New lease of life for Druitt Hall as residents look set to take over

Bournemouth Echo: TAKE OVER: DHAL directors, from left, Nigel Cook, Elliot Marx, Peter Fenning and George Gregory TAKE OVER: DHAL directors, from left, Nigel Cook, Elliot Marx, Peter Fenning and George Gregory

CHRISTCHURCH council is being asked to approve a recommendation to allow a residents’ group to run Druitt Hall.

Members of the council’s resource committee are being asked to approve a three-year lease for Druitt Hall to be offered to Christchurch Citizens’ Association (CCA).

Cllr Bernie Davis, portfolio holder for community at Christchurch council, said he is pleased the group has made the approach to operate the hall.

“We have always said that we would be happy for a responsible organisation to manage the hall if they believe that they can make a go of it,” he added.

“CCA have told us that they believe they can increase the number of community groups wishing to book the hall. Provided the resource committee agrees to the recommendation, we hope that the CCA will be able to make a success of operating this facility.”

This will be the second lease offered for the hall after Druitt Hall Association Limited (DHAL) decided not to take up the offer in September 2013.

Elliot Marx, one of DHAL’s directors, has been campaigning to save the hall since 2011 and said the council's limit of a three year lease with no prospect of continuity stopped the project in its tracks. She added: “I’m very pleased to hear that the council may grant the CCA a lease to run the current Druitt Hall for three years and wish the project every success.

“This will give current and prospective groups some security. We are certain the facility is needed and that its location will help the High Street, the town centre and most of all Christchurch residents and community groups which desperately need affordable meeting space.”

CCA chairman Nigel Cook said: “CCA are grateful to everyone who has contributed so much effort in the hope of securing Druitt Hall’s future for the next three years.”

The resources committee meeting, being held tomorrow, will see members being asked to agree to the three-year lease as well as a sub-lease to allow refurbishment work.

Comments (8)

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7:58am Tue 17 Jun 14

billy bumble says...

I would love to see this place pulled down

I don't see what the fuss is about

It is a dirty , run down , ugly prefab of ZERO architectural and aesthetic merit, and of very little historical significance

Anything would be preferable to this building

Come on Council - knock it down and put a blue plaque somewhere
I would love to see this place pulled down I don't see what the fuss is about It is a dirty , run down , ugly prefab of ZERO architectural and aesthetic merit, and of very little historical significance Anything would be preferable to this building Come on Council - knock it down and put a blue plaque somewhere billy bumble
  • Score: -19

9:40am Tue 17 Jun 14

breamoreboy says...

Best of luck to them :-) I'm been doing a little voluntary work at the Mudeford Wood Community Centre and have seen first hand the sheer hard graft that the trustees and other volunteers have to put in to make the place a success.
Best of luck to them :-) I'm been doing a little voluntary work at the Mudeford Wood Community Centre and have seen first hand the sheer hard graft that the trustees and other volunteers have to put in to make the place a success. breamoreboy
  • Score: 14

9:47am Tue 17 Jun 14

breamoreboy says...

billy bumble wrote:
I would love to see this place pulled down

I don't see what the fuss is about

It is a dirty , run down , ugly prefab of ZERO architectural and aesthetic merit, and of very little historical significance

Anything would be preferable to this building

Come on Council - knock it down and put a blue plaque somewhere
I agree about the current building, but once it's been flattened it should be replaced by something that'll take pride of place in the town, something of which the citizens of Christchurch can be proud.
[quote][p][bold]billy bumble[/bold] wrote: I would love to see this place pulled down I don't see what the fuss is about It is a dirty , run down , ugly prefab of ZERO architectural and aesthetic merit, and of very little historical significance Anything would be preferable to this building Come on Council - knock it down and put a blue plaque somewhere[/p][/quote]I agree about the current building, but once it's been flattened it should be replaced by something that'll take pride of place in the town, something of which the citizens of Christchurch can be proud. breamoreboy
  • Score: 1

9:49am Tue 17 Jun 14

skydriver says...

billy bumble wrote:
I would love to see this place pulled down

I don't see what the fuss is about

It is a dirty , run down , ugly prefab of ZERO architectural and aesthetic merit, and of very little historical significance

