Disposal of Ex Feltham Community Association Building

This has been debated in the past mainly the plans with which I was strongly and enthusiastically associated to relocate the Skills Centre.  Here is a delegated authority published last week.

Section 2.4 of the report says:

“External consultants were then appointed to examine the future options for the site prior to disposal. They have suggested that the site is suitable for mixed use, residential or commercial development.”

More flats?

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4 Responses to “Disposal of Ex Feltham Community Association Building”

  1. Mark Savage Says:

    Hi Mark

    You well know my own views on what I note you refer to as the “Ex Feltham Community Association Building” and the previous planning committee decisions, so I won’t rehearse those at length, and you’d probably moderate my comments out anyway.

    It’s a pity, though, that while it was a community centre, or “Feltham People’s Centre” for an all too short space of time, you don’t call it what a large number of Feltham people still call it- either “The Feltham Feast” or “The Feltham Hotel”- its original purpose. What a pity that there hasn’t been the visionary thinking in the town, either by council or developers- let alone consultants, of which more shortly, to restore it to hotel and restaurant use. Though obviously the present economic climate does not help- to use it for this purpose again, in what is actually a very pleasant location alongside Feltham’s most undervalued, and unusual resource- the Royal Park of the Longford River, could be a great asset to the town. However, I won’t hold my breath for a purchaser/developer to do that.

    OK, we now have a large hotel in the St Giles, as well as the Travelodge and several smaller b&b type establishments in the town and the Channins Hounslow Hotel. But given both the proximity to Heathrow and ease of rail link to London, Windsor and many other tourist hot spots, a Feltham Hotel restored to its former modest suburban glory, I would contend, could actually do rather well.

    However, dare I also suggest that your post title could suggest that the “Feltham Community Association” itself is an ex-organisation, rather like a deceased parrot. I wasn’t aware that it had ever been formally wound up. If indeed it was, that was surely due in no small part to the unfortunate circumstances in which the FCA were given notice to quit the “Feltham Peoples Centre”.

    The word on the streets, not least on the Feltham Hanworth and Bedfont Appreciation Society of which I presume you are still a member, is that the new Feltham REACH Academy venture may well have the building in their sights. If so, I hope that perhaps they might make some effort to retain the integrity of the buliding’s facade, and as much of the re-developed interior as can be supported by another educational use.

    Leaving aside your own original hopes for the building, I don’t know what feedback you get from your constituents if ever the subject of the building comes up, though strictly speaking of course, I believe it’s not in your ward, i.e. Feltham North, at all, but is at the junction of Hanworth Park, Feltham North and its actual location, Feltham West? But everybody I talk to still admire the building greatly as is, or rather as could be. They do not want it knocked down, indeed not for yet more flats- as I gather was the original hope or intention of Barratt’s- nor for some massively unsuitable intrusion on the townscape as was the original development suggestion for the college.

    What people would still like, and Feltham needs, is a proper facility for all the people of the town, and not- especially now- yet more pounds in the pocket of greedy developers.

    What concerns me rather more though, Councillor Bowen, and I would imagine as a fiscally prudent public servant would you too, is section 2.4 of the report, indeed. Perhaps you’d like to find out, if you don’t already know, how much “external consultants” cost to undertake this work. If ever there was a case of wasted public money, surely this is it! No consultants should have been needed to assess the viability of this site for the conclusions they’ve come to- this has already been done on numerous previous occasions, not least when it was greenlighted for the new base for West Thames College’s Feltham campus. I think we should be told that, while vital community services are under threat, our council has spent on this consultancy.

  2. Mark Bowen Says:

    “and you’d probably moderate my comments out anyway.”

    What do you base the above on? How many times have comments you have posted been moderated by me?

  3. Rob Healy Says:

    It is a shame that my petition http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Feltham-Hotel/ didn’t get anywhere. The link is now dead too…

    I am saddened that the building has been allowed to get into the condition it is in… again. It is almost a replica of how it was when it was leased to the FCA.
    I have asked a question before, – what happened to the highly-publicised ‘sponsor a brick’ wall which Leslie Crowther unveiled as a fund raiser for the FCA?

    I think it is a shame that the Feltham Hotel wasn’t saved by a hotel chain. Wetherspoons operate small hotels now, and this would have been a perfect site for one.

    I recall that the building is in a conservation area, and therefore I guess that it shouldn’t be demolished. It’s just a pity that it was never given ‘listed’ status, although it isn’t too late. Yet…

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      Rob,

      Welcome to the blog!
      Thank you for your comments. I have seen pictures of the building from a number of years ago and completely understand the attachment local people would have to it. I took no satisfaction that the building would potentially be lost had my preferred option for a Skills Centre gone ahead.

      “I recall that the building is in a conservation area, and therefore I guess that it shouldn’t be demolished.”

      I recall the advice from the planning department being different. But no application to demolish could be approved without an approval for something in its place.

      My biggest hope is that we do not end up with yet more flats on Feltham High Street.

      “what happened to the highly-publicised ‘sponsor a brick’ wall which Leslie Crowther unveiled as a fund raiser for the FCA?”

      I do not know the answer to that and it is before my time in Feltham. I wish I could have been there as I was a big fan of Leslie Crowther.

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