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Fury over town hall build

PUBLISHED: 12:15 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:17 25 August 2010

A TOWN hall is to be transformed into a restaurant and flats despite dozens of objectors' letters.

A TOWN hall is to be transformed into a restaurant and flats despite dozens of objectors' letters.

Bexley council's planning committee unanimously approved overhauling Crayford Town Hall, in Crayford Road, Crayford, last Thursday.

The plans, put forward by regeneration compnay HFHA Group Ltd, include demolishing the library to make way for a community centre and 187 flats, including 14 in the town hall, which will host a 150-seat restaurant.

Objections were made by Crayford Community and Business Forum and two other residents' associations.

Members of Crayford Community and Business Forum slammed the council for allowing the town hall to fall into disrepair before claiming it suffered from lack of demand.

Members were frustrated that the site's 500-seat theatre and stage will be lost.

A message on the forum's website read: "The council has previously given assurances that the Town Hall is safe in their hands. What they mean is that the facade will remain for you to look at as you walk past."

A further 79 letters of objection were sent, generally opposing the transformation of the town hall, built in 1915, but supporting the surrounding development.

Councillor John Waters, cabinet member for regeneration and housing said: "The proposed scheme will be another key addition to the regeneration and revitalisation of Crayford town centre for the benefit of residents. I do not accept that the council has allowed the Town Hall building to fall into disrepair and I have kept my promise that the building will be saved. It will not be demolished. Instead, the Town Hall and the whole site is going to be revitalised."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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