Stop the council plan to demolish the Bofet building

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We have asked the council to explain why and where the masterplan has a direct recommendation for demolishing the Bofet Building.  The council has not given a response to our questions and instead is forcing Southwark Tigers to sign a tenancy of will agreement, which means the council can terminate the tenancy unilaterally at any moment with no advance warning. 

We have offered to take on the lease and take on all maintenance costs for the whole building. Southwark Council would not have to pay anything.

The building offers an opportunity for the local community to have access to many activities and courses. Southwark Tigers has been informed by the council its plan to demolish Bofet building and the council has rejected discussion about extending the lease and allow the group to improve the facility.  However, this goes against the original plan and what it is stated on the council website, as you can read below.  Our message to Southwark Council has been ignored! 

 The Burgess Buildings Masterplan June 2017 Update (Issue 03 Redacted)” link via https://www.southwark.gov.uk/parks-and-open-spaces/projects-in-parks/shape-the-future-of-burgess-park  does not make such a direct recommendation for demolition.

The Report (p22) sets out that the assumptions that the consultants were working to in 2017, namely that the Community Sports Facility building would be significantly larger than the current building.  The recommendation for this larger building on p21 included:

The current Community Sports Facility building submitted for planning in 2019 is significantly smaller than the existing building; not larger as the Consultant’s at the time were anticipating and does not include provision for the relocation of Southwark Tigers / Burgess Sports.  The Consultant’s recommendation for the Bofet Building is made on p48:

This is a very contingent recommendation putting the relocation of Southwark Tigers / Burgess Sports to the new facility ahead of any recommendation for demolition.  There is no provision for such a move to the new Community Sport Facility or indeed anywhere else and therefore the Masterplan cannot be cited as recommending demolition.

Our view is that it would not make sense to demolish one part of the Bofet Building and that the recommendations of the Masterplan support the need to continue to deliver the services offered by Southwark Tigers / Burgess Sports to the local community in Burgess Park.  It is worth noting that the work of the Southwark Tigers / Burgess Sports is significantly greater than in 2017. 

We came to the meeting with our partners anticipating that we could demonstrate the community value of the building, the huge long-term potential it has in relation to exciting and valuable community work that could be delivered to improve what Burgess Park as a whole offers to residents and to discuss how we should go about preparing a proposal for the Council.  We are in full agreement with your comments at the meeting that there is insufficient space for Community groups working in the local area.