The High Court has ruled that Ealing Council must review its decision to lease Southall Town Hall.
Judge Martin McKenna decided that Ealing Council had not sufficiently considered the alternatives to leasing the building to the Vishwa Hindu Temple. He said not enough consideration had been given to the historic, social and economic impact of the decision.
The Grade II listed building has cost the council more than it has brought in every year since 2010. It is currently in use as an enterprise centre and is occupied by a number of small businesses and local organisations. The council believes there is sufficient alternative office space for these groups available locally, but Judge McKenna felt not enough work had been done on this either.
Leader of the Council, Councllor Julian Bell said: “We are very disappointed with the decision of HHJ McKenna as we want to secure and revitalise the building in way that is not a drain on ever diminishing council resources. Going foward, we will now take advice and consider our legal options as we strongly believe that this is a necessary step.”
A council statement added that the plan was not to disposng of the freehold of the site, but to grant a lease of the building, and that since the building is Grade II listed any alterations or demolition would require both planning and listed building consent.