Suburb's des res may not be everyone's cup of tea

Your article (Sale of Tea House deals blow to Suburb s history, H&H December 18) highlights how far the HGS Institute has gone from being a leading figure in Central Square to a seller of premises which up to now have provided essential services to the co

Your article (Sale of Tea House deals blow to Suburb's history, H&H December 18) highlights how far the HGS Institute has gone from being a leading figure in Central Square to a seller of premises which up to now have provided essential services to the community.

One can understand their need to sell to support themselves in their new premises away from the Suburb, and their disappointment at being ousted from the Institute building by governors of the Henrietta Barnett Girls School.

But Institute should have given the likes of the Residents Association a chance to purchase the building for community use. Or one of the mega rich living in the Suburb could have donated the building for community use.

If this is to become a residence (and I see no reason why the Trust should change the conditions of the present lease to allow such a change) then the owner might later be surprised how much their open aspect will be affected by the 30-metre long by six metre high wall, built along the edge of the site, for the new two-storey extension to the Institute site. This was pushed through for planning permission to both Barnet Council and the trust after presentation to a mere 12 residents, under the threat that a government grant of millions might be withdrawn if early approval was not given.


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The classrooms behind this wall are for music and will therefore, in the summer, with windows open, supply a cacophony of sound for the Tea House residents. They will also have to provide continued access for the public to use the Gilbert Scott public telephone kiosk.

Perhaps bearing these facts in mind, LAG Capital Projects might like to sell the building on for what it should provide - community use.

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Ivor Hall (Architect)

Erskine Hill, NW11

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