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Louise House
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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #101
09-11-2009 05:14 PM

Perryman:

Tim Walder said (last month!): "Possible plans have included .... a library extension.....If any wishes to contact me about any aspect of Louise House, please email me at friendsoflouisehouse@googlemail.com"

You make a very good suggestion about PC rooms, which could have helped to bolster this possibility - Did you do so to Tim/Friends of Louise House before the deadline passed?

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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #102
09-11-2009 05:36 PM

In reply to Contrary Mary.

I agree that an extension to the Library would, in principle, be a very good scheme. When myself and another person from FLH met with the Council officer concerned (and responsible for libraries) we pressed this plan first and foremost. This suggestion was rejected immediately on the grounds that the Library project was over, there was no money and there was no evidence of any need for such an extension and a scoping project would need to take place. The subject was abruptly changed by the officer and it was very obvious that I was wasting my breath.

I agree it would be good. I did try. They said no. I don't see what more I could have done on this. I do agree that it is a missed opportunity.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #103
09-11-2009 06:02 PM

I seem to remember the Mayor expressing the opinion at M&C that any solution had to be DDA compliant and that he did not have the (estimated) 2.5M required to refurbish Louise House. He had just seen the bill for the Manor House at the time and gave the impression of being fed up with Listed buildings eating his budget.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #104
09-11-2009 11:42 PM

OK thanks everyone. A great shame.

My original thoughts on a library extension, posted here, were:

Quote:
03-04-2008 03:14 PM
Louise House could have reading rooms, computer suites, meeting rooms, local history archive, home education facilities, periodicals, etc etc.
And they could put the books back in the library, if it no longer tried to be a community centre as well.

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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #105
10-11-2009 09:08 AM

There are some very bizarre figures being bandied about at the moment. I do not know hwere the figure of ?2.5 million comes from. I also do not know where another figure of ?250,000 per year to maintain the building has come from.

Friends of Louise House have been given NO figures at any time by any Council officer about how much it might cost to renovate the building. Lewisham say that there has been no survey of the condition of the building which would give such a figure. I assume that this is true: they were planning to knock it down, why would they survey it?

In fact a building survey would be a useful thing for all parties to have access to.

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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #106
12-05-2010 08:03 PM

Plans are afoot regarding this building. Lewisham Council is now working with CPCDT on a proposal fro Louise House to be used as serviced offices and a community nursery. A full condition survey of the building has taken place and a Feasibility Study is being undertaken.

To see the latest, use this link:

http://www.louisehouse.notlong.com

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petersutton01


Posts: 21
Joined: May 2008
Post: #107
12-05-2010 08:59 PM

Does anyone know if there are any proposals that include the arts? There are a number of actors and performers now living in the area and I think it would be good if Forest Hill had a venue for the community to enjoy the arts. It would be the perfect location as it is next to the library. I have been living in Forest Hill for a number of years now and think Forest Hill and the local community would really benefit from this. Any help is gratefully received.

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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #108
14-05-2010 06:17 PM

The idea of an arts centre has been floating about, but no costed proposal was presented to the Council by the deadline. I agree that an arts centre would be fantastic. I am unsure that Louise House is the right building for it: a lot of the rooms are quite small and the hall-like space is rather narrow.

CPCDT and the Council are in talks with a local provider of music lessons, so that is a possibility being explored.

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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #109
03-08-2010 05:36 PM

Louise House is going to be open to the public as part of the Open House weekend on 18th and 19th September 2010. The draft entry from the guidebook follows. For more details, visit the Open-City website at: http://open-city.org.uk/

Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill SE23 1DL
Sat 10am-5pm. Regular tours, pre-book ONLY through Open House, see p15 for details. Last entry 4.30pm. Former Girls' Industrial Home in the domestic revival style, with Laundry Block to the rear. Foundation stone laid by Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's daughter. A monument to Victorian philanthropic responses to the problems of child poverty. Highly decorated externally, utilitarian interior retaining the original floor plan. Thomas W Aldwinckle 1890. Entry: ground, first floor, former laundry building to rear. NB Exhibition about Janusz Korcszak, the Polish/German/Jewish paediatrician, children's author and martyr whose visit to Louise House inspired him to devote his life to the Rights of the Child. Rail: Forest Hill; 197,176,122,185,356

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michael


Posts: 3,222
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #110
22-11-2010 10:18 AM

News from the Forest Hill Society e-newsletter:

Louise House to be Site Office
Wilmott Dixon stated in its tender [for the pool] that it would like to use Louise House for its on-site accommodation during the works. On further questioning, they confirmed that their tender would include redecoration of the areas occupied, services testing and enhancement, together with Fire Certification and an allowance for building rates, service connections and consumption costs.

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #111
22-11-2010 10:05 PM

At least their occupation will prevent further deterioration of the fabric whilst everyone thinks what to do with it next!

