvenient.

“We don’t really know what is going on, other than there is a building survey going on.

“There are all sorts of rumours about the future.”

“We had to cancel a meeting last month at short notice and we’ve had to cancel another this month.

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“Now we’re looking for an alternative venue for a lecture. We are worried about the future.”

The single storey pebble-dashed building, which has a stage and hosts amateur dramatics, is owned by Redbridge Council and leased to the Parkside Community Association, which is responsible for all maintenance.

In an email to councillors, Gareth Morley, officer for Vision which manages leisure services in the borough, said the association’s committee was “depleted” and had been unable to recruit new members to vacant positions.

He added: “We will support a new committee in their work to get Parkside running once again, however this cannot happen until a clearer position on the condition of the building is received.”

A council spokesman said: “All of the issues posed a significant risk to health and safety so the decision was taken to close the building while a full building survey was carried out.”

She added: “The council will not allow the building to reopen unless it is fit for purpose from a health and safety perspective.

“The outcome will depend on the progress of the building survey.”