Receivers were appointed when the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) argued in court that Ealing Council’s threatened CPO significantly affected the value of the site, and therefore the security of their loan to Empire on the site.
The receivers, Allsops, are refusing to contemplate a negotiated sale to either Land Securities or the council. Instead Allsops has asked the council for a nine-month delay to the CPO to see if a speculative bidder will come along on the open market.
The council says it has made it very clear that it will not halt its CPO proceedings but would pay a fair market price for the site if Allsops won’t deal with Land Securities directly.
Leader of the council, Julian Bell said: “We embarked on the CPO process to deliver a cinema for the people of Ealing. We won’t sit and look at a vacant site while Allsops try to find someone prepared to pay more than the site is worth.
“The Irish government should tell Allsops to stop messing around and come to the table. This will give the Irish taxpayer the best and quickest means to get their money back and Ealing residents the cinema they have been waiting too long for.”
The council has now set a July deadline for the sale of the site by the receivers to its preferred developer partner Land Securities, who plan submission of a planning application around the same time (see visualisation pictured left).
The site has been the subject of a protracted wrangle.