Ealing Council has announced that it is going into partnership with a company called Mastcraft to redevelop Ealing Town Hall into a hotel whilst at the same time retaining some of the civic rooms (in particular the Victoria Hall) for Council and community use. The building would be leased to Mastcraft which would become responsible for its its maintenance and repair. A planning application is expected early next year and, if approved, construction would start in the winter of 2017.
The Society has made the following statement in response to the news: ‘We note that Mastcraft is the Council’s preferred partner for future redevelopment of Ealing Town Hall which is a Grade II listed building at the heart of the town centre of enormous significance to the local community. The key issue for us is the extent of the expertise the developers have for dealing with an important heritage building like the Town Hall. We note that the paper to Cabinet [on 12 July] says “redevelopment [will be] broadly sympathetic to heritage and historic environment considerations…” but that Historic England [the Government’s national heritage body] has so far not been consulted on the proposals neither of which is entirely reassuring. We shall want to be closely involved in any proposals to redevelop the building to ensure that its heritage features are preserved and enhanced in a sympathetic way.’