Falcons Girls School For Gunnersbury's Small Mansion?

Ealing Council considering proposal to move the girls' school

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Ealing Council has been asked to consider the Small Mansion in Gunnersbury House becoming a Falcons School for Girls. The current site for the school is a Victorian house on Gunnersbury Avenue.

The item was discussed at the Ealing Cabinet meeting of January 22nd during a discussion of the marketing of the Small Mansion.

The Cabinet was being asked to award the Alpha Plus Group Ltd the status of “preferred bidder”. The next stage would be to negotiate a development agreement.

This company runs 15 schools, including a primary school in Grove Park, Chiswick, and six colleges, including Falcons School for Girls. The latter is a school for girls between the ages of 3 and 11, and the proposal is for it to move from its current site - a Victorian house on Gunnersbury Avenue.

The report to the Cabinet notes that, if the company can meet all the requirements, including planning permission, it would receive a 200 year lease. In return, Ealing and Hounslow councils would no longer have to pay for the restoration and maintenance of the building, and would receive an unspecified ground rent. The other public benefit referred to in the report is possible community use of school rooms out of school hours.

The report states that there will be a detailed programme of consultation once the preferred bidders have been appointed.

The same report will be submitted to Hounslow’s next Cabinet meeting on 5th February for approval.

At the inquorate meeting of the Gunnersbury Park Joint Advisory Panel meeting in September 2012, the members were informed that four expressions of interest had been received. In the Project Update report to the same committee’s meeting on 25 January 2013, it states that the expressions of interest proposed residential, schools and a venue for catered events and banqueting.

For such an important building, to have only four expressions of interest must be disappointing, commented Mr. James Wisdom, chairman of the Friends of Gunnersbury Park Museum.

"I put to the GP Joint Advisory Panel meeting in May 2012 that the value and desirability of this building would be significantly increased if we won both the Lottery bids, and that it was worth waiting until these decisions were known", he commented on the Friends newsletter.

The report to Ealing’s Cabinet also reports the outcome of marketing the Stables.

The only outcome has been proposals for residential units. The best of these would require major changes to the inside and outside of the buildings, and significant new building.

Ealing’s Cabinet have been asked to allow further negotiations with the bidder(s), English Heritage and Transport for London to see if an acceptable scheme can be devised.


January 29, 2013