Crossways is a vacant Grade II listed residential dwelling located in the village of Hanwell in the London Borough of Ealing. Over the previous 10 years a number of unsuccessful applications and appeals have been made on the site for its complete demolition and “de-listing”. During this time the building became so neglected and derelict that it appeared on Historic England’s “Heritage at Risk” register and Ealing Council sought legal action to enforce necessary repairs and considered Compulsory Purchase.

The building is set within extensive grounds on the edge of Hanwell Village Green Conservation Area, with several trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order. After 10 years of failed applications and appeals, relationships with amenity societies, neighbours, the Council, Historic England and other stakeholders had completely broken down. The building had become derelict and unstable.

The building was urgently in need of significant investment and therefore the planning strategy set out clearly defined timescales, actions and outputs (both short-term and long- term) which ensured credibility with the Council and Historic England and established an agreed approach to the project from the start.

The Planning Consultancy team advised on and brought together a specialist team of consultants to assess the building, its historical significance and current condition as well as its potential, with the aim of securing its viable long-term future. To restore the house while retaining those qualities which were integral to its listing and significance resulted in a conservation deficit. An options appraisal was therefore carried out for over 20 different approaches to determine the extent and type of enabling development required. The principle and form of enabling development was agreed with Ealing Council and Historic England, with its detailed design agreed through a number of pre-application meetings. The proposals offered the minimum necessary amount of enabling development within the grounds, whilst allowing Crossways to be retained as a single-family dwelling.

The proposals for the conservation-led restoration of Crossways and the enabling development, the result of detailed investigations, historical research and collaborative pre-application discussions with Historic England and Ealing Council, secured considerable stakeholder support as specialist interest groups and neighbours recognised the balances that had to be struck and the quality and extent of the restoration effort.

The application was submitted to Ealing Council in March 2016 and was approved in November 2016.