Druitt Hall was built in 1953, the year of the Coronation. In 2012 there was a proposal by Christchurch Borough Council to develop the site, but after a campaign by the Friends of Druitt Hall a three year lease was gives in 2014 and a ten year extension in 2017.
The windows need replacing. This would need a planning application, and the cost would be around £40,000. Members of the community committee agreed to instruct a surveyor to produce a cost-benefit analysis to ascertain the best value for money.
Councillor Simon McCormack has expressed interest in the possibility of the Druitt Hall being replaced with a new building. It is owned by Christchurch Town Council, with a ten year lease on a peppercorn rent. He said:
Druitt Hall has been part of the community for a long time, but as a semi-qualified building surveyor myself, I think it has come to the end of its life.
‘I believe the town council should really be exploring if there was an opportunity to either fix or repair the current building, which I think is unlikely given its construction, or be looking to perhaps replace it with something that would benefit Christchurch in the future in a much better way.
‘It hasn’t really got a very good heating system, the roof is asbestos, the windows are old. It is really not that functional with the design of the building and the way the chairs coming out of the doors on the side of the hall.
I think it would benefit Christchurch in the future (to replace it) although it is a brilliant part of our history and, obviously, shouldn’t be forgotten.
Perhaps it should be time the town council looks into replacing it.’
Statement : 19 November
This statement was received today from the Chairmen of the three Committees of the Town Council, all involved with Druitt Hall. Note that this would still need to be formally adopted by the Full Council:
‘Christchurch Town Council is completely committed to maintaining a first-class community facility in Christchurch Town Centre, and is looking forward to continuing to work with the Trustees of Druitt Hall to provide this.
‘However it cannot be denied that in the foreseeable future further major renovations will be needed to the Hall: for example, the window frames are failing and will need replacement.
‘The Council has agreed to appoint a fully-qualified surveyor to assess the Hall and determine the works that are essential to maintain the structural integrity of the building. When the report is received, it will of course be discussed by the Council and the best course of action determined.’