We have been in discussion with the Trust of Bishop Wood Almshouse concerning its future. They told us informally a short while ago:
Please rest assured that we have no plans to demolish Bishop Wood! They are listed buildings, and so no one can just demolish them. The Trustees are ascertaining the right way forward for the best use of Bishop Wood. Before we can do this, we are getting the residents settled into the new Almshouses that we have just completed, and then seeing what the needs and funding opportunities might be. This process will take some time, as it needs to be right, so there is likely to be no action at Bishop Wood for the immediate future.
Dear Ian,Thank you for the interest you have shown in Bishop Wood Almshouse.
As you are no doubt aware the Charity was established in the 1660’s and the Trustees have been carrying out their duties for the past 350 years providing accommodation for the poor and needy of Hackney.
This continuing provision has been demonstrated again by the 31 new flats that the Trustees have built at Dr. Spurstowe House in Navarino Rd at the cost of £4m.
At the moment the Trustees are considering the up grading of Bishop Wood House into 1 bed flats from their current bedsit configuration. This is being hampered at the moment by Hackney Borough Council who have so far indicated that are not prepared to allow us to take out the chimney breasts which take up a very large proportion of the available space. This is because originally the 5 flats were 10 and the fire place was for two flats.
The conservation officer at HBC has deemed it contrary to the policy of HBC to allow removal. It would, of course, make absolutely no difference to the external appearance of the building but would clearly help the Trust enormously in continuing to provide better housing.
The Trustees are mindful of their responsibilities to administer this long established Trust and shall, in due course, make whatever decision is in the best interest of the Trust as they have so successfully done over the past 350 years.
Clearly there are local residents who you are aware of who like our Almshouses and I very much hope they can write to HBC with their views and support for our plans as and when they are published. I am sure that you will also be taking an active part in helping our cause.
Should you have any further queries please let me know and I shall do my best to respond.