Galliford Try was appointed as the council’s preferred bidder for the scheme in July. Ealing Council's cabinet has now formally decided to enter into a development agreement with Galliford Try. Subject to planning permission, their proposal involves building a new, smaller civic centre fronting Uxbridge Road to replace the existing Perceval House. It will include a modern customer services centre and a library, as well as a basement car park.
The remainder of the site will be given over to the construction of around 470 flats, 50% of which will be affordable, and four retail units. Discussions since July have prioritised securing the viability of the affordable housing element of the development.
The construction of the new civic centre comes at no cost to council tax payers as the receipts from the sale of the land and residential units will offset the cost of building the new headquarters. In addition, the council is expected to benefit from ongoing savings from running a smaller office building.
In order to construct the new civic centre, Galliford Try intends to first demolish the front of Perceval House fronting Uxbridge Road. Staff will move into the rear of the building, and to other council properties, while the new offices are constructed in the space left by the removal of the front section. At the same time, work will commence on building the new homes at the back of the site.
Once the new building is finished in 2021, staff will move into their new, smaller headquarters. The remainder of Perceval House will be demolished and the space developed for residential units. In addition, subject to a further decision, Longfield Avenue could be pedestrianised. If this goes ahead it would create a people-friendly public space connecting the Perceval House development with Dickens Yard and Ealing Town Hall
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “Galliford Try’s proposal makes the most of this prime town centre location and will provide a modern and efficient civic centre, as well as complementing the ongoing construction of the cinema site and Dickens Yard, and the planned redevelopment of Ealing Town Hall.
“Local authorities across the country are under immense financial pressure and Ealing is no different. We must adapt to our new financial reality by making the most of the assets that we have and capitalising on the opportunities that present themselves, such as Crossrail. By improving our town centres in this way, we will attract more people and jobs to Ealing.”
A public planning consultation on the scheme is expected to take place in spring 2018.