Seaford Road residents take up the challenge

One of West Ealing’s neglected green spaces is on course for a revival. The overgrown patch of land on Leeland Terrace by the corner with Seaford Road was cleared this morning (see main image) by a group of local residents as the first step in bringing it back to life. This is one of three neglected green spaces where the Council is working with West Ealing Neighbours to encourage local residents to take over and maintain. The other two are the corner of Singapore Road and Eccleston Road and a small area near the entrance to Sainsbury’s.

Leeland Terrace before the clean up
Before the clean up

The initiative has arisen from the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood (WELN) project. Even though the main TfL funded WELN plans are on hold, the Council is keen to push ahead with these community greening projects. To publicise these projects, West Ealing Neighbours leafleted the local streets as well as using its blog and Facebook page to encourage local people to get involved. With each site, the aim is for local residents to come up with ideas for what they would like each site to look like and then with Council approval put their plans in to action. The transformation from being neglected to being loved will only be successful if each project is rooted in the local community where people care about how their area looks.

There has been an enthusiastci response for all three sites and today saw a group from Seaford Road and nearby streets get stuck in to clear away the weeds and undergrowth as the first step to transforming this quite large site.

There’s still time to get involved in any of the three sites. if you’d like to volunteer to help please email us at westealingneighbours@gmail.com and let us know which site you’re interested in.

Most LTNs set to be scrapped

Following the results of a consultation about the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods which showed strong opposition to most LTNs, a report recommends that most are scrapped.

LTN21 for the south West Ealing area was scrapped a while back when Swyncombe Avenue was closed for road works. Now LTN20 which covers the area in West Ealing north of the Uxbridge Road to the railway line is one of the seven LTNs set to be scrapped.

The final decision will be made by the Council’s cabinet on the 27th September. The proposed scrapping is strongly opposed by Better Ealing Streets.

The full story is available on the Ealing Today website.

Manor Road tower and Gurnell plans update

Ealing Matters’ latest newsletter has an useful update on the developer’s appeal against the Council’s decision to refuse their application for a tall tower in Manor Road next to West Ealing station.

Planning application for 51-56 Manor Road and 53-55 Drayton Green Road (corner site next to West Ealing Station (202231FUL)

The appeal against Planning Committee’s decision to reject this application for a 20-storey tower block took place online during the last two weeks of July. The appellant employed one of the country’s most respected planning barristers Christopher Katkowski QC, to argue their case. Stop the Towers (STT), whose campaign helped to secure 2,400 public objections including one from local MP James Murray, fought hard to uphold the decision. By contrast, the Council failed to field a single officer, relying instead on a consultant who had never previously worked on the scheme to make its case.

Mr Katkowski seized on the Council’s failure to publish any information about Ealing’s house-building programme for the last six years (the AMRs referred to earlier) to argue in his summing-up that the decision should be tilted in favour of his client, and used it further to lodge a claim for costs against the Council. If successful, not only will it be we as taxpayers who will have to pay for the borough’s negligence in this case, but it will subvert our elected representatives’ ability to reject officer recommendations for other schemes for which there are otherwise perfectly reasonable planning grounds to do so.

Planning application for Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) at Gurnell (201695FUL)

After being rejected by Ealing’s Planning Committee on 17 March by 10 votes to one with two abstentions, this application was submitted to the London Mayor for a final decision. Sadiq Khan chose not to intervene, so this particular scheme is now dead. Since then Save Gurnell has been campaigning for the leisure centre to re-open. Cllr Mason appeared alongside campaigners on BBC London’s Drivetime programme on 17 August to argue that it would cost £18 million to bring the complex up to standard. We are aware that a number of refurbishment options have been considered, but that only the most expensive one has been shared with the public. Are we being softened up for a new planning application?

With thanks to Eric Leach for his contribution to this latest issue. Contributions that you think would be of interest to Ealing Matters member groups are welcome.