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Demolition team moves in on old Northwood Dining Club
DEMOLITION teams finally arrived at the site of the old Northwood Dining Club after 14 years of heated negotiations over its future.
Work began on knocking down the derelict hall, which was a cinema before it became a social club for older people, in High Street, Northwood, on Monday.
It will be replaced with a new community centre and eight flats.
Developers Howarth Homes and charity The Fassnidge Memorial Trust hatched plans to replace the now delapidated building with a new centre in 1997, after the trust bought the site from from Hillingdon council.
After years of wrangling - and at least five rejections from the council's planning committee - they got the go ahead for their plans earlier this year.
They hope to begin work on the new social hub - named the Kate Fassnidge Community Hall - in September but not before members of the memorial trust gathered for the first swing of the demolition hammer.
Trustee Andrew Retter - also a councillor for Northwood Hills - said the original structure of the run-down hall had been demolished and renovated over the years and its demolition came as a result of years of negotiation.
He said: "I have the pleasure in swinging this hammer to start the demolition of a building that has been such an eye sore to the people of Northwood.
"The trustees are pleased to be working with Howarth Homes to achieve a wonderful new facility for the community and are looking forward to the day it opens."
Previous applications for the development had seen residents voicing concerns about it overlooking their homes, as well as creating traffic problems, and the council had deemed that it would detract from other properties in the area.
But developers believe the latest plans meet the community's needs.
Adam Howarth, of Howarth Homes, said "We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Fassnidge Trust and look forward to providing the local community with a new facility as well as some much needed apartments."
The Fassnidge Memorial Trust was set up in memory of Kate Fassnidge, a wealthy landowner who along with her husband left Fassnidge Park and several properties in Uxbridge to Hillingdon Council.
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