The latest threat to Wanstead’s heritage is a proposal to demolish the building at 157 High Street and build a block of flats. This is a site which has a fascinating history, having been a cinema (the Wanstead Kinema), a stagecoach booking office, and a bingo hall amongst other uses over the years.
157 High Street holds great memories for a generation of Wansteadians and contributes hugely to the ‘villagey’ feel of the High Street. It is of course located within the Wanstead Village Conservation area, which should afford it protection from demolition, however in this case there is a question mark about advice given by the council’s own planning department which the developers themselves say advised them to consider demolishing this historic building.
See here for the Wanstead Guardian's take on this issue, following a gathering of members of the Wanstead Society outside the threatened building.
The Society is resolutely opposed to the unnecessary demolition of this building. We would instead like to see a sensitive scheme which incorporates the existing building put forward as per the developers original plans. We will be keeping a very close eye on this issue… see here for further updates!