Work in progress

Fri 20 July 2012, 2:18 pm

A guide to the development schemes which will shape Ealing’s transformation.

Dickens Yard Phase Two: Skyline

Phase two of Dickens Yard, a major mixed-use scheme by St George, continues apace. It will eventually comprise 698 apartments, three new public squares, offices, shops and restaurants and create a new focal point for Ealing Town centre. Dickens Yard will also link a trio of Victorian-era buildings – the Town Hall and Old Fire Station and the parish Church of Christ the Saviour – with a new town square.

The development will also include a 24-hour concierge, underground parking and an exclusive private residents' spa, with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, treatment rooms and gymnasium.

The current phase of Dickens Yard comprises four apartment buildings – Belgravia, Skyline, Dickens, and Fitzroy. Each flat looks out across landscaped private gardens or pedestrian boulevards, linking the piazzas, which will host markets, street theatre and jazz events. The first building to complete was the Belgravia, with a selection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Phase two, the Skyline Apartments, is the tallest building at Dickens Yard and features 100 apartments, each with its own balcony or terrace. The first residents will move in May and June 2014.

At the heart of Dickens Yard are the Dickens Apartments, set within landscaped courtyard gardens. Nearly all the 200 one, two and three-bedroom high-spec apartments, along with ‘elite’ apartments and penthouses – with private terraces – have been sold, even though the foundations are only now being laid.

The final building to be built will be 48 Fitzroy Apartments, each with its own balcony or terrace, many of which overlook Dickens Yard's centrepiece, Victoria Square. 

University of West London

The University of West London, has now delivered a new students’ union building and performance centre, and by September 2014 will see a brand new library, refectory, bookshop and a social space. Existing teaching and social spaces across the university will also be upgraded, including new heating and cooling systems.

The project started in May 2013 with the students’ union opening in September. A new bar, lounge, gym and modern cafe, provide space for students and the wider community to come together and participate in a host of extracurricular activities and campaigns.

The performance centre, designed for London College of Music students, includes industry-standard stage and theatrical lighting, as well as an advanced sound system for recitals, concerts and theatrical productions.

By September 2014, the next stage of the project, Future Campus, will be complete, with library, refectory, bookshop and a social space.

Former Southall Gasworks

In one of London’s biggest regeneration projects, signalling a decisive vote of confidence in Ealing, the former Southall Gas Works site is being redeveloped by Berkley Homes subsidiary St James to create 3,750 new homes. The 34ha brownfield site will also provide 47,250sq m of commercial and community floor space, a new primary school and large areas of landscaped public realm and open amenity space.

It will take 30 years to be built, and is anticipated to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs, in addition to the several thousands stemming from construction.

The site is next to the Grand Union Canal and a future Crossrail station, close to the M4 motorway and next to 36 hectares of country park in one of 33 of the mayor’s Opportunity Areas.

The gas works ceased production in the 1970s and is now being used as a car park. Work is expected to start on the site by 2015, with the first homes complete in 2019, the year Southall Crossrail station is due to open. 

Former GSK Site

A planning application to regenerate the former GlaxoSmithKline site at Greenford was lodged in November 2013. Iceni hopes to create a mixed-use development offering employment, residential, education and leisure use and opening up the area to the community for the first time in decades.

The hybrid (part outline and part detail) planning application, mainly for the southern part of the site, proposes up to 593 homes (98 houses and 495 flats) including the partial demolition, an extension and conversion of the Grade II-listed Glaxo House from office to residential use, 2,806sqm of retail, 656sqm of restaurants, 245sqm of community facilities and a 3,100sqm cinema, part of a canal-side leisure hub which would also include a food store, restaurants and cafes.

It proposes the re-opening of Berkeley Avenue to connect the site with Greenford, open space, regeneration of the canal side, surface and basement car parking, cycle parking and public realm.

Decisions from Ealing Council then the Mayor of London, are expected this spring. If approved, work will start in early 2015.

GSM London, an independent business college, opened on the nine-hectare site in October 2012, while Glaxo Welcome House is available to let as an office building.

