News from Ealing Civic Society
- Ealing Cinema Site
- 9-42 The Broadway planning appeal
- Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum
Ealing cinema site (Ealing Filmworks)
As most of you will know St George acquired the site earlier this year from Land Securities who had received consent for a residential development with an eight-screen cinema on the east side of the site adjacent to Bond Street. This followed a successful compulsory purchase order inquiry last year conducted by the Council against Empire Cinemas and other landowners following the failure of Empire’s earlier scheme for 16 screen cinema behind the retained facade of the former Forum cinema which was itself demolished in 2008/9.
Following weeks of uncertainty, St George started development on the site on 12 December with a great fanfare and have indicated that they will be seeking changes to the consented scheme which would result in less commercial floor space and more residential units, including affordable homes.
They say that there will not be any significant increases in height and the overall development would look similar to the consented scheme. They plan to hold a public exhibition in the New Year prior to the submission of a planning application to modify the existing consent. Timing of the exhibition is unclear at this stage.
Disappointingly, whilst Picturehouse have repeated their commitment to provide the cinema screens (although only after reviewing the plans) St George have indicated that these will not be open until 2019 – a full 10 years after the original cinema was prematurely demolished in its 75th anniversary year. Interestingly, the new cinema complex will be partly on the site of the old Walpole Picture House which was regrettably demolished in the 1980s to be replaced by the unlovely Walpole House – itself due to be demolished under the latest scheme.
The only cloud on the horizon is that St George have not yet acquired the whole site to enable the original scheme, or something like it, to proceed. The owners of Walpole House could resist the CPO process which would lead to delays at the minimum and possibly worse if not resolved. A regrettable loss of the scheme would be the YMCA building but we hope that it will be possible to salvage the important foundation stones which include early inscriptions by the famous artist and sculptor Eric Gill.
More information about the Filmworks development may be found here at ealingfilmworks.com.
9-42 The Broadway planning appeal
A timetable has now been agreed for the appeal hearing which will take place in May.
We will be closely working with Save Ealing’s Centre to prepare their case, having engaged a barrister to assist us. We need to raise at least £25,000 to pay for his services and we are grateful to those of you who have already contributed to the appeal which is now one third of the way to its target.
However, more is needed and we ask you to donate as much as you can and encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same in this season of goodwill.
It is very easy to donate money as shown in the panel below. The Save Ealing’s Centre website now allows you to donate on-line either by PayPal or by credit card; cheques are also accepted!
Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum
The Forum’s neighbourhood plan for central Ealing was subject to consultation earlier in the autumn and an examiner has now been engaged to determine whether or not the plan can proceed to the next stage of a public referendum (in fact two referenda separately polling business and residents).
The examiner may conduct the examination entirely in writing or may wish to hold a public hearing. Timing is unclear but the examination process is unlikely to be completed until the Spring. More information is available at www.centralealingforum.com.