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michael


Posts: 3,222
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #112
11-06-2012 02:19 PM

Quote:
The first stakeholder consultation meeting to find out about plans to invite proposals for the future of Louise House in Forest Hill is taking place on Wednesday 13 June 17.00-19.00 at Forest Hill Methodist Church, Normanton Street, London SE23 2DS.

Staff from the relevant Lewisham Council departments will be present and the agenda for the meeting will focus on an overview of the tendering process, with an opportunity to ask questions.

Please RSVP to louisehouse@lewisham.gov.uk if you would like to attend.

http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2012/06...house.html

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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #113
14-06-2012 07:28 PM

With many others I went to the meeting about Louise House last night. The council is seeking expressions of interest (within 7 weeks) followed by serious tenders for a future use of Louise House.

The new user would need to fund restoration and/or conversion of the building themselves within three years. A successful bid could lead to a 125 lease being granted on the building. Lewisham favour a social, creative or artistic use, although there could be some commercial use as an enabling activity. Please find attached two PowerPoint presentations. One is a survey of the building and the other is details of the bid process. Please feel free to circulate them as freely as possible to any interested parties.

I do not have strong feelings myself about the nature of the new use, but it clearly needs to be economically sustainable. I am wondering if a Building Preservation Trust might be a useful vehicle to take the lease, with sub-tenants actually providing the activity. I have some contacts who know about BPTs and would be willing to help set one up and perhaps be involved in running it, if this vehicle was thought to be helpful and if there were others who could devise a sustainable use.



Attached File(s)
.pdf File  Brodie Plant Goddard Presentation.pdf (Size: 1.64 MB / Downloads: 302)
.pdf File  Louise House Peter Sherlock Presentation.pdf (Size: 19.18 KB / Downloads: 115)
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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #114
14-06-2012 08:40 PM

There is some further and background information at this site:

http://www.louisehouse.notlong.com

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admin
Administrator

Posts: 395
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #115
06-09-2012 09:06 PM

Received from Lewisham Council:

Quote:
Lewisham Council calls for Expressions of Interest in Louise House.

The council is calling for people or organisations with sustainable solutions to bring Louise House into use to step forward. Those interested in putting the building to good use will need to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) by 21 September.

Louise House is a grade II listed building which is situated between Forest Hill Library and the newly re-developed Forest Hill Pools.

We are looking to secure a viable and sustainable long term use for this landmark building; a use which is not only financially viable but which is also compatible with the adjacent public buildings.

Louise House is owned freehold by the Council and the successful tender would need to provide a sustainable solution to bring the property into use. We are not in a position to offer financial support to a bidder either by way of capital or revenue contributions.

This link gives all the details regarding the tendering process:

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/inmyarea/rege...ocess.aspx

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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Tim Walder


Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #116
04-01-2013 06:05 PM

A new local partnership has put in a bid for a redundant Council building in Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill. Under the proposals Louise House, a listed former girls’ home between the library and swimming pool, would be converted into a vibrant multi-use hub for creative, learning and cultural uses. Uses for the building could include training for young people, space for recycling schemes, serviced office space for charities and new businesses, a children’s nursery, a new home for a local theatre and possibly a cinema.

The proposed partnership is between the new Lewisham Building Preservation Trust, a local charity aiming to renew and reuse heritage buildings, Eco Computer Systems, a Lewisham-based social enterprise which already runs a number of former Lewisham Council buildings, SociaCapita Solutions, a Lewisham-based community interest company which aims to create training and employment opportunities through building refurbishment projects and Spontaneous Productions, a Sydenham-based theatre company with links to the Sydenham Arts Festival.

Louise House, which is empty and on the English Heritage’s Buildings At Risk Register, belongs to Lewisham Council, who are currently considering the bid for a 125 year lease. A decision is expected in February 2013. Speaking following the tender submission, Darren Taylor of Eco Computer Systems said, “We are looking forward to working with local people to bring new life back into this community asset. These plans will bring new opportunities for the young, for those seeking employment and training, for those with children and for the arts.” Tim Walder of Lewisham Building Preservation Trust added, “I am delighted with these plans. It will be wonderful to see the building renewed. The training, serviced office, nursery and theatre uses in this central location will all be of enormous benefit to the people of Forest Hill.”

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michael


Posts: 3,222
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #117
06-01-2013 12:28 PM

Sounds like a good proposal for Louise House which could turn this building into a real asset for the community. Good luck to all involved.

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Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #118
21-10-2013 07:28 PM

Does anyone have any updates on what's going on with Louise House please?

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michael


Posts: 3,222
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #119
21-10-2013 08:46 PM

There was some exciting news a couple of months ago, I haven't heard much more since. It is to become a hub for arts.
http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2013/08...r-art.html

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Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #120
21-10-2013 09:14 PM

Thanks for that info Michael.

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