This page has been very much superceded by the announcement that Benson Elliot sold the whole site to British Land (the owners of The Broadway Centre) one working day before the public inquiry was due to start.

Everything is now very much in limbo until BL produce their ideas of what should now be done with the site and since there are bound to be considerable changes, a full further planning application will probably have to be made rather than amendments to the existing permissions.

Meanwhile, SEC is keeping a close eye on the matter and will also be investigating some sort of financial recompense for its costs in employing barristers and involving representatives such as Historic England and The Victorian Society to speak on their behalf. It should also be possible to get recompense for costs of publicity and time spent by SEC members in preparing for the inquiry.

In the meantime, all previous information, going back for a year or more, has been removed to our archive site HERE

Some of this below may be a bit out of date but is agood background to the site!

Previous items
Brief notes on the 9-42 pre-hearing meeting
Secretary of States notes on the meeting

Provisional timetable and arrangements for the inquiry

Confirmation of the (now cancelled) inquiry details

This site covers the area between Ealing Broadway station and the refurbished block on Springbridge Road, now containg Morrisons, TK Max and McDonalds. 

The saga goes right back to 2009 when Irish deveolopers Glenkerrin wanted to redevelop the whole area between Springbridge Road and the Carphone Warehouse and right back to the railway, including a huge 26 or more story tower block built over the railway.

The government overthrew Ealing Council's planning approval because the bulk, massing and design of the scheme would fail to preserve or enhance the character of the area.

Glenkerrin subsequently went bust and new developers, Benson Elliot (BE) acquired the site. After refurbishing half of it BE submitted plans by architects Allied and Morrison to redevelop the other half. While less ambitious overall than the 2009 plans, Benson Elliott’s scheme is still more comprehensive in that it would clear the entire site while Glenkerrin would at least have retained the prominent Carphone Warehouse site.

These plans were criticised by both local and national objectors because their extensive demolition included 8 buildings the Council’s Conservation Area appraisal says make a positive contribution to the character of the area.  In their place an 18 storey residential tower was proposed and other buildings rising up to 9 storeys in a part of town centre where no buildings rise above 4 storeys.

Fast forward to summer 2015 when plans were unveiled for complete demolition of commercial buildings in a major part of the Conservation Area (CA) and inappropriate redevelopment for new flats with scant regard to the character of the CA.  Historic England the Government’s advisors on the nation’s heritage were highly critical of this destruction of Ealing’s Victorian and Edwardian heritage.

More strongly still, Historic England told the Council that if it approved the scheme the loss of so many buildings that contribute to the special historic and architectural character of the town centre would justify de-designation of the conservation area.

Heritage assets are irreplaceable and any harm or loss requires clear and convincing justification. Nothing the developers have said to promote their scheme justifies the loss of the remaining heart of one of London’s earliest suburban town centres.

Last December BE responded by saying it would retain one building and the facades of two others.  They tweaked the application by retaining one of the fine Edwardian building and the facades of two others. These were to stay incongruously plonked in front of high rise glass and steel, city centre type high-rise “modern” replacement blocks. Historic England (HE) was not impressed:  In its 5th February letter to the Council it said the scheme would still cause substantial harm to the conservation area and the Council should either seek significant amendments or else refuse planning permission outright.

Locals and Historic England  were still not convinced.  HE wrote to Ealing Council to tell them that if the plans were not amended significantly it should refuse the application entirely. It went on to warn that should consent be granted and the development take place, the Ealing Town Centre Conservation Area ‘would no longer merit its status’ and it would recommend its de-designation.

Local amenity groups Ealing Civic Society, Save Ealing’s Centre, and local conservation panels are now urging the Council to take on board Historic England’s advice and secure some improvements from BE or else refuse the application.  They say HE’s advice is very firmly rooted in Government planning policy which demands great weight be given to conservation of a heritage asset like Ealing Town Centre.

Save Ealing's Centre has now apealed to The Secretary of State who has now 'called-in' the planning application and there will be a public inquiry in May 2017. Historic England will appear  along with SEC to object to the numerous ways the proposed scheme conflicts with national, regional and local planning policies.

SEC is now appealing for funds to pay a barrister to fight their case, whilst Ealing Council intends to spend an enormous amount of taxpayers' money on hiring a top QC to justify why they have ignored local opinion and their own policies in approving the scheme.

There has now just been a pre-inquiry meeting and details of that can be found at the link above.

We will update this page as things progress.

5th May 2017

Impression of the scheme as viewed from near the Station approach and The Broadway junction. Impression of the scheme as viewed from the west. Retained frontages