Christchurch rage at hall closure

Christchurch Council votes to close local village hall, despite resistance from local residents.

Christchurch Council has voted to close a local village hall despite resistance from local residents.

Druitt Hall in Christchurch was opened for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and has been in constant use since, with regular users including Age Concern and Christchurch Country Market.

The council originally planned to demolish the hall and rebuild a £1.5 million replacement. These plans have now been halted due to the current economic climate.

At the council meeting, Strategic Director of the East Dorset partnership, Neil Farmer, said: “The partnership has recognised that its previous aspirations for a new community facility in the town are not realistic and these plans are going to be scaled back. The development of a smaller hall is not at this time a priority.”

The Friends of Druitt Hall protest group is concerned that if the hall is knocked down before a replacement is made available, plans to replace it will be lost under the rubble.

The group were disappointed at the rejection of their suggestion to run the hall until it’s closure in March next year. Friends of Druitt hall member, Laura Joy, said: “Amongst the group there are many people who have the skills to work on upgrading the hall, it could become a green project reducing Christchurch’s carbon footprint.”

“Without Druitt Hall there won’t be a non-denominational hall for the community, which is important for many,” she added.

The group are planning to continue with their protest, Ms Joy said: “The council has made a decision that hasn’t taken into account the opinions and views of the residents of Christchurch, this isn’t the end of the story.”

 

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