Public invited to critique designs drawn up for new Gants Hill Community Hub at Thursday webinar
PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 October 2020
Residents are invited to give feedback on plans for the new Gants Hill Community Hub at a public webinar this Thursday, October 29.
Hosted by Redbridge Council from 5.30pm, the public session is designed to let people see and critique a set of designs drawn up by the Gants Hill Hub Design Group.
As reported by the Recorder in August, this group is a randomly selected set of 40 residents who — together with council, health, and charity sector stakeholders — have been readying the designs over the past three months.
The project has been led by RCKa Architects, who were appointed by a joint panel of residents and council officers in February.
Designs will now be presented to residents — particularly those from the Aldborough, Barkingside, Clayhall, Cranbrook, Fullwell and Valentines wards — for feedback, after which the brief will revert to the design group for sign-off.
First unveiled in November 2018, plans to revamp the Gants Hill library have been subject to sustained objection, amid concerns over the loss of the current site and a potentially adverse impact on the area’s infrastructure.
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Those criticisms resurfaced when a feasibility study was confirmed for the site in August, at which point campaigners Paul Scott and Andy Walker spoke out.
The former said he feared the proposed plans will have the “wrong type of social impact”, with the latter adding that the changes would lead to “a planned substantial increase in population” which won’t help an “already-stretched” borough.
Redbridge Council specifically addressed those concerns, assuring residents that the new hub will be “focused around a library”, rather than being “just another site for housing development”.
It added that the manner in which the architects were appointed shows its desire to “work with the community to consider all of the options”.
The design group has met online four times since September to assess factors relevant to the proposed new hub, including planning policy, parking, green space, and housing.
With a set of designs now drawn up, council leader councillor Jas Athwal emphasised the importance of “broadening this discussion out to the wider community”.
To attend the webinar click here.
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