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Concern old town hall could be lost to community
A PLAN to re-open a landmark historic building for community use is in serious doubt after claims no viable proposals have been put forward.
The future of the old Town Hall, in The Ridgeway, Chingford, is uncertain after being bought bought last year by property developer Fairview New Homes, which is seeking permission to build 88 flats in the surrounding area.
But a condition of approval is that the former town hall, built in 1929, must not be demolished.
Fairview initially said that it could be turned into a doctors' or dentist surgery, but the Guardian understands there is no such offer on the table to take over the building.
Bill Bayliss, 74, of St Egbert's Way, which is next door to the site, is unhappy his proposal to create an arts and community space did not win support from councillors and residents.
He said: "It's one of Chingford's iconic buildings but it's a real pity it won't be open to the public.
"It's just another situation where essentially a historic building becomes apartments."
Fairview encouraged bids from the public to open the town hall to the community, but there are concerns over the costs involved.
Cllr Roy Berg, who represents Endlebury ward, said: "It's a real loss. Unfortunately, I can see it going as VIP flats.
"It's a very tough situation because we can't go to the council and ask for a grant.
"The council would not have sold it if they didn't need the money in the first place." Fairview declined to comment.
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