The Broadway Connection
Our proposals at a glance
The Broadway Connection provides an opportunity to take a tired, disconnected and mostly unused site, to create a new place that reflects its prominent location between Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and Ealing Broadway station. Upon competition it could be directly responsible for the creation of 2,700 jobs in central Ealing and increase local spending by £7.7million a year.
A planning application was submitted to Ealing Council in September 2022, who is now looking for comments from local residents and businesses on the plans. To view the planning application in full and to provide your comments directly to the local authority at this time, please visit here and search using the reference number 223774FUL.
Outlined below is just a summary of the potential benefits of redeveloping The Broadway Connection.
The benefits at a glance
We have been speaking to local people about what they would like to see in this part of the town centre for over a year.
Your feedback on our brief
In the early part of 2021, we asked what people would like to see in their local area and were delighted by the 500 responses we had.
You told us to:
- Improve the local environment
- Support cultural institutions and projects
- Create more jobs and training opportunities
You felt the Broadway would be most improved with more:
- Leisure facilities
- Arts, cultural and community spaces
- Squares and green spaces
- A mix of retailers to come to The Broadway including High Street brands & independent traders
Consultation on emerging designs
Having a assessed this feedback we received we then presented our initial vision for the site in March 2022, which saw us engage with over 450 people directly at a series of public exhibitions we inside Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and an online webinar. Thousands of people have also visit our website and on social media.
Key themes that have been identified from the consultation feedback are:
- In general people were supportive of the need to regenerate this site, with people primarily saying that they thought the quality of shops was poor and that the public realm was cluttered, or – in the case of Haven Place – unused
- Many felt Ealing needs investment and the benefits this would bring, with many commenting that this had to be the right type of investment that would create jobs
- Some said they wanted the current buildings to be upgraded to improve their aesthetic appeal
- Most felt that the site didn’t make use of the excellent transport connections on its door step
- Some supported the designs of incorporating sensitive architecture with the existing heritage buildings, as well as the retention of the heritage shop frontages along the Broadway
- A few commented to say that they were supportive of the emphasis being placed on making this an environmentally sustainable building
- People often proposed a ranged of suggested amenities to consider, such as leisure facilities, a gym or hotel space, that bring more people into the area
- Many noted a need to ensure the design is fit for the future, alongside the new Crossrail station
- Some were unsure about the mix of retained shopfronts with new buildings
- Others said they would like to see a more daring design
- Some noted that they felt there was a need to ensure the courtyard/public realm is active with bars, cafes, restaurants, as places for the office workers as well as local people to spend time after work/in the evenings and at weekends.
- Roughly half of people noted that the height of the tallest element is too tall at 21 storeys
- Others felt that the architecture was unimaginative
- Some noted that they felt the development is not in keeping with the surrounding area and character
- Some were against proposed use of office space as felt that demand had fallen after the pandemic
- A few said they would rather see the space used for community facilities or an NHS health centre.
During our consultation on these proposals with key stakeholders and the wider public, we have received a wide range of questions, with some more frequent than others.
1. What are you proposing?
• British Land has submitted a planning application to Ealing Council that seeks to deliver an office-led development at The Broadway Connection (formerly known as 10-40 The Broadway) opposite Ealing Broadway station.
• It would feature a new office building rising from 10 to 21 storeys, containing c 30,000 sqm NIA of office space, including affordable workspace, and ground-floor retail, which upon completion could be home to c.2,800 employees.
• As part of the proposals, BL are committed to retaining and improving 12 existing buildings along the Broadway and providing a new, bigger and better venue for the historic Ealing Club to relocate to.
• A new courtyard lined with shops, cafes, restaurants and leisure space, will provide a route from the town centre to Ealing Broadway station and its Elizabeth Line services.
2. What benefits could a scheme like this bring to Ealing?
• From a cultural and social perspective:
• Provide a new, larger and more accessible space for the Ealing Club – one of Ealing’s most important cultural venues;
• Deliver new associated recording space for local artists;
• Introduce a better range of shops, restaurants and cafes; and,
• Create an attractive new courtyard as part of the route into the station that can be used as a social meeting space.
• Provide space for c.2,800 jobs, and a further c.252 jobs indirectly through construction;
• Generate over c.£250million in Gross Added Value to Ealing Broadway, strengthening the economic base of the town centre;
• Increase the Council’s business rates revenue by c.£3.8million per year, along with additional Council funding through S.106 obligations;
• Increase local spending by £7.7million per year; and,
• Deliver a number of local education, employment and training programmes to help local people benefit from the opportunities created.
• From a townscape and heritage perspective:
• Retain and restoring a number of prominent heritage buildings along the Broadway;
• Provide a new route through from the station into the town centre, along with additional pedestrian routes that will reduce pinch points in the town centre;
• Remove all servicing and deliveries from the Broadway; and,
• Improve the visual appearance of the area by removing unsightly buildings.