Anything would be preferable to this building

Come on Council - knock it down and put a blue plaque somewhere
Yes it is dirty and run down, and because the council hasn't maintained it for many years, let's hope you will not ever need to use such a worthwhile place for some folk.
Clearly your views are not that of many in the area.
[quote][p][bold]billy bumble[/bold] wrote: I would love to see this place pulled down I don't see what the fuss is about It is a dirty , run down , ugly prefab of ZERO architectural and aesthetic merit, and of very little historical significance Anything would be preferable to this building Come on Council - knock it down and put a blue plaque somewhere[/p][/quote]Yes it is dirty and run down, and because the council hasn't maintained it for many years, let's hope you will not ever need to use such a worthwhile place for some folk. Clearly your views are not that of many in the area. skydriver
  • Score: 13

10:01am Tue 17 Jun 14

Lucky Rich says...

It should be restored to original spec with just enough updates to make it accessible to all & user friendly ,its quirky old buildings like this that give whats left of the old town a bit of character ,
It should be restored to original spec with just enough updates to make it accessible to all & user friendly ,its quirky old buildings like this that give whats left of the old town a bit of character , Lucky Rich
  • Score: 17

10:57am Tue 17 Jun 14

speedy231278 says...

I went into this building during the recent food festival. I have to say it looks very tired and like it will probably fall into a heap at any moment. Presumably it is deliberate neglect by the council so that they can have a handy excuse to close it, and sell the land to a developer for a nice little earner, like everything else they can possibly manage.
I went into this building during the recent food festival. I have to say it looks very tired and like it will probably fall into a heap at any moment. Presumably it is deliberate neglect by the council so that they can have a handy excuse to close it, and sell the land to a developer for a nice little earner, like everything else they can possibly manage. speedy231278
  • Score: 14

12:27pm Wed 18 Jun 14

agp1337 says...

speedy231278 wrote:
I went into this building during the recent food festival. I have to say it looks very tired and like it will probably fall into a heap at any moment. Presumably it is deliberate neglect by the council so that they can have a handy excuse to close it, and sell the land to a developer for a nice little earner, like everything else they can possibly manage.
Absolutely right. I believe that Dr Somerville Ford was going to replace this, at no cost to the Council, it would be completely funded. It was blocked by Council and a legal action took place, after which Cllr Nottage apologised! I quote: 'I express my sincere regret and apologies to Dr Somerville Ford.' Just look this up, it's all there! The building is indeed tired, looks awful. But there was a solution ...
[quote][p][bold]speedy231278[/bold] wrote: I went into this building during the recent food festival. I have to say it looks very tired and like it will probably fall into a heap at any moment. Presumably it is deliberate neglect by the council so that they can have a handy excuse to close it, and sell the land to a developer for a nice little earner, like everything else they can possibly manage.[/p][/quote]Absolutely right. I believe that Dr Somerville Ford was going to replace this, at no cost to the Council, it would be completely funded. It was blocked by Council and a legal action took place, after which Cllr Nottage apologised! I quote: 'I express my sincere regret and apologies to Dr Somerville Ford.' Just look this up, it's all there! The building is indeed tired, looks awful. But there was a solution ... agp1337
  • Score: 3

11:47am Thu 19 Jun 14

xchresident says...

The state of the building, its lack of adequate cleaning, failure to market it or facilitate bookings, could all be seen as part of a policy of demolition by neglect. But it appears the prospect of the election next year is scaring many councillors.

A cynic might say that the offer of a 3 year lease will give the impression that the Council has listened to the people--but Druitt Hall is in the way of lucrative developments adjacent to the Gardens and so everything possible will be done to enable its demolition in the near future. Developers and Councillors interested in seeing the town centre redesigned to their ' vision' can afford to be patient for a couple of years.
The state of the building, its lack of adequate cleaning, failure to market it or facilitate bookings, could all be seen as part of a policy of demolition by neglect. But it appears the prospect of the election next year is scaring many councillors. A cynic might say that the offer of a 3 year lease will give the impression that the Council has listened to the people--but Druitt Hall is in the way of lucrative developments adjacent to the Gardens and so everything possible will be done to enable its demolition in the near future. Developers and Councillors interested in seeing the town centre redesigned to their ' vision' can afford to be patient for a couple of years. xchresident
  • Score: 1

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