THE transformation of Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery moved a step closer last week after Ealing Council granted planning permission for work to restore it to its former glory.

The planning committee approved an application, which will include renovation work to the manor and construction of a new café in the walled garden.

As Pitzhanger Manor is a Grade I listed building, Whitehall will have the final say on the Listed Building Consent approval.

Planning permission was also given for a conservatory extension at the back of the manor and installation of a roof lantern.

Also, the former library building, converted into a gallery in the 1980s, will have updated and improved visitor features.

There will also be improved pedestrian access from Ealing Green to the café, linking through to the walled garden and Walpole Park.

In April 2012, Pitzhanger Manor was awarded a first-round development grant of £275,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its restoration plans.

A second-round bid of £4.42million has recently been submitted to the HLF to carry out the restorations, alongside a bid to Arts Council England for just under £500,000 for work to the gallery.

Ealing Council also agreed in principle to allow the Pitzhanger Manor Trust to take over management and operation of the manor house and gallery.

The trust is a registered charity, formed to work alongside the council to oversee redevelopment and conservation.

It also raises awareness of the project and, more importantly, finds ways to raise the rest of the £1.85m needed to carry out the restoration. Recently, £425,000 has was awarded from several charitable trusts and foundations which fund heritage and arts projects. The funds are subject to the success of the second-round bid.

The chairman of Pitzhanger Manor Trust, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, said: “This is very exciting news for Ealing, West London and England’s cultural heritage.

"I have no doubt that, once completed, it will be the jewel in the crown of the queen of the suburbs.”

Subject to further planning permission and all the funding being approved, work on Pitzhanger Manor is due to start early next year.