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'Unacceptable' Catford plan to knock down elderly community centre for 60 flats
Catford residents hit out at 'unacceptable' plan to knock down elderly community centre for 60 flats at Hazelhurst Court. Pictured L-R Michael Concannon, Eileen Widdows, Frank Scott, Tony Snooks & Mick Jones
A group of Catford residents have hit out at "unacceptable" plans to knock down a community centre for older people and build around 60 flats.
The proposal is to build extra housing space on the site of Hazelhurst Court, which is currently a residential space for people aged 55 years plus and run by Phoenix Community Housing Association.
Fears have been voiced that the plans would "destroy" a green space and community centre, leaving some older people "lonely" at the site in Beckenham Hill Road.
Construction worker Frank Scott, who lives in Hazelhurst Court, said: "They are putting extensions on a beautiful area.
"They are going to tear down big old trees.
"It is just penny pinching, they want to destroy it."
The father-of-three said: "They are going to demolish the community centre to do that and Phoenix don’t care.
"It means closing the doors to the 55 plus community. Some of them are lonely as it is."
The grandfather-of-six says the plans would change the nature of the area which was designed for older people who often waited two years to get a place.
He added: "We don’t need a mini-estate and that is what they are trying to make.
"It is unacceptable."
The residents say there is lots of other space in Lewisham to build housing which is not on an area already used for residential properties.
But a Phoenix Community Housing Association spokesman says the plan to build Mayor of London-funded Extra Care housing would include communal facilities designed for the care of older people.
He said: "There’s a real shortage of this kind of housing both in Lewisham and across London as a whole, and we are pleased that Phoenix can help address this issue.
"We believe Hazelhurst Court is an ideal location for these new homes and facilities."
He added: "We are a resident-owned and led organisation and our resident’s views are extremely important to us.
"We have already held a number of consultation events with the residents of Hazelhurst Court where we listened to their opinions and considered their needs.
"Our architects have used these meetings to develop and refine design proposals for both the new homes and community facilities and we will continue to meet with residents to discuss our ideas in preparation for a planning application later this year."
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