CHARLIE Chaplin's former school in Hanwell could be under threat of closure or redevelopment, campaigners are warning.
It has prompted 1,000 people to sign a petition calling to safeguard the site in Westcott Crescent, which is now Hanwell Community Centre. It was built in 1856 and has deteriorated drastically.
But at the end of 2008, £2.2million worth of renovation works started but following the change of council administration in May, the last stages of the project were put on hold and negotiations over the lease were stalled.
John Sear, Chairman of the community centre said the petition, which is due to be discussed at next week's council meeting, is calling for the site's continued use for sports and social activities at affordable rates and the campaigner want a guarantee that it will not become a residential development within the Cuckoo Estate conservation area.
Mr Sear, said: "We want to keep the building as a community centre so the provision of sports and social opportunities can continue at affordable rates for the foreseeable future.
"Anything up to 1,000 people per week attend the centre for pottery, upholstery, after-school clubs, five-a-side-football, judo and ethnic minority group meetings. We are a charity serving the local community, not a business out to make profit.
"In the past, the council wanted to convert the whole building into 53 flats and we took them to an appeal situation and won our case against them. We want the council now to defend the refusal of residential development and hope a lease will be offered with reasonable terms so we can carry on with affordable rates for local people.
"If it went up 10-fold, we wouldn't be able to pass this on to user groups and it would result in closure. It would be a real shame after all the works done to sell this site on to a profit-making housing developer, taking away the rights of local people."
The council meeting takes place at Ealing Town Hall on Tuesday December 14 from 7pm.