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Ealing Council halts redevelopment of Perceval House and plans refurb instead for civic centre

Ealing Council has called time on controversial plans to redevelop its Perceval House site in Ealing Broadway. It says it will now refurb and retrofit the existing building and will start work on it at the end of 2023.

In a statement, Labour-run Ealing Council said it would no longer progress with redevelopment plans for the site and said the decision was taken by mutual agreement with the council’s development partner Vistry Group.

Since announcing the redevelopment in 2014, the council says external factors including an increase in materials and construction costs along with a rise in inflation would not make the project cost effective. It also said “changes were required to the design and structure of the planned buildings to ensure that they complied with the latest fire safety regulations. Those changes were very difficult to incorporate into the existing designs and therefore significantly affected the financial viability of the scheme.”

The council’s new vision is for the ground floor to be used by the community and offer two further floors for businesses to lease. It said that three floors will be used as office space for council staff and democratic functions.

Council leader Councillor Peter Mason commented: “When we inherited the old plans for Perceval House, it was clear that the proposals represented a huge change for the borough, one with a big financial commitment and many years of disruption. With the old scheme now at an end, we can turn our minds to reimagining a new council building, open to the public, accessible to resident’s needs, inclusive, and with the community at the heart of it.

“By taking a retrofit-first approach to our renewed proposals for our council HQ, we’re fulfilling our pledge to do all we can to tackle the climate crisis and be carbon neutral as a council by 2030. We equally remain committed to building genuinely affordable homes, reducing car use, and supporting the transition to renewable energy, so we’re going to take some time to reconsider how we do just that whilst keeping Perceval House open.”

Councillor Mason said the council will begin “very soon” engagement with Ealing residents and council staff about plans for the building.

Councillor Steve Donnelly, cabinet member for an inclusive economy added: “Rising inflation, building material and rapid increases to labour costs, as well as substantial changes in building regulations have all impacted the Perceval House proposals. There comes a point in any project paid for by the public purse that you have to stop. This administration will always ensure we are sensible and prudent with public money.”

Councillor Shital Manro, cabinet member for good growth, said: “We remain committed to getting more genuinely affordable homes built in the borough and increasing local electricity capacity to support the transition to cleaner energy. So we will keep looking at options for how part of the site can support those aims, such as the council’s car park on Longfield Avenue.

“This reset also means that any future plans for residential development on this site will comply with our new Local Planning Policy Guidance on tall buildings, and therefore will not be as high as some elements of the previous scheme.”

Councillor Jon Ball outside Perceval House
Councillor Jon Ball outside Perceval House

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Ball, opposition spokesperson on Planning and Housing said: “I am relieved that the Perceval House scheme will not be going ahead. The tall tower was unacceptable right next to the Grade II listed Ealing Town Hall, one of the most important buildings in Ealing’s Victorian heritage and we in the Lib Dem group campaigned against this scheme.”

Councillor Ball added: “However this will leave a huge hole in the council’s finances and also in its affordable housing plans. The Labour leadership must urgently answer the questions that this announcement poses.”


Ealing Council chief executive Tony Clements commented: “We know that we need to make a shift in our working culture and practices to deliver on the ambitions of the Council Plan and deliver great services for the people of Ealing. At the heart of this are council staff and their interactions with each other and our communities. We need a building that reflects those requirements, and we believe this can be achieved by staying where we are and retrofitting Perceval House for the future.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Neil Reynoids, chair of Ealing Green Party said: “A retrofit first approach is welcome and this is the right decision. I hope the council extend this policy as far as possible to other properties they intend to redevelop.”

A Vistry Group spokesperson said: “The economic and technical conditions effecting the project have been exceptional and we are grateful to have worked closely with the council and Greater London Authority to attempt to mitigate these. We fully support the council’s new strategy which will enable fast delivery of important facilities for the council and community.”

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