The loss of The Working Men's Club & Wheathampstead Dance Academy
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Since 2010 The Wheathampstead Working Men's Club has been the successful home of the Wheathampstead Dance Academy with a new sprung floor and mirrored walls as well as being a suitable venue for local community groups, WEB meetings,social events and parties. Unfortunately the owners closed their doors in July 2013 and have submitted plans for it to be demolished and replaced by 10 dwellings. This will not only deny the village an important community venue in an ideal location (as well as further burdening our overstretched schools & nurseries) but has tragically caused our nationally acclaimed Wheathampstead Dance Academy to reluctantly leave the village.
We believe the future of this site should be protected and still benefit the village community as was its original purpose. The loss of yet another village community space is a legacy that impacts future generations - once these spaces have gone, they are gone forever. We understand that the building & car park are now privately owned by the descendants of the 'Working Men' of the village but plead that other avenues be explored before resorting to yet more housing.
An independent gym with dance studio/rooms for hire would be a perfect alternative - particularly since there are so few indoor leisure facilities in the village. There are a regular stream of village residents heading off to the gyms in Harpenden every morning. We know local community groups and clubs are being turned away from the village on a daily basis because there just aren't enough community halls available. The Memorial Hall has a packed timetable of regular bookings, the Mead Hall is oversubscribed, the United Reform Church Hall closed in 2010 and St. Helen's Church have no Church Hall at all. There is an open public hearing about the future of the site at 10am on Tuesday 21st January 2014, in Committee Room 2, District Council Offices, Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, St Albans which any interested party is welcome to attend.
Please sign below if you agree that the Working Men's Club Hall/Site should not become another village housing estate. Many thanks for taking the time to read this - remember it's our children who will miss out in the long run.