• In terms of environmental impact and performance:
• Create a net zero carbon development (as defined by UKGBC definition.) This includes limits to Whole Life Carbon (operational and embodied) and allowable offsets and ensuring the development is made from up to 50% recycled materials;
• Introduce new on-site planting to increase local biodiversity and help improve local air quality.
3. Which buildings would you keep and why?
• We are proposing to keep:
• Buildings 9-16 The Broadway, which would be retained in their entirety, refurbished and upgraded with new shopfronts and retail frontage along The Broadway
• Buildings 25–29 The Broadway, which would be retained and see existing roofscape retained and new shopfront extensions to align with The Broadway buildings
• Building 35 which would have a new ground floor shopfront design developed to respond to passageway into the courtyard.
• Each building and any extensions and adaptations we are proposing have been assessed against two key factors:
• Their architectural and historical contribution to the local townscape – with the aim to favour those elements with the most historical importance.
• The environmental cost of replacing part or the whole of a building – including the embodied carbon expended to create new structures and consideration of the fact that modern buildings often performing better than older ones
4. What uses are you envisaging for these retained buildings?
• These retained buildings sit closest to the Broadway and because of this we believe would be best used primarily as shops, restaurants, cafes and for leisure facilities like a gym, with potentially some new office space above.
5. Why do you think this level of office space is needed?
• We believe that there is a need to deliver more office space and jobs in Ealing Town Centre which will help improve the wider prosperity of the Town Centre and the borough more generally. The site’s location, sat between Elizabeth Line services at Ealing Broadway station and the town centre, is perhaps the best opportunity to make this happen.
• The Council, endorse this approach and have set out requirements to see 90,000sqm of new office space build in the town centre in the coming years. It also considers this site specifically as currently having a “comparatively low intensity of development” and therefore not utilising its full potential.
• Analysis shows that the scheme we are proposing could accommodate 2,800 jobs in end use, with a further 252 jobs created through construction. This in turn would boost spending in the town centre’s shops, restaurants and cafes by c.£7.7 million a year and help keep this place thriving.
6. Can you prove there be will this level of demand for office space in Ealing in the future?
• As one of the UK’s largest providers of office space, British Land has witnessed the birth of the new office, with more space required by businesses for an expansion in meeting rooms, breakout areas and quiet spaces for employees and clients.
• There is also a general ‘flight to quality’ whereby more occupiers are looking for spaces that are environmentally sustainable and that contribute to employee wellbeing – the exact type of office space that would be created by this scheme.
• In response nationally recognised industry standards, including those by British Council for Offices (BCO), are changing to include more generous space standards for office developments generally. The scheme is ‘future-proofed’ to meet these standards.
• Other areas in west London have proven popular with major occupiers such as Discovery Channel, Publicis and Unilever all moving out of central London to this part of the capital.
7. What demand is there for new retail within this scheme?
• Upon competition The Broadway Connection would be the main throughfare between Ealing town centre and Ealing Broadway Station, and could provide space for some 2,700 employees.
• The combination of on-site trade and passing footfall would be highly popular with retailers, which is why we have no doubt that having a combination of shops, restaurants, cafes and leisure spaces is right here.
• That said, in recognition of the changing role of our high streets, we are in fact proposing to reduce the amount of retail here by over half, compared to what there is today.
• Instead our focus will be on providing quality, especially in the retained buildings along the Broadway.
8. Why are you now not seeking to deliver housing, given the urgent need for new homes across London?
• There is a great need to focus on delivering jobs in Ealing Broadway to help improve the wider prosperity of the borough. The Council recognises the potential here and so have identified Ealing Broadway as a major location for new jobs and businesses, rather than homes.
9. How tall is this scheme?
• The scheme at its highest is 21 storeys in height, stepping down to ten storeys as you get closer to the station and maximum of four storeys along The Broadway itself.
10. What design factors have helped to shape the buildings within the planning application?
• Key factors include:
• Carving out a public courtyard and route through to the station
• Retaining key heritage buildings along the Broadway
• Stepping back massing from the Broadway to mitigate impact on the station
• Reducing the width of the taller element to minimise impact on views, particularly from Haven Green
• Positioning the upper proportion of the building so as to mitigate impact on the setting of Christ the Saviour Church
• Delivering the right amount of office space to change perceptions about Ealing’s role in the office market.
11. How has the design of the planning application sought limit the visual impact on the area?
• A number of design measures have been put in place such as:
• Retaining existing buildings along The Broadway to ensure they remain at a similar scale to their surrounding high street context
• Stepping back massing from the Broadway to mitigate impact on the station
• Reducing the width of the taller element to minimise impact on views, particularly from Haven Green
• Positioning the upper proportion of the building so as to mitigate impact on the setting of Christ the Saviour Church.
