A local group in Ealing has come together in a bid to stop the region’s Town Hall being turned into a hotel.
Ealing Voice has lodged an application with Ealing Council that argues that the building is an asset of community value and should be protected against the new hotel proposal.
The group of around 40 people has until late September to express their interest in taking over the lease of the building, and is then expected to present plans before February.
Developers Mastcraft has already been chosen to refurbish the Town Hall and create a new hotel on site, which will see it closed for 18 months while work takes place.
But if Ealing Voice, which formed just over a month ago, prepares an alternative proposal the council said it will consider this before entering into a legal agreement with Mastcraft.
The group’s founder, Julian Smith, said: “The town hall has been the heart of the civic administration and community of Ealing for over 125 years.
“If it is lost to a private commercial operator now our community will never be in a position to replace it.
Under current plans with Mastcraft, the council will retain the east wing of the building for civic use with part of the west wing will be turned into a boutique hotel.
But community groups seeking to hire the room will be set for an increase in cost – capped at 20% but only for the first five years from its anticipated relaunch in 2019.
Work is expected to start in mid-2017 meaning the building will be closed for around 18 months, during which time services will be moved to other buildings.