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Tower Hamlets Council plan to resubmit proposals for £1.3m upgrade on Raine’s House

PUBLISHED: 13:34 22 October 2018

Campaigners outside Raine's House in Wapping. Picture: Vickie Flores

Campaigners outside Raine's House in Wapping. Picture: Vickie Flores

Vickie Flores - free use as part of campaign

Tower Hamlets Council is planning to resubmit its controversial £1.3million proposal to refurbish Raine’s House in Wapping.

Historic Raine's House built in 1719 is now a social club. Picture: GoogleHistoric Raine's House built in 1719 is now a social club. Picture: Google

Earlier this month plans for extensive refurbishment and major repairs to the 300-year-old former school were rejected by the council’s development committee after complaints from community groups.

The rejection came despite the council owning the building, putting forward the application and planning officers recommending it for approval.

It was agreed that only minor remodelling, which does not require planning permission, would be done to the Grade II-listed building.

However, Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs has said the council will resubmit the proposal.

He said: “The council will be resubmitting an application for our plans to repair and refurbish Raines House while respecting its historic features.

“The current users of Raine’s House will not be asked to leave and will be allowed to remain on the site until at least Christmas while the new application is considered.

“As Mayor I’m committed to ensure our community buildings benefit local residents and the wider community, which includes investing in this much loved historic building.”

At a committee hearing in August, representatives from several services based in Raine’s House complained the plans were “too modern”.

Others argued dozens of “vital” community groups would be homeless for months if the plans were to go ahead.

Pensioner Kathy Bracken, who works in the Raines House social club bar, said: “The plans were too modern for a 300-year-old building. If they go and make the place nicer we have no problem with that but it has to be in keeping with the building.

“I don’t know what they are going to come up with now, but hopefully they will give us a good amount of notice before any work goes ahead.”

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