The long-running dispute over the stalled scheme seemed to be nearing a resolution when the council said they would CPO the site, and sell it to another developer. They have shortlisted three schemes to take the site over from Empire, who had failed to start work on their approved scheme despite a long-running and public war of words. LB Ealing had planned to make a decision on a preferred developer before Christmas.
Empire Cinemas say they have now started piling, and that the CPO is “unhelpful”, reports the Ealing Gazette. This apparent construction activity could frustrate the council’s CPO plans, which would be an embarrassment, given the prominence of the site, directly opposite the council offices, and the flagship new St George Dickens Yard development.