A GROUP of Ealing residents is taking the Charity Commission to  court, to challenge its support for the council’s five-year effort to sell off Ealing Town Hall for a luxury hotel.

“The Commission just hasn’t listened to the people of Ealing. It’s ignored hundreds of complaints and more than 4,000 signatures on two petitions,” said Roger Green, chair of the Friends of Victoria Hall.

FoVH is launching a £35,000 appeal to supporters, to pay the legal costs of the challenge.

In July 2016, Ealing Council entered into an agreement with a developer to sell off the town hall on a 250-year lease, to turn it into a hotel.

The deal included the Victoria Hall, which accounts for a fifth of the property and which belongs to the charitable Victoria Hall Trust, not the council.

The trust was set up in 1893 to run the venue for the benefit of the community that had paid for it.

FoVH is launching an appeal at the Charity Tribunal, to try to prevent the Charity Commission from allowing the council to change the rules of the trust, so it can take over the hall.

 Mr Green added: “We’re now into the sixth year of this sorry saga.

“If the council had done its homework at the start, it would have discovered it didn’t own the Victoria Hall and might have come up with a better idea for the town hall site than another hotel.”

Details of the fundraising appeal at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save- the-victoria-hall