Beloved community hall in Blackfen to close with 'no consultation', according to angry parents (From News Shopper)
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Beloved community hall in Blackfen to close with 'no consultation', according to angry parents
A beloved community hall in Blackfen is going to close after "no consultation", according to angry parents.
The Good Shepherd Playgroup is held at the Good Shepherd Church building in Blackfen Road.
Owner Jo Havering was recently forced to write to parents confirming it will shut in July.
The Holy Redeemer Church Lamorbey in Days Lane, which owns the hall, carried out a feasibility study of its assets last year and it's believed an offer has been made to buy the hall.
The hall is used by the playgroup four days a week, and by a weekly zumba class, children's ballet classes, a Slimming World group, a WI club and for birthday and christening celebrations.
Mrs Havering described the impending closure of the hall as "devastating" and "very emotional".
Her letter to parents said: "The sale of the hall creates considerable uncertainty for all those providing and accessing services.
"The nature of my business depends on the ability to forward plan for the following academic year; clearly this is not possible in the current situation."
Angry mum Alice Brand, 38, of Gordon Road, Blackfen told News Shopper: "This is Jo's livelihood and a church is taking that away.
"There has been no consultation.
"This is a fantastic community facility and there is not another hall we could take our children to within walking distance."
Mrs Havering told News Shopper she had let her parents know "as soon as possible" and was looking for a new hall but had not yet been successful in her search.
Parents said the church should have approached the groups using the hall to see if they could purchase the site.
A planning application for six flats was approved on July 17 last year for the site of a current bungalow at 148 Blackfen Road which is next door to the hall.
The site is also believed to be owned by the Holy Redeemer Church.
The church declined to comment.
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