HACKNEY COUNCIL appears to have outmanoeuvred local people who want to save the historic Haggerston Baths.
It set an early deadline, Friday 19 June 2015, on its attempt to lure developers to ask about its offer of a 250-year lease on the Grade II listed building, leaving unpaid campaigners little chance to organise a last-minute attempt to have the 1903 complex reopened as a pool.
Big money has rushed to show interest in the site, which is within walking distance of the City and in easy cycling and taxi range of the West End.
Already almost 200 separate enquiries have been made. More than 20 investors have sent teams to inspect the site, including the building’s interior, and about 20 more are being arranged by the property division of BNP Paribas, hired by the council to take the baths off its hands. The City bank told Loving Dalston it would “politely decline to comment” on how the process was progressing.
Loving Dalston has been asking about the £100,000 a year the council claims to have been spending on security.
The council was unable to explain how the once-superb interior had been vandalised, see picture, despite what it described as “onsite 24-hour-a-day” security.
The security figure was included in the council’s initial and quietly made announcement that it sought expressions of interest from potential buyers.
This led Loving Dalston to investigate then break the news. Days later the Evening Standard and the Hackney Gazette followed up.
David Altheer 030615
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