Background to the 9-42 The Broadway public inquiry


The 9-42 The Broadway scheme was approved by Ealing Council in February 2016 despite wide ranging objections from national and local heritage groups, local ward councillors and MP, Dr Rupa Huq, together with a public petition containing more than 2,000 signatures.

 Due to the scale of the objections, the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, decided to call in the application. This requires a public inquiry to be held so that an independent Planning Inspector can examine the arguments for and against the scheme. He will then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State with whom the final decision resides.

 It is unusual for planning applications to be called in in this way. Since 2010 no more than a dozen applications have been called in each year. Most unusually this is the second time that an application for this particular site has been called in. Save Ealing’s Centre (SEC) challenged our Council and the developers in 2009 and won.

 The lines are similarly drawn in this latest inquiry. The chart below shows the main parties, i.e. those who are entitled to give evidence and who will be cross-examined. At the Inspector’s discretion members of the public will also be able to speak either for or against the application without cross-examination. They are usually required to register at the beginning of the inquiry.


The following chart shows the inquiry timetable and lists the range of documents that each party has had to produce as evidence of their case.



Both Ealing Council and Benson Elliot will put forward witnesses to support their case for the development. They have each employed some of the most expensive QCs in the business (our Council at the local taxpayers’ expense) to make their case. Benson Elliot will also be demonstrating their scheme using state of the art virtual reality technology.

SEC will be represented by the following team. Will, like all members of SEC, is a volunteer. The other team members are being funded by your donations.


The Save Ealing’s Centre team


Charles Streeten is a barrister in the Francis Taylor Building Chambers, which has a leading reputation for planning and environmental work. Charles has a wide public law practice including environmental, planning, licensing, EU and wider public law/human rights cases. His clients have ranged from Tarmac and Shell UK Oil Products to the Sheffield Tree Protesters and Friends of the Earth. He regularly acts for pressure groups in environmental judicial reviews, and he has appeared before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Charles is ranked among the top 10 planning barristers aged under 35.


Will French is the Chairman of Save Ealing’s Centre. In 2009 he led SEC’s victorious case against Glenkerrin’s proposals for this site. Will has around 40 years’ experience of planning in this country and overseas. Now retired, he has worked in a very wide range of planning fields including for local authorities, government departments, the commercial sector and the Royal Town Planning Institute. Will’s evidence considers the planning arguments surrounding this development. (See Will’s evidence  HERE.)


Nicholas Boys Smith is the Director of Create Streets, a social enterprise that conducts award-winning research into urban form. Nicholas has written extensively on issues to do with design, wellbeing, planning and housing policy and has been featured in The Economist, The FT and The Guardian. He is a Commissioner of Historic England (formerly English Heritage) and was a member of the Government’s Design Review Panel and Lord Heseltine’s Estate Regeneration Panel. Nicholas’s evidence examines the design of the proposed development and its inadequate referencing to the context of the site in central Ealing. (See Nicholas’s evidence HERE .)


Paul Velluet is a chartered architect specialising in building conservation and development in historic areas. He is a member of RIBA and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.  During his 35-year career he has held senior roles in the public and private sectors. Having served as a Trustee of the Covent Garden Area Trust and as Chairman of the Richmond Society, he has been involved in several major town centre developments. Paul’s evidence addresses the special historic and architectural significance of the Ealing Town Centre Conservation Area and the settings of listed buildings affected by the proposals. (See Paul’s evidence HERE.)