Promise to keep original character in new building
The intervention of the Romford MP, Andrew Rosindell, has provided light at the end of a long tunnel for the cherished Hare Lodge building in Gidea Park.
The battle to save the building has been ongoing for over a decade and finally came to a bitter end in the autumn last year when an inspector’s decision for it be demolished was not appealed. The original building has now been knocked-down.
At the eleventh hour the MP met with new owner and developer, Jamie Brewis, last Saturday (February 3) to talk about the development of the new Hare Lodge.
During discussions, Mr Brewis was made aware of resident objections to the proposal and the importance of the heritage of the site to locals.
“After many years of campaigning to save the building, I visited the premises, on behalf of local residents, to meet the developer for a frank conversation about protecting our local monuments.
“The sad truth is that the existing building cannot be salvaged, but, the owner has agreed that the new Hare Lodge will rise from the foundations of the old, preserving much of the character and history,” Mr Rosindell said.
New owner Mr Brewis said: “The new building has been designed to sit within the parameters of the site and comply with policies.
“The previous refused applications on the site were poorly designed, were over prescribed densities and did not comply with planning policy. I approached the Gidea Park Civic Society prior to planning application to ask if they would like to be involved in the design, however they did not respond.”
Councillor David Durant, from the Independent Resident Association, has also been campaigning to save Hare Lodge.
He said: “The chances a property speculator would abandon plans to make a killing were always slim, particularly after the council leader had refused to appeal the demolition of Hare Lodge.”
Mr Brewis continued: “Having met with Andrew Rosindell, I was made aware of the detail on the building, which features a hare mural and the possibility of including this in the new Hare Lodge. I will also look to incorporate the name Hare Lodge at the entrance. The new Hare Lodge once built will be an asset to the area.”
The development proposed is to make way for four one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments with communal amenity space and on-site parking.
by FRANCESCA LILLEYSTONE