Midsomer Murders Star Backs 'Empire House' Challenge

Neil Dudgeon supports campaign to appeal against High Road development

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Midsomer Murders’ star, Neil Dudgeon has backed the campaign against the Empire House/Essex place development, which is now fundraising for an appeal against a High Court ruling.

Chiswick resident Neil, (53), who plays DCI John Barnaby in the series says,"I am entirely against the proposed development of Empire House. It is out of keeping with its surroundings and will in no way benefit the local area, only the developers and their investors who care nothing for the people of Chiswick.

Neil Dudgeon

The legal appeal by Simon Kverndal, a local resident and QC, against the development by Lend Lease of 4 high rise blocks on Chiswick High Road, continues, and a campaign has been launched to raise £20,000 for legal fees.

At the Judicial Review on 28 October the Court found against the challenge, but the local community has decided to fight on against what they see as a planning injustice.

They feel that if this" manifestly inappropriate" development is allowed to go ahead, the floodgates will be opened. However, resorting to legal challenges does not come cheap. £20,000 was swiftly raised for the first legal round; now an equivalent sum is once more needed.

Enough donations were immediately received to lodge the initial appeal against the judgement (£4,000), and to allow Kverndal to instruct his campaign lawyers to begin preparing a formal written application.

Simon Kverndal issued a statement saying; "Let this Council get away with this one and the gates will be opened. This is a case with a realistic chance of success on appeal and therefore one which I hope people will support in order to try to hold back the tide of tall buildings. It is a really important cause for us all."

Chair of the Friends of Turnham Green, Rebecca Frayn agrees. "Lend Lease has been given permission to build new tower blocks in the middle of a conservation area but I think they have underestimated the fighting spirit of Chiswick residents. We don't want it and we're not prepared to take it lying down. With the highest tower block in West London currently on the table too, it’s wonderful to see so many residents prepared to step up and defend their area like this. It’s a real example of people power.”

November 20, 2015