Ealing Council are in the process of disposing of Ealing Town Hall on a 250 year lease to a hotel developer. They intend to include the Memorial Hall building containing the Victoria Hall, Princes Hall and their ancillary rooms in this disposal. These buildings were built on surplus council land at the rear of the Town Hall site to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 1887 Golden Jubilee.
The building was paid for by public donations and in 1893 a charitable trust covering the building was established to manage the halls and rooms for public hire for meetings and social events. This was to be operated completely separately from the other town hall buildings and any surplus funds, after providing for operating costs and maintenance, were to be distributed to local charities.
The original trustees were the members of the Ealing Local Board - the predecessor of Ealing Council. Subsequently the duties of trustees have passed to the members of the Council.
The Council has failed to manage the trust correctly. Operation and maintenance of the trust property and income generated from it became merged with that of the town hall. There are no separate accounts for the trust, which makes it impossible to understand the true financial position.
Claiming that the Trust is no longer financially viable, the Council has asked the Charity Commission if it can change the trust wording to allow it to hand over the halls to a commercial hotel operator on a 250 year lease along with other parts of the town hall site. Public access to the halls will be much more limited than presently and the hotel operator will seek to make profit from them. The Charity Commission has told the Council to consult stakeholders first.
More details are available at:
Ealing Voice web site, and
Ealing Today web site
CERAs Will French descibes the situation in this interesting video from Exposure Box here
CERA have responded to the consultation, asking that no changes be made to the trust. The consultation ends on 12 January 2018. It would be helpful if members were to respond to:
Interim Director of Regeneration and Planning
London Borough of Ealing
14-16 Uxbridge Road
or by email to MooreD@Ealing.gov.uk
There is also a petition that members may want to sign here.
The site was recently sold by Benson Elliot to British Land. A few days before the planned Public Enquiry, British Land withdrew the controversial planning application for this town centre development. We await a decision on costs incurred in preparing for the Public Enquiry..
British Land is about to start, what will no doubt be at least six months of planning a different scheme on the site. Hopefully, they will fully take account of the huge amount of criticism of the Benson Elliot scheme from local residents and Historic England. There is likely to be a different shopping layout on two levels, some offices as well as flats and a lower overall height of the scheme adjacent to the railway and Haven Green. However, British Land appears to be in no hurry to proceed with comprehensive redevelopment of the site and may well undertake improvements to the existing shops as a short/medium term alternative.
Filmworks (cinema site) changes
St George has proposed changes to the consented scheme, replacing the commercial floor space in Mattock Lane and Barnes Pikle with flats and adding an extra 48 flats in total by increasing the
height of the development. This means that the height would be between 6 and 9 storeys, rather than between 5 and 7 storeys, with an extra floor added to the New Broadway frontage and the block
leading to the central square and the cinema.
St George argues that construction has been under way for over six months, demolition will be completed by the autumn, and the proposed changes are a minor amendment to the scheme and won't cause any delays. CERA disagrees.
Perceval House redevelopment
Ealing Council have selected house builders Galliford Try to redevelop its offices at Perceval House. Although the building is just 30 years old, Ealing says that the building services, such as air conditioning, lifts and plumbing, are nearing the end of their life. Galliford Try’s proposals will almost treble the floorspace on the site. There will be a 7–10 storey office building facing Uxbridge Road for the Council’s reduced staff, and a smaller library to replace the one in the Broadway Shopping Centre. Behind the offices 271 new homes will be built in a very cramped series of housing blocks ranging from 3 to 20 storeys high. The tallest of these – a 20-storey tower, 6 storeys higher than the Dickens Yard towers – would be located on Longfield Avenue facing the old Fire Station. Key to the plans is that half the new homes will be affordable. CERA will monitor the way things progress very carefully. The planning application design commences October 2017 with a planning decision anticipated in March next year and a start on site in September 2018 and completion of development in March 2025.
CERA has worked with Ealing Council, through the Ealing Broadway Ward Forum, to restore the original cast iron street name plates and to introduce replicas where these were missing. All original plates have now been restored and replicas have been installed in streets to the west of Mount Park Road. Phase II is now underway to install replica plates in Gordon Road, Castlebar Road and surrounding streets.
The following chart shows all the original signs that we found and have had restored.