Ealing Town Hall
September 6, 2023
The council has confirmed that it is planning to completely vacate Ealing Town Hall next month on safety grounds earlier than previously planned.
It is understood that the decision does not relate to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in the Grade II listed building which is 135 years old. A recent health and safety inspection, undertaken by external inspectors has revealed a number of issues including inappropriate exit routes for those with limited mobility issues and concerns that the Victorian building does not meet current fire safety standards.
The council had been planning to hand over the building to a developer to be converted into a luxury hotel, but the project has been delayed by a legal challenge to the council’s right to dispose of property within the development. A tribunal is due to rule on a challenge to a decision by The Charity Commission that the council acted lawfully in transferring ownership of the historic buildings to Mastcraft.
The Liberal Democrat opposition says that £3million has been spent on bringing the project to this stage.
Council meetings which formerly took place in the council chamber will be moved to the ground floor of Perceval House from this month and the few remaining staff and councillors based in the Town Hall will also be found office space there.
The Mayor’s parlour will also be moved to Perceval House where he or she will continue to host meetings and events.
If the development of the Town Hall went ahead, the council would return to the eastern part of the building for civic purposes such as offices for councillors and rooms for council meetings, marriage and citizenship ceremonies and community hire. The Victoria Hall and other rooms would also continue to be available for community and other groups to hire for events.
Cllr Mason added, “The long-term future of Ealing Town Tall has always been our priority and I know people will be worried about the future of our iconic and much cherished town hall.
“We eagerly await the tribunal’s decision about its future, but, in the meantime, we need to move forward our plans to open up Perceval House and ensure people’s safety.”
Ealing Council meetings will no longer be held in the historic council chamber
Leader of the Opposition Gary Malcolm said, “Liberal Democrats think that it is a shame that the town hall has been allowed to crumble over recent years. The council has to make sure that if the building is dangerous for staff, community groups, residents and everyone else, then we all need to move. Liberal Democrats have previously proposed that Perceval House, which is often very empty, should be used by community groups. We hope that this takes place as our community buildings should be used by the community and we need to encourage this.”
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