Four years after the Forum Picture Palace closed on New Broadway in Ealing, two developers are vying for the right to build a replacement. Ealing Council want Land Securities to push ahead with their plan to build a £100m Film Quarter complete with a cinema, flats, bars and restaurants.
However, the original developers Empire Cinemas, who currently own the site, say they have been working on plans for the site for four years.
Empire had promised to open a new cinema in 2014 but the council says they failed to meet a deadline to start work by October. Ealing Council now is planning a Compulsory Purchase Order to take over the site. Julian Bell, the leader of the council, said they had warned Empire they had to start the work.
However, Empire Cinemas said today they had complied with the October deadline and work had begun.
They say they have agreed a construction contract and believe the threat of the Compulsory Purchase Order is counterproductive. If the CPO goes ahead, they believe it will delay the development and waste taxpayers' money while legal action goes ahead.