A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
The redevelopment of Broomfield House is a subject that has generated much debate on this forum.
A new paper from the Friends of Broomfield Park and the Broomfield House Trust summarises plans for the restoration and community use of Broomfield House and its stable yard. This is the latest in a long and complex sequence of proposals which have developed over the years since the building was almost destroyed by fires in 1987 and 1994.
Interestingly this version of the restoration aims to bring the house back to its nineteenth century appearance, without the mock Tudor facade added in the 1930s.
The team behind the new proposals have stated that they want to restore Broomfield House in keeping with its heritage and re‐open it to the public; To restore the Stable Yard, creating artist studios, business incubators, an educational centre and to ensure the project can be sustainable through a blend of income generation activities, events and free public access.
You can download the full version of the summary plans here - once you have had a look you are encouraged to complete a short online questionnaire and have your say on the latest proposals.
Could this really be an opportunity to get the Broomfield House situation resolved once and for all? Please do read the document and respond to the survey.
Survey done! Let's hope this time it's for good!
Yep done. Really hope something comes of it.
So the saga sadly continues - news this afternoon that the community backed bid to save Broomfield House has failed to get the lottery funding money that's needed to restore the bulding.
After so many attempts over several years - and in the current financial climate - it is difficult to know what else can be done.
What do you think should happen to the house now?
Having spent the best part of a year working intensively with LBE and its consultants, and having had a positive response from the Heritage Lottery Fund on the community drafted pre-application, naysayers will not be surprised that the Working Group take a different view.
The professional advice is that over half the historic value of the House can be re-instated. We have looked at the earnings from other such Houses (for example Clissold House) and made a case which we accepted needed refining and testing, but on deliberately pessimistic assumptions looked reasonable. LBE proposed as part of the hoped for next stage to engage further expertise to develop fund raising, heritage/presentational/educational and management ideas.
Of course there are other views about the benefits of a rebuilt Broomfield House, but we remain convinced that the heritage, educational and community benefits of our scheme are clear. Look at the plans and arguments on the working group website as a first step
LBE and the working group have not yet seen the HLF report, and they have offered to talk to us about it to consider a way ahead. There is so much to say which is positive in community terms about the bid, not least that for the first time LBE, the Broomfield House Trust, the Friends of Broomfield Park and individuals from many other groups are united, that we are not willing to give up on our vision.
I absolutely agree with Tom. Not all old buildings are worth preserving, and this one was ugly and of limited historical interest or architectural merit even before it was burned down. In the current economic climate, it is fanciful to think that money will be found for a complete refurbishment when the refurbished building will not generate anything like the income to repay the costs. Sadly, I suspect that the pub solution, which was a realistic one at the time, will also no longer fly. A very narrow-minded outlook at the time meant that this idea was rejected when it could have worked.
The long -running discussions about the restoration of Broomfield is in the news again with the broadcast last night of a BBC documentary about the threat to London's historic buldings- the programme includes a sequence filmed in Broomfield park with contributions from local campaigners and councillors.
The section on Broomfield House starts at 21mins 40secs - although the rest of the programme is worth watching to put things in context.