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Derelict Barton Green Theatre in New Malden to be sold-off?
A former community theatre in New Malden looks set to be sold off after falling into disrepair.
Barton Green Theatre, in Elm Road, will go on the open market if Kingston Council agrees to dispose of the mock-Tudor building as a surplus asset.
The proposal will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee tonight, Thursday, September 26.
The former cricket pavilion closed in March 2012 after its tenants, the Green Theatre Company, relocated to the Cornerhouse in Tolworth at the end of its lease.
Despite attempts to bring the facility back into community use, the building remained closed and has since become derelict.
In his report to the committee, director of place and regeneration Roy Thompson said a recent feasibility study found the cost of bringing the building back into use would be “disproportionately expensive”.
The study also identified several health and safety concerns, including exposed asbestos and a lack of identifiable fire doors.
The report said: “In light of the costs of bringing the building back into repair, it is considered uneconomic to repair the property by the council.
“Accordingly, it is being recommended that the property is declared surplus to the council’s requirements and approved for disposal.”
Barton Green Theatre was converted from a cricket pavilion 26 years ago, and is believed to be named in memory of Cyril Barton, a Halifax bomber pilot who was awarded the Victoria Cross in the Second World War.
After its closure, the Council agreed funding to bring the theatre back into use, and then approved a proposal in November to keep the theatre as a community hub.
Former council leader Derek Osbourne even suggested demolishing the building and rebuilding it.
The report does not disclose how much the council is likely to get from the sale of the theatre, but said any receipt would fund projects within the authority’s capital programme.
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