Haringey Council are currently seeking to dispose of Hornsey Town Hall to developers. They will do this by putting Hornsey Town Hall, the Square and the surrounding land out for tender in the next few weeks, and expect the process to be completed by Spring 2016. Time is short for a community response.
As you know the continued use of the Town Hall for small businesses is threatened, as the block currently being used as workshops has planning permission for development as flats. However, Haringey has suggested that a local umbrella group could make a credible case for local use and therefore manage or administer HTH on a long term basis, and that this may be an attractive solution to bidding developers.
If we can form a powerful alliance of community groups, creative organisations, start-up enterprises and small businesses under one banner a Town Hall that promotes local enterprise and reflects the wishes of the local community may still be possible. Are you interested in such a community project, and can you help?
This is a period of great uncertainty, because we have no idea who will bid and what proposals will come forward for the Town Hall itself. In their market research Haringey have identified vague interest from across the board – hotels, retail, education, and the possibility of replacing most of the eastern part of the building (the useful bit with manageable spaces) itself with residential development. There is still a stipulation in place that ‘community use and access’ forms part of any project, but we don’t know what that will be – and it may be as little as a cafe, gym, or occasional ‘tours of the building’.
We hope to get as many of you interested in the project as we can – though at this exploratory stage no more than an indication of interest is necessary (anyone who wishes to become more deeply involved in the process is very welcome). If we wish to make a decent initial pitch to developers, we need to move quickly.