The site is north of Greenford town centre and to the south of Sudbury Hill, well-connected to central London and Ealing town centre with regular tube, bus and rail connections to London Heathrow, Wembley Stadium and Westfield Shopping Centre, as well as the A40.

Film Quarter

A £100 million ‘film quarter’ is set to transform central Ealing, giving it a cinema for the first time since 2008. Developer Land Securities have submitted a planning application for the site, and signed a deal with Ealing Council to create a 0.8ha leisure destination with a new multi-screen cinema, cafes, bars, shops and restaurants along with up to 161 flats, to be known as Ealing Filmworks.

The proposed scheme will create pedestrian routes between Walpole Park, the New Broadway and Bond Street, and a flexible performance area with amphitheatre-style seating and an outdoor screen. The initiative will create 350 jobs. If Ealing Council approves the plans, Land Securities hopes to open the cinema in late 2017 and complete the development by 2018.

Land Securities’ development director, Nick Davis, added: “We received an overwhelming level of support for the film quarter during our public consultation and are in discussions with various groups on how our flexible, performance area, outdoor screen and gallery can best be used by the local community. We are 100% committed to delivering this scheme, bringing new jobs, footfall and investment to Ealing town centre and look forward to continuing to work with the council and other interested parties throughout the planning process.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “The people of Ealing have waited long enough to see this derelict site brought back to life. We are firmly committed to Land Securities building Ealing’s new cinema quarter and won’t wait a day longer than needed to get this scheme back on track.  We hope a negotiated agreement can be reached as quickly as possible but are prepared to use our CPO powers if necessary." 

Acton Town Hall

The refurbishment of Acton’s Victorian town hall and construction of new council offices, leisure and community facilities is now under way.

The £15.4 million project, being undertaken by Willmott Dixon is the first phase of transformation of the Grade II-listed Victorian town hall. It includes replacing Acton’s former swimming baths with a three-storey building housing a 25m pool and a trainer pool, while retaining and refurbishing part of the town hall to create a new library and council offices. The listed frontage and bath chimney will be restored.

The pool will have eight lanes and the new smaller training pool will feature a moveable floor to improve disabled access. Above, the first floor will host a glass-fronted gym with dance and fitness studios and changing facilities, along with the library and IT training suite. Council offices and space for adults, children and families services, including day care facilities, therapy rooms and drop-in services will be housed on the second floor.

The 80-week project is due to complete in March 2014. Ealing Council will sell the remainder of the town hall for residential redevelopment, subject to planning. The council is in discussion with One Housing Group to take forward development of this building.

The current grade 2 listed Acton Library building will be disposed of with vacant possession next year. The council will shortly start planning its disposal, ensuring that its future use will help activate and revitalise the town centre. 

Acton Gardens

This £600 million regeneration of the South Acton estate – in a joint venture partnership between L&Q London Housing Association and Countryside Properties – will reconnect the estate to the wider neighbourhood by creating an urban village of around 2,600 homes with traditional tree-lined streets. The first phase is now complete, the second phase on site, and a planning application for the two sites in the third phase has just been submitted to Ealing Council.

The 11-phase Acton Gardens has been planned as a series of local neighbourhoods, arranged around public squares, parks and play areas to replace the homes on the old South Acton estate, which had reached the end of their natural life.

It will also feature a community hub and culture, office and retail space. The new homes, many of which are affordable, will be built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 offering low heating, power and water consumption, feature green roofs with photo-voltaic cells providing electricity to the landlord areas. A tenth are wheelchair adaptable.

The development also offers jobs and training opportunities.

Phase one offered one, two and three-bedroom apartments, most with a balcony or winter garden, and is now complete, with residents in situ.

Building works of phase two started on site in October 2013 and is forecast to be finished by summer 2015. Known as Liberty Gardens, it comprises 106 new apartments and maisonettes with between one and four bedrooms, in six to eight-storey buildings with semi-private landscaped open space at the first floor level. All homes will have private amenity space, and feature either a garden, terrace or balcony.

As Ealing in London went to press, a planning application was due to be submitted in March 2014 for phase three, which will see a further 240 homes.


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