THE fate of a town's historic buildings hangs on the opinions of local residents, who are being urged to play their part.
Members of the group, The Friends of Eastcote House (TFEH), need people to spare a few minutes to help secure the future of the 500-year-old site.
Although the house, in Field End Road, Eastcote, was demolished during the 1960s, its stable block, dovecote and walled garden still remain.
All three are recognised Eastcote landmarks, hold Grade II listed status and currently feature on English Heritage's Buildings At Risk Register.
A project has been started to renovate the site through the formation of a special management plan jointly funded by Hillingdon Council and English Heritage.
But before the money - expected to be about £1million - can be released, both organisations require proposals for what to do with the buildings, and this is where the public comes in.
Lesley Crowcroft, chairwoman of TFEH and also Eastcote Conservation Panel, said: "The house was built in
1490 and belonged to the Hawtrey-Deane family right up until 1930 when it was sold to a developer and then to Ruislip Northwood District Council.
"We formed our group 18 months ago to protect it and now we have a real chance to do that."
A questionnaire is currently available for people to fill in outlining how they would like to see the site used in future, and on March 20 and 21 an open weekend is taking place there.
Members of the conservation architects MRDA will be present to answer questions and provide information and all comments received will be logged.
Councillor Bruce Baker, who represents Eastcote, said: "These buildings could provide a vital community resource and I would like to see them having a strong educational use.
"A lot of people have worked very hard over the years for this site, I really hope the public will appreciate that and make their own contribution." Mrs Crowcroft added: "Eastcote Arts Society has shown an interest in being based there and it would provide excellent meeting places for brownies, residents groups or other organisations.
"This has been a cornerstone of Eastcote for 500 years. It would be a real shame if that ended now.
"I urge everyone to take even just 20 minutes on the 20th or 21st to come along and see the place for themselves and tell us how it should be used and protected."
The open weekend runs from 10am to 4pm both days at the stables block - known as the Coach House.
Information is also available at Eastcote Library, in Field End Road, or by emailing Chris Groom, chairman of Eastcote Residents Association, on email@example.com.