White House could be saved due to community interest

Protesters outside the former White House Community Centre in Eden Lane, Peterlee
Protesters outside the former White House Community Centre in Eden Lane, Peterlee
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A POPULAR building could be saved from the bulldozers after a community group showed interest in taking it over.

As part of Durham County Council’s review of buildings that are no longer in use, it was decided that the White House, in Peterlee, would be demolished.

This decision was taken due to the building being empty for a number of years and its condition having seriously deteriorated following vandalism and a number of thefts.

With little prospect of the building being used, and the council having to pay for its ongoing maintenance, it was decided that demolition was the only realistic option.

But after a meeting with local councillors, the decision will now be reviewed in response to concerns expressed by parts of the community and local groups expressing an interest in taking over the building.

Stuart Timmiss, the council’s head of planning and assets, said: “Following a series of meetings we have agreed to explore the opportunity of a local community group, which has expressed an interest, taking over the building.

“We need to ensure that the building has a sustainable future and that the full costs of retaining this building are understood by any interested parties. If the group can demonstrate that they have the funding in place and that the building has a long term future the council will reconsider the decision.”