This information that follows is taken from our March newsletter and is based on Eric Leach’s work for the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum. It lists some of the major changes and developments in and around our high street. Not yet visible but likely to also have an impact is the £300,000 Council fund to help regenerate the high street. The Business Improvement District study (details below) is the first major project to be funded from this source. Others will follow over the next 15 months.
Morrisons and InHealth
After being empty for some years the ground floor of Lovelace House is about to be fully occupied by Morrisons and a private healthcare provider called InHealth.
Morrisons opened a competitor to Tesco Express on 25 February 2013 with barely 150 yards separating them! Morrisons is occupying about one third of the Lovelace House ground floor flat /gym development at 96-122 Uxbridge Road.
InHealth will be providing clinically managed diagnostic services on behalf of the NHS. The company claims to be the UK leader in its field and is best known for providing diagnostic and imaging services including MRI, Ultrasaound, MSK, Echo, DXA, X-Ray and CT scans. The company sells its services privately as well as to the NHS.
After encouraging noises about the West Ealing outlet of this ailing chain staying open, we now know it is to close. It will be interesting to see what site owner Catalyst Housing decides to do with the building at 101- 103 The Broadway. Rumour amongst nearby traders is that it will be a Morrisons supermarket. Morrisons has bought 49 Blockbuster stores. Arts centre OPEN Ealing have had designs on the vacant top two floors of the building for many months.
NHS West London Mental Health Trust (WLMHT)
WLMHT has secured a five year lease on the double fronted shop and Singapore Road accessible back yard at 134/136 The Broadway. The ‘debra’ charity shop was the most recent occupier these premises but it’s been empty for quite some time. It’s just next door to the Paddy Power betting shop at the western end of The Broadway.
The NHS plans to create a ‘Recovery Hub’ here and offer a range of activities including picture framing. The goods created will be sold in the Accession Community Shop at 56 Boston Road, Hanwell.
Planning permission has been granted for this betting shop at 75 The Broadway (corner of Melbourne Avenue and The Broadway). However this may not get off the ground if the recent hotel Planning Application is successful (see next item).
New 60 Bed Hotel in West Ealing Centre?
A Planning Application has been submitted to build a 60 bed hotel on the corner of Melbourne Avenue and The Broadway. Some local traders are in favour of the plan but residents are concerned about lack of car parking, disruption, access, and health and safety issues. WECNF, West Ealing Neighbours, 100+ O’Grady Court elderly residents, Ealing Civic Society and others have submitted objections. The two street traders at the location have been told that if the hotel is built they will lose their pitches, which they have occupied for decades. Over 800 people signed a petition complaining about this.
New Traffic and Car Parking Proposals
Ealing Council is proposing to make traffic and public realm changes along The Broadway/Uxbridge Road, St James Avenue, Leeland Road and Green Man Passage. See previous post for details.
Aerial view of proposed new mosque looking south with the front on Singapore Road
On 30 January 2013 Ealing Council Planning Committee granted permission to the West London Islamic Centre (WLIC) to build a new mosque, on five levels on the corner of Brownlow Road and Singapore Road. According to the WLIC web site the new mosque will be able to expand its visitor/worshipper capacity from 1,000 to 3,000. WLIC estimates that the new building will cost £6 million to build. Currently they have raised just over £1 million.
Ealing Council has agreed to spend £17,000 to research the feasibility of setting up a Business Improvement District (BID) in central West Ealing. BID companies collect financial contributions from all the traders in that district and the money is spent – according to the traders’ wishes – to improve the trading environment. A successful BID company already operates in Ealing Broadway, and has done so now for over five years.
Green Man Lane Redevelopment
Rydon are clearly making good progress on completing Phase One of the new development. Along with new homes, Phase One includes a Community Café, Enterprise Units and Gym as specified in the 2010 Planning Application. The Gym Company pulled out of occupying the gym space many months ago and there have been discussions with the Council about the best use of this space but there are, as yet, still no definite plans.
With the café, discussions have been taking place between OPEN Ealing, the developers and the Residents Steering Group on a proposal for OPEN Ealing to take on this space and run it is a café theatre. More discussions are to take place on this proposal. The café site is due to open in October this year.
A key factor in OPEN Ealing taking on this venture will be a ‘repurposing’ of the so-called Section 106 development tax of £125,000 which was originally designated to pay for a national competition to produce a single work of art to go on the new development. The idea now being explored is for this sum to be used by OPEN Ealing for a range of community-related arts activities.
Sherwood Close Redevelopment
The selected new owner of this site Affinity Sutton (AS) have made a good start in engaging with the local community with regard to their aspirations for developing the site. They have conducted two open days at the site and presented their plans to the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum on 18 February 2013. Relocating existing residents, demolition and building work on the Affordable Homes is likely to begin in 2014. The homes for private ownership will be built in the final stage of the development. Affinity Sutton now occupy a ground floor flat in the Target House block of flats.
Anti-social behaviour is sadly a current feature of life on the estate. However led by Met Police Ealing, Ealing Council, Sherwood Close Residents Association and other local stakeholders a task force was formed on 29 January 2013 to address these problems.