Good Turnout For Public Meeting On Empire House

Funding campaign continues to help with legal challenge

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At least 250 people attended the public meeting to discuss the Empire House judicial review, held at Christ Church Turnham Green (July 9th).

The meeting was introduced by Rebecca Frayn of the Friends of Turnham Green. The audiance heard that the initial application for Judicial Review has been rejected, but legal advice is that there is a case to answer, so the application has been re-submitted and awaits a different judge's decision.

l-r Rebecca Frayn, Chris Chauncy, Simon Kverndal Pic-Jon Perry

Simon Kverndal, who is taking the judicial review against Hounslow Council's granting of planning permission for the Empire House/Essex Place scheme, spoke about his reasons for taking the case and said he was doing it for Chiswick, not for himself.

You can find out more on this video by chiswickbuzz.

Ten minutes after the meeting closed, the fundraising campaign hit its original target of £10,000. Legal fees are expected to cost some £35,000 so the fundraising will continue.

The audience was supportive and questions were 100% in favour, with many thanking the organisers for their efforts. Cllrs John Todd and Samantha Davies attended. The two local MPs (Ruth Cadbury and Rupa Huq) were invited but sent apologies

The development consists of 72 residential units, including affordable homes, in Essex Place and Acton Lane. The Empire House tower block is currently being refurbished from office to residential, on sale as The Opus Collection, with new retail frontage of seven units planned below.

The Judicial Review is being taken by Simon Kverndal QC, and is supported by local lawyers and four residents’ groups, challenging the legality of the planning decision. The Judicial Review application was launched on 14 May.

Mr. Kverndal, who has lived in Chiswick for 17 years, says that he cares about the local community and is horrified about the prospect of it being "dominated and disfigured" by towering new eight-storey apartment blocks and the additional two storeys added to the unsightly 1960s block (Empire House). He spoke about the matter to The Chiswick Calendar.

More information at

July 10, 2015