30-year-old Ealing council offices will be bulldozed to make way for new development
Ealing's main council offices in the town centre will be sold off for housing.
Built in 1982, Perceval House is regarded as a valuable asset and the council wants to redevelop it for housing, commercial space and replacement council facilities.
Around 360 new homes would be built on the site at 14-16 Uxbridge Road with the council saying they would 'potentially' retain a 'substantial number' to provide affordable housing.
The development may also include some commercial and retail space to compliment Dickens Yard and the new cultural quarter.
Revenue from the sell-off will pay for a new customer service centre and new library to replace the current one in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, as well as replacement offices.
The council say number of visitors to the existing customer service centre has dropped dramatically in recent years as they say residents have been able to do more online; but those who do visit are more likely to come for a pre-arranged interview. The new customer centre will be redesigned and facilities such as meeting rooms can be booked by the community outside office hours. It is also likely that the new library will include an events space.
Perceval House’s electrical and mechanical services, such as heating, plumbing, lifts and air conditioning are coming towards the end of their life and it is not energy efficient.
Work is ongoing to determine the office space the council will require from 2020 and beyond. The proposals will take into account the expected reduction in the council workforce as a result of budget cuts, as well as the move towards more flexible working arrangements. Both mean that less office space will be required in future and the council will not need such a large building.
Council Leader, Councillor Julian Bell, said: “We’re sitting on top of a potentially very valuable site and when you consider the tough times we’re in financially and the desperate need to provide more affordable homes, it makes perfect sense for us to release the site’s value.
“Perceval House is now more than 30 years old and many of its electrical and mechanical services will need to be replaced in the near future, requiring major investment. By redeveloping the site we can provide much needed homes, a greatly improved customer service centre and co-located library, as well as smaller replacement offices that are cheaper to run and cater for modern working practices.”
Lib Dem Councillor, Jon Ball, says: ''
It's right that the Council is looking at all options to bring in extra money, but to be worthwhile this scheme needs to deliver significant affordable housing, provide a new library that isn't worse than the recently refurbished central library and also generate a capital receipt even allowing for the costs of moving council staff, perhaps via temporary rented offices. These three goals will be tough to achieve, and Ealing's Labour administration don't have a great record of delivering programmes on this grand scale on time and on budget.''
The preferred option is to build the replacement offices behind Perceval House on the current car park, so that operations can transfer to the new location before the old block is demolished. Alternatively the council could move to a different site, either permanently or temporarily while the building work takes place, but this would be in the immediate vicinity of Ealing Broadway and meet all the council’s office accommodation needs.
The council expects to select a developer to enter into a joint venture next year. Subject to planning permission the first phase of work could begin in 2018, with the new offices delivered five years from now.
22nd October 2015