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SAVE OUR SPACE: Croxley’s senior residents oppose demolition of beloved community centre (VIDEO)

 Published on: 15th March 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

Members of the Welcome Club in Croxley are devastated to hear that Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) still plans to demolish their beloved community centre.

The Red Cross Building on Barton Way was built by TRDC in 1966 with significant donations made by residents to meet a shortfall in funding. Until 2019, the building was leased to the British Red Cross when the charity decided to cease hiring community centres as a matter of national policy.

According to a TRDC spokesperson, the district council now intends to demolish the building and construct a new edifice “incorporating community space, social housing for rent and car parking”.

However, residents and members of Croxley Green Parish Council (CGPC) argue that councillors at TRDC fail to grasp the importance of the existing community space for a plethora of local groups.

When the Red Cross stated its intentions to cease the leasehold in 2019*, the many clubs and groups using the building were forced to draw their activities to a close. The only club left is the Welcome Club, which offers senior residents of Croxley and beyond the chance to dance and share a slice of cake.

CGPC’s Green councillors introduced RickyNews to Brita Blackwell, who has run the Welcome Club since the 1980s.

Brita said: “The council wants to demolish the building and build a smaller hall which will be much too tiny to host all my wonderful dancers.

“My mother and many other Croxley residents put forward their own money to finance the construction of the Red Cross building in the 1960s. Some families went without their Sunday dinner to put together the funds. The building therefore belongs to the people of Croxley.”

Brita shared her support for an alternative plan put forward by CGPC which would see the building renovated rather than demolished.

A CGPC spokesperson said: “CGPC has formally expressed an interest to purchase the Red Cross Centre from Three Rivers District Council following the surrender of the lease from the British Red Cross. CGPC would ensure the hall re-opens for wider community use and utilise the centre as a base for the Parish Council offices.”

Meanwhile, a press release from TRDC from the end of February confirms intentions to “redevelop the Red Cross site with the aim of providing nine social affordable family homes […] and a community space on the ground-floor.”

On March 6, a TRDC spokesperson added: “The council received an expression of interest on 31 January 2024 from Croxley Green Parish Council indicating an interest in purchasing the Red Cross Building. As of yet, the parish council has not submitted a formal offer for the purchase of the building.”

*This article has been amended to state that the Red Cross declared that it would end its leasehold in 2019. A previous version suggested that the leasehold had already been ended.

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  1. Anita G March 15th, 2024, 1:46 pm

    Excellent video – thanks for bringing this to wider attention.

  2. Oscar Conrad March 18th, 2024, 2:43 pm

    The building is used by just one group who are to be rehoused (the article does not mention this). The article also doesn’t mention the Parish want the building primarily as new their offices, not a community space.

    Also the article needs a correction. BRC did not end the lease in 2019. They simply stopped letting groups hire the space as per their national policy. The reason why Welcome Club can keep using the space is because the lease specifically says BRC are required to let Welcome Club use the space, and they are required to rehouse them. The lease was not ended until very recently.

    This topic is being weaponised by a local political party and MyCroxley need to be careful to include all the correct facts.

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