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Arcadia Centre Called In

In what many have found a surprising move, the Secretary of State For Communities, Hazel Blears, has called in the HKR and Foster designed Arcadia Centre for a public inquiry.

The scheme which was approved in December by Ealing council to sit in their town centre contains an 85.7 metre tall tower with curving louvres designed by Foster and Partners, and a collection of lower-rise buildings by penned by HKR who are also responsible for the overall masterplanning of the proposals.

The project has been approved by various stages of the planning process including the Mayor of London and the local council and also has the support of the Commission of Architecture and Built Environment, but is opposed by vocal local campaigners and English Heritage.

English Heritage's concerns are primarily about height, but also about the actual scale of the development for what is considered by some to be a "suburban" area of London, a deviation again from their brief which is clearly defined by the National Heritage Act (1983).

The public inquiry will not however delay development as much preparation has to be done before construction work proper can begin and that is penciled in for 2012 giving the authorities plenty of time to consider all the issues.

If approval does eventually come, the inquiry could well set a precedent for developers to use on other similar sites across London.
The Arcadia Centre, Ealing
The Arcadia Centre, Ealing