On 1st November 2011 we have the beginning of National Government’s External Examination of Ealing Council’s spatial plans for the town over the next 15 years. Specifically under examination is Ealing’s Local Development Framework Core Strategy. You can examine this here (pdf).
At the heart of Ealing’s plans are the building of 14,000 new homes, almost 10,000 of which will be along the Uxbridge Road/Crossrail ‘Corridor’ and clustered around Acton, Southall, West Ealing and Ealing Broadway Stations.
The examination meetings are being held in public in Ealing Town Hall. The dates of the meetings are 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 15 and 16 November. Morning sessions start at 10:30am and afternoon sessions at 2:00pm.
Although the exact format of the meetings is still unclear the meat of the proceedings will be Inspector Elizabeth Fielding quizzing Council Officers on aspects of the Core Strategy. Others invited to speak will be those organisations and individuals who objected in writing to the published strategy in Autumn 2010. West Ealing Neighbours and Save Ealing Centre are two of these organisations who expect to be called to speak.
The Inspector will assess the Council’s plan as to its legality and soundness. ‘Soundness’ will be evaluated in the context of whether it is justified, effective and consistent with National Policy.
WEN has already expressed its surprise and disappointment that the examination is not being held on consecutive days. The Inspector told WEN that this discontinuous schedule has been caused by Ealing Council failing to make rooms in the Town Hall – or anywhere in Ealing – available on consecutive days. This suggests that Ealing Council views this National Government review of land use within the borough as not being a high priority activity. The fact that there is no reference to these public meetings on the Council’s website home page or in ‘Around Ealing’ merely endorses this view and could lead one to think that Ealing Council doesn’t want residents attending these meetings.
I intend to attend all the sessions and to publish notes on the proceedings on the WEN web site.
31 October 2011