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Thanet District Council have been called to make plans public for Pierremont Hall in Broadstairs.

Campaigners gathered outside of Pierremont Hall in Broadstairs calling for the council to take urgent action.

The message was clear from protesters on Monday - Protect Pierremont Hall.

Hundreds of concerned residents have signed an online petition urging Thanet District Council (TDC) to make public their plans for protecting the building and to stop it from being boarded up.

Campaigners calling for the protection of Pierremont Hall
Campaigners calling for the protection of Pierremont Hall

The petition is a response to the council advising tenants to vacate the building before Saturday, January 3 .

Mayor of Broadstairs and St Peter’s Cllr Rosalind Binks said: “Speaking from a personal viewpoint I support this petition.

“We have had meetings about this at TDC. More information has been asked for on several occasions and some of it has come forward.

“I welcome the fact that residents are aware of the situation and are taking every opportunity to let their views be heard.

“None of us welcome this decision to evict tenants. These facilities are home to folk week, community organisations, the town council office and the mayor’s parlour.”

Sure Start family services are one of the groups to be ousted, although the town council office and chamber will remain open.

The council has been landlord of the building for about 40 years but the hall has recently been in need of further maintenance.

Cllr Binks added: “For the past two winters they have failed to provide adequate heating and now residents are being advised to leave as they wish to empty the building.”

Campaign leader Lorraine Williams said: “We need to shine a light on this situation because I suspect other priorities are in the way.”

The hall was gifted to the community by its original owners in 1929 and has since been designated as a “community asset”.

She added: “The building would instantly become a visual blight in our beautiful park and could be vandalised without sufficient protection.

“The council needs to take responsibility and involve the public with a meeting to answer some of our questions.

“So many council owned buildings in the past have rotted away due to bad management - but Pierremont Hall is too important to let that happen.”

The hall and park hosts events including Broadstairs Folk Week which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year.

After raising millions from the festival last summer the team are uncertain of their future in the premises.

Festival director Jo Tuffs said: “This facility is important as a community asset so I fully support the petition.

“We must concentrate on our big anniversary and come up with our best ever festival so we cannot let this distract us.

“We are glad to see the people standing up to get this sorted.”

The hall and park are used as headquarters for Broadstairs Folk Week.
The hall and park are used as headquarters for Broadstairs Folk Week.

Council spokesperson Hannah Thorpe said: “The council is considering options for Pierremont Hall with a decision expected early New Year.

“The building will not be closed during the winter and the town council remains in the building for the time being.

“Due to the issue with the heating, the council is working closely with the tenants affected to support them with relocation options and space has been offered in the nearby Kent Innovation Centre.”

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