Ealing makes Empire CPO

land sec empire dec 12Ealing Council has made a compulsory purchase order to enable the development of a £100million ‘cultural quarter’ in Ealing Broadway.

The CPO area includes the site of the former Empire Cinema which closed in 2008, a neighbouring office building, bar and other properties on the boundary of the site.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “We have a development partner, a cinema operator and the necessary permissions to make this scheme a reality. What we don’t have is all the land to deliver the council’s vision for the cultural quarter.

“This area needs to be improved. And after all the delays we want to ensure this comprehensive scheme and the benefits it brings to Ealing will be delivered.

“Ealing is world famous for its film studios and we are keen to build on our proud film heritage by bringing a cinema back to Ealing as part of this exciting cultural development.”

Following an agreement entered into with Land Securities last September, the council and Land Securities have worked together to try to acquire the properties within the CPO site by agreement with the owners. The authority has decided to make a CPO to ensure the scheme does not stall if agreements cannot be reached.

The council hopes that scheme will ensure the regeneration of a large section of Ealing town centre. It brings together a mix of cultural attractions including a cinema and performance space, restaurants, shops and homes. They hope it will also enable the creation of a more open, visitor-friendly town centre that links New Broadway, Bond Street and Walpole Park. The council also hope the plans will create approximately 350 new jobs.

Although the CPO process is likely to take several months to complete, if the CPO is confirmed by the Secretary of State the scheme is still expected to complete by 2018 in time for Crossrail.

Land Securities announced last week that Picturehouse Cinemas has been selected as the cinema operator for the development and will open an eight screen arthouse cinema at the site in late 2017.

The 1,000-seat cinema, which will incorporate the most digitally advanced projection and sound systems to ensure the best film experience, will include a ground floor café-bar, a statement staircase and a bar at first floor.

Land Securities’ Project Director, Riccardo Mai, said: “The council will use its CPO powers as a last resort but it remains ours and the council’s preference to try and reach earlier agreement with the affected parties wherever possible, even after the CPO is made.”

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