Chingford News

Historic Chingford home to become community centre

The Brambles house was purchased by Lea Bridge Road Mosque earlier this year
By Victoria Munro

The Brambles in Chingford (credit: Google Streetview)
The Brambles in Chingford (credit: Google Streetview)

A historic and much-loved home in Chingford is set to become a community centre after it was bought by a local mosque.

The Brambles in Chingford Mount Road went up for sale in June, with an asking price of £1.3 million, and was purchased by the Lea Bridge Road Mosque, based in Leyton.

While a planning application has yet to be submitted, the mosque’s general secretary, Raja Ilyas, told the Echo today they plan to turn the building into a community centre. 

He said: “When I say it will be for the local community, I mean that across the board – Muslim, non-Muslim, black, white, whoever – they can all come and use the building.

“We are in the process of meeting with community members, the mosque community and architects and we don’t want to rush anything.

“But the community has already been sending us emails appreciating how valuable this will be because there’s no other centre around here that people can use.”

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The Brambles around 1928 (courtesy of Bob Randall)

Responding to residents’ concerns earlier this year that the site might be used as a mosque, Valley ward councillor Afzal Akram reassured residents that this would not be the case.

After speaking with the new owners, he wrote: “I did ask the specific question of are you planning to open a mosque here and they said no, as one was already nearby.

“They plan to have a multi-use hall which can be hired out by anyone and they’re in talks with the existing mosque two blocks down the road to see if they would want to use their hall during their busy times (Friday lunchtimes, etc), so that the current issues faced there by local residents get resolved. 

“Some onsite parking will be provided, plus they intend to negotiate an agreement with the gym and Morrisons across the road from them to allow parking there too.”

He added that the new owners are currently having surveys carried out to see if the existing building is safe enough to be used.

Speaking earlier this year, a spokesperson for the building’s estate agent said part of the interior had been recently damaged by a fire. 

Writing publicly on Facebook when the sale was announced in June, one local resident said she would love to see the building become a community centre.

She wrote: “Whatever is going to happen to it, let’s hope it helps everyone in Chingford. 

“We have no community buildings for small groups or classes, support groups, youth centres, special need centres and many more. This building would be perfect and big enough for it all.”

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