Lewisham Building Preservation Trust (LBPT), the charity fighting to preserve the borough’s architectural heritage, is to step up its public campaigning for the restoration of the Ladywell Play Tower.
Plans for a multi-screen cinema, community space and housing in a refurbished Grade II listed Ladywell Playtower have stalled amid protracted talks between developers Guildmore and Lewisham council.
“Its been nearly two years since Guildmore and Curzon Cinemas were appointed by Lewisham Council to restore Ladywell Playtower into a new three-screen cinema.
“The project has stalled but we need to act now to prevent it from deteriorating beyond reuse.”
The trust is urging people to sign the petition and “join us in telling Lewisham council how important this historical building is to the local community.
“Sign our petition http://chng.it/w2hzWY4Lfn … to get Lewisham council to take action to bring the Playtower back into use”.
In a letter to the trust, Mayor Damien Egan says Guildmore’s investigations of the building have revealed that the cost of the restoration work “is going to be greater than anticipated.”
Guildmore “are continuing to explore solutions that will deliver the restored Playtower and deliver genuinely affordable housing,” he writes.
The developer has therefore decided to postpone its public consultation on the project until it has “greater certainty of the best solution”.
The mayor says his priority remains securing the long term sustainable future of the Ladywell Playtower … and “delivering genuinely affordable homes on the site”.
The council wants any development of the Play Tower to meet its policy guidelines for affordable housing.
Guildmore originally proposed a 220 seat multi-screen cinema run by Curzon with a bar, restaurant and public events space, around 20 new homes, a nursery, and supported living facilities.
Guildmore’s plans have since evolved. The nursery and supported living facilities have been dropped and the number of new homes to be built has increased.
But most of the new homes proposed are likely to be for sale in order to raise the funds needed to cover the substantial restoration costs of the Play Tower.
Without sufficient funds from these sales the scheme risks becoming unviable unless other sources of funding can be tapped.
TO SIGN THE PETITION GO TO http://chng.it/w2hzWY4Lfn