12. The buildings appear to use lots of different materials. What materials are being proposed and why?
• A range of different materials would be used to create a dynamic design and reduce the visual impact of the development.
• In terms of the new buildings – the material and texture of the ten-storey building closest to Ealing Broadway Station references some of the key civic buildings in the surrounding area. The 21-storey element meanwhile is expressed with lighter, more reflective façade.
• As for the buildings we are proposing to retain, they will be restored using materials and techniques comparable to their existing construction and where possible using reclaimed materials. Any new buildings proposed along the Broadway are designed using complimentary materials, such a brick, to sit sensitively within their surrounding context.
13. The tallest element appears to be mainly glass. Isn’t this considered unsuitable nowadays when it comes to delivering sustainable buildings?
• On the contrary, the materials we are proposing have a number of advantages such as creating solar protection and providing heat retention strategies that limit the amount of heating and cooling the building needs. Likewise, glass helps to maximise the light going into internal spaces, that limits the need to artificial lighting.
• This type of ‘passive’ design performance has been a key part of the architectural brief for the site.
14. Have you explored the option of a lower, denser scheme, that maximises more of the site?
• Yes, but this option however had a number of limitations, not least:
• It would be bulky and therefore we believe less preferable from a townscape perspective;
• Its floorplates would be too large, meaning that many of the spaces within it would receive less natural light and the building would be harder to lease; and,
• The route through would be covered.
15. What is going to happen to the Ealing Club at 42 The Broadway if the planning application is approved?
• We are proposing to relocate the Ealing Club within the site through the delivery of a new, purpose-built and larger venue for the Ealing Club in the same location as it is today. We are working closely with the Ealing Club and as part of this we are exploring with them the option of creating some new recording space within the venue, something that it lacks at present, which could support local artists. This new space would be designed to meet modern standards for a facility of this type, helping to rectify a number of issues that the current venue suffers from, including issues around access and inclusivity, and inadequate sound insulation.
16. How will this scheme address the Climate Emergency?
• We are aiming for this to be a net zero carbon development (as defined by UKGBC definition) and to be the most sustainable building of this type in the borough.
• To do this we have undertaken what is known as a ‘Whole Life Carbon’ approach, which seeks to limit both Embodied Carbon (emissions arising from the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials) and Operational Carbon (emissions due to a building’s energy consumption in end use).
• As part of our strategy, for example, we are seeking to limit the amount of embodied carbon expended by ensuring that as much as 50% of the new building is made from recycled materials, including those on site now. We are also creating an all-electric building – meaning there is no requirement to burn fossil fuels on site and helping contribute to better local air quality.
17. How can you justify knocking down so many buildings and building new ones, at a time when we are trying to limit demolition and associated embodied carbon impacts?
• We are seeking to limit the amount of embodied carbon expended by ensuring that as much as 50% of the new building is made from recycled materials, including those on site now.
18. What provisions are going to be in place to ensure that there is affordable office and retail space for local Ealing business?
• This is an ongoing discussion with Ealing Council.
19. How are you proposing to improve pedestrian experience in the area through your proposals?
• We are creating two new routes through the site: one to the bus services along the Uxbridge Road and another to Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, both connecting to the station and providing a good alternative for people who currently walk around by the Wenzels.
• At the same time, we are exploring the option of pavement widening along the Uxbridge Road to further alleviate congestion issues.
• As a result, the development will significantly improve current pedestrian flow and congestion issues around the site
20. How will the scheme be serviced and how will this impact on local traffic?
• All servicing will be done via Springbridge Road, helping to avoid on-site deliveries and waste collection blocking The Broadway.
21. Can public transport cope with the volume of people you are looking to bring to the development each day?
• Yes, and especially now with the Elizabeth Line operational, which has added to the wealth of existing connections at Ealing Broadway Station that comprises two Tube lines, 23 different bus routes and overground rail.
• As we know, most people commute from outer London locations into central London for work, not the other way around, and so we would not be exacerbating the parts of the network that have capacity issues. As such, this development will make use of the spare capacity that exists during peak times for services coming into the Broadway from central areas.
• Furthermore, we also expect that there will be a proportion of people working in the building who live in the area – both those that live here now and those that will move to here to be closer to their job in the new development.
22. What consultation did you undertake prior to the submission of a planning application?
• We held a major exhibition of the emerging proposals in March 2022, along with an on line presentation.
• We also presented to the borough’s Community Review Panel and twice to their Design Review Panel.
• Last year we also ran an online survey to find out what people would like to see in Ealing town centre.