New civic HQ given green light for restoration
PLANS to create a new civic centre in Wood Green have been agreed by Haringey Council. Woodside House, currently used as offices and an elderly people s drop-in centre, will be restored and used for council meetings and marriage ceremonies. The house was
PLANS to create a new civic centre in Wood Green have been agreed by Haringey Council.
Woodside House, currently used as offices and an elderly people's drop-in centre, will be restored and used for council meetings and marriage ceremonies.
The house was the headquarters of the old Wood Green Borough Council for more than 50 years until 1958.
At a cabinet meeting on Monday night, council leader Cllr George Meehan said: "The current civic centre is 50 years old and has reached the end of its life.
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"We now have a major opportunity to provide new civic facilities we can all be proud of for years to come.
"Woodside House is in a fantastic setting at the centre of Woodside Park and these plans will restore the house to its former glory as a modern civic centre for local people at the heart of Haringey."
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The current civic centre, which is also in Wood Green, would need more than £5million spent on it to be brought up to standard and reduce running costs.
Proposals for Woodside House include a new extension on the currently underused outbuildings and parking at the back. The new building will not encroach on the park.
But Lib Dem opposition councillors have blasted the plans as a waste of time and taxpayers' money. Members of the charity I Can Care also protested outside the meeting. The charity gives welfare advice and provides computer, yoga and English classes for elderly Asian residents and will be forced to leave its premises at Woodside House under the proposals. The council has promised to find the group new facilities.
Lib Dem leader Cllr Robert Gorrie said: "The council has failed to involve residents in these plans or even consult groups currently using the site.
"I Can Care has invested significant amounts of their own money in the facilities. If the whole project is as sloppy as the initial consultation, it will be yet another Haringey Labour fiasco.
"I'm sure any resident in Haringey could come up with a better use of £12million of their money than building a room for councillors to talk in. Yet Haringey Council has not even considered asking."
Detailed design work will now start. Plans will be on show after the summer and the planning application submitted before the end of the year.