Elderly in need of a dining hall
Lunch club needs a temporary base
ELDERLY people in Uxbridge could miss out on dining hall facilities in the town centre for 18 months.
Plans to demolish the Fassnidge Community Dining Hall and redevelop the site were approved by Hillingdon Council at a meeting on June 15.
The property behind High Street is owned by the Fassnidge Memorial Trust and is leased to the Uxbridge Old People’s Welfare Association, which provides meals for the elderly.
Developer Howarth Homes Plc will build 49 self-contained apartments, reaching eight storeys with a replacement community building included.
Rita Wilson, Trustee and treasurer of the Old People’s Welfare Association, was not surprised at the approval for plans to go ahead.
She said: “The building we’re in at the moment is really, in all honesty, no longer fit for purpose. It’s a nightmare to keep heated in the winter and it is looking very sorry for itself.
“The roof goes every now and then and there are all sorts of things we have problems with. It was meant to last for 20 years and its lasted for about 50 years.”
The old people’s association has used the existing hall since it was built. Every weekday, around 20 people aged over 60 use the facility, which is staffed by one paid cook and three volunteers.
The staff welcome the new hall but are currently focused on what would happen to the diners while the development is being built. Talks are being held with the Fassnidge Trust and The Good Yarn pub is a likely alternative.
Ms Wilson added: “We’re consulting with the diners at the moment to see if they’re happy with the alternative. On the face of it, it looks as though they would be. There’s lots to be ironed out but at the moment The Good Yarn is looking to be a good possibility.
“It’s worrying for people because nobody likes uncertainty, but looking at a long-term plan for people for the future, it’s got to be the way forward. One day something will happen and we won’t be able to occupy [the current hall] – the roof will cave in or the electrics will blow up.”
A concerned resident Katrina Patterson, who has lived in the area for 37 years, previously gathered around 60 signatures to oppose the plans.
She said: “It does seem like it was left to the people of Uxbridge, not to 49 individuals to live in flats above the land.”
Furthermore, she argued that high-rise buildings with balconies should not be built in a polluted area, next to a busy roundabout and the Cedars car park, and that the development will ‘pollute the skyline’.
Speaking after the approval announcement, she added: “It’s good that residents will get a new dining hall but the plans are still against the ethos of the Kate Fassnidge Trust.”
Jean Palmer, deputy chief executive of Hillingdon Council and corporate director of residents services, said: “The primary intention is to provide a new, modern and fit-for-purpose facility to replace the existing facility on site which is used as a dining hall for local and visiting elderly people by Uxbridge Old People’s Welfare Association.”
n CURRENT SITE: Plans to demolish the Fassnidge Community Dining Hall have been approved