Residents are to be invited to create new community spaces in the council’s office headquarters and customer service centre, Perceval House.
Ealing Council and developers Vistry Group have announced a change of plans for the site in Uxbridge Road, Ealing, and have mutually decided not to progress with a redevelopment of it.
Instead, the council now plans to ‘retrofit’ the six-floor building in Ealing Broadway to make it more environmentally friendly and to make half of it available to residents and local businesses to use.
This new approach will see the ground floor opened up for community activities, and two floors made available for local businesses to lease. The three remaining floors would be retained as office space for council staff and councillors.
It is hoped work will be able to start towards the end of this year but, first of all, the council wants your ideas for how to put the building to best use.
Council leader Peter Mason said: “When this administration 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, 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 while keeping Perceval House open.”
Why the change of plan?
Since the redevelopment project was originally proposed in 2014, significant events have substantially changed the risks and viability of the scheme.
These challenges have included a big increase in inflation in the UK, and a continuing rise in the costs of materials and construction. And, most recently, an important and vital fire safety requirement has proved very difficult to incorporate into the existing designs.
Working out the details
The council’s chief executive Tony Clements said the new plans would make Perceval House more of a community building and help to shift the culture of the council as a result. Tony said: “We know that we need to make a shift in our working culture and practices to deliver the council’s priorities and deliverables for Ealing. At the heart of this are council staff and their interactions with each other and our communities.”
Focused on outcomes
Councillor Shital Manro, the council’s 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 ion 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.”
“Openness and inclusion will be at the heart of our renewed approach to Perceval House,” added Councillor Mason. “Very soon, we will start engagement with both residents and staff to open-up the building, creating a modern, accessible and welcoming environment for the whole community.”