Contentious plans to tear down the Arcadia Centre and build a 25-storey tower overlooking Haven Green could be rubber stamped next week.
Onlookers at Wednesday's meeting at Ealing Town Hall will be eager to see whether it turns into a rerun of the Dickens Yard debate in November, in which council-lors moved swiftly to grant permission for 700 homes and dozens of shops.
Discussions on the similarly sized Arcadia Centre will follow the same format, with six speakers invited into the council chamber and a live video link provided for the crowds expected to gather in Queens Hall.
Planning officers are recommending approval of the scheme, which is seen as the key to the successful regeneration of Ealing's town centre.
It would create 567 flats in seven new blocks - 18 per cent of which would be affordable - along with 18,600 square metres of retail space and a 1,900 square metre health and fitness club.
Developers Glenkerrin would hand over around £6.4million to Ealing Council to help mitigate the impact on local infrastructure and services.
Some £87,000 is being asked for to address the impact on community safety which the development is "undoubtedly" going to have, according to a council report.
It said: "The introduction of a new shopping centre will attract more people to the area and not all of them will have honourable intentions. Shop-lifting is not the only crime that will go up but it is likely that houses in the vicinity of the new development will be more vulnerable to opportunistic burglary and that those flats in the development itself will be targeted.
"The open spaces may also become a focal point for local people and may include street drinkers and those wanting to cause a nuisance."
Initial plans for the 40-storey 'Leaf ' building were withdrawn following opposition.
The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment - which criticised the original plans - now supports the redesigned tower, which it said may become an "innovative and unique landmark for Ealing".
The council's own planning officers describe it as "the result of a highly sophisticated intellectual and technical exercise".
But while welcoming the idea of a better network of shopping streets running from Haven Green to The Broadway, the report reflects the ongoing concerns of residents about "a much too high and overpowering scale of development that weakly relates to the Victorian and Edwardian remains of the town centre."
If permission is granted, construction is expected to last five years, but may not begin until 2012 with the covering over of the railway tracks next to Haven Green.
Work would then be carried out in several phases in a clockwise direction moving through the existing Arcadia Centre and ending up in The Broadway.