West Ealing votes for CPZ

West Ealing residents have voted by a large majority for a CPZ in the area south from Uxbridge Rd down to Leighton Rd and across from Northfield Ave to Grosvenor Rd and Seward Rd.  With just over 600 votes cast some 64% were in favour of introducing a CPZ. Full street by street details will soon be available on the Council’s website.

Ealing Centre public enquiry cancelled as site sold to British Land

Next week’s public enquiry in to the planning application for 9-42 The Broadway has been cancelled following the last minute sale of the site by Benson Elliott to British Land.   Consequently, the planning application has been withdrawn.


Reflections on the Inquiry Cancellation

I would dearly love to tell you that the land owner Benson Elliot got cold feet at the last minute – realising it would lose – and withdrew its Planning Application. However the reason for the withdrawal /cancellation is apparently much more prosaic. It’s all about money. Seemingly on 5 May 2017 British Land (BL) finalised the purchase of 9-42 The Broadway from Benson Elliot (BE). This led to BE withdrawing its planning Application. No doubt in the fullness of time British Land will come up with its own design and submit its own Planning Application. All this is so very late in the day. It was on 11 January 2017 that ‘Co-Star’ leaked that BE wanted to sell and BL wanted to buy!

So all the massive volunteer work carried out by SEC – especially Will French – and Ealing Civic Society (ECS) and local Conservation Area Panels will go to waste. Goodness knows whether SEC’s barrister and Historic England’s barrister will be able to recoup their fees from BE. It would be very cruel if the £29,433 raised by SEC from local residents has to pay for barrister’s fees relating to a non-event.

The awful prospect of this cycle of ownership change, Planning Application, Application granting, objections, SoS call-in and Public Inquiry happening all over again is entirely possible.

Ealing Council is ultimately to blame for this ten year long Arcadia/9-42 The Broadway fiasco. The Council has never really in recent years got a grip on creating, managing and maintaining a coherent town centre plan. The Council has also done little to help and much to hinder the creation of a Central Ealing Neighbourhood Plan. The Council is seemingly been happy to let landowners and developers do what they want to.

Eric Leach

6 May 2017

Historic Public Planning Inquiry on Ealing Centre to begin on Tuesday 9th May

Historic Public Planning Inquiry on Ealing Centre to Begin on Tuesday 9 May 2017

This is the first of Eric Leach’s daily entries about this enquiry and refelct his personal views and not those of either West Ealing Neighbours or Save Ealing’s Centre.

‘It’s quite rare for the Secretary of State to ‘call-in’ a planning application. It’s even rarer for the Secretary of State to do this twice for the same piece of land. This probably unique process has resulted in a Public Planning Inquiry at Ealing Town Hall from 9 to 27 May 2017.

The land in question is bounded to the north by mainline railway lines, to the south and east by The Broadway and to the west by The Arcadia Centre (that was) itself bounded by Springbridge Road. In 2009 when the first Planning Inquiry took place the area included the Arcadia site. The inquiry, dubbed the Arcadia Inquiry, was won by local stakeholders who ‘beat’ developers Glenkerrin and the London Borough of Ealing (LBE). I wrote a daily blog on this inquiry.

The Planning Application in question is P/2015/3479. It relates specifically to 9 – 42 The Broadway and 1 – 4 Haven Place. It’s a dense, mixed use development involving wholesale demolition. The land owner/developer is Benson Elliot (BE). The two main objectors (so called Rule 6 participants) are Save Ealing’s Centre (SEC) and Historic England (HE). SEC are being supported by Ealing Civic Society (ECS) and local Conservation Panels. The application supporters are BE and LBE.

The timing of the inquiry is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, the ownership of the land is likely to change as strong allegations exist that BE has agreed to sell the land to British Land. As is the habit of new owners, they will have their own ideas about how to develop the site – so whatever the outcome of the inquiry we are likely to go through yet another planning application cycle.

Secondly, we are about to hear whether the Planning Inspectorate will allow LBE’s illegal encroachment onto the Common Land at Haven Green. This issue was the subject of yet another public inquiry in Ealing Town Hall in March 2017.

Thirdly, we have the imminent departure of LBE’s regeneration supremo Pat Hayes. Mr Hayes became LBE’s Planning and Regeneration boss in 2007. Since then he has been responsible for the chaos on the unbuilt cinema site, our inadequate Crossrail Stations, the retail disaster at Dickens Yard, illegal Haven Green encroachment, gifting 61 acres at Warren Farm to QPR, lack of support for Neighbourhood Forums, Conservation Areas and heritage assets, annual inappropriate junkets to MIPIM in Cannes and, of course, the 2009 Arcadia development failure.

I will attend every day of the inquiry and at the end of each day I will be writing a blow by blow report. David Highton has kindly agreed to post the reports here in the WEN blog. The opinions expressed in my reports will be personal ones and not WEN or SEC opinions. As for the outcome of the inquiry, I anticipate a unique victory for SEC, ECS, local residents, Historic England and for common sense.’

Eric Leach

29 April 2017

St James Ave ready for makeover to revitalise a ‘dead space’ in West Ealing



It’s taken a while but the redesign of the pedestrian area of St James Ave looks like it’s about to start.  It’s the pedestrian section between the Uxbridge Rd and Canberra Rd which is currently a bit of a dead space and, until very recently, had become a bit of a gathering place for street drinkers and RISE clients.  Though, in fairness, this seems to have lessened with the new PSPO and police powers to move people on if they gather in large groups.

The plan is to redesign the space so it can be used for all manner of outdoor events and activities. This ties in with the work being done on St James House to become home to the new co-working hub which will include studio space for artists and creative industries.

I’d love to see the space used for exhibitions of work of artists and craftspeople from the hub as well as live music, maybe outdoor cinema in the summer as well as occasional markets, bike doctors, temporary health clinics and more. Even better if we could have an independent cafe with outdoor seating there as well.  You never know…it would all help revitalise this part of West Ealing.


West Ealing’s ‘protection zone’ order starts today

The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for West Ealing comes in to force today 3rd April. After a 6-week consultation some 90% of respondees favoured the idea of a PSPO for West Ealing. The PSPO gives the police and Council officers increased powers to tackle anti-social behaviour such as street drinking, urinating in public, fly tipping, drug use and more.

During the first week, the Council will clean up fly tips, check alcohol licence compliance and make sure all local businesses know about the PSPO. At last week’s Walpole Ward Forum the  local police stressed the role and value of the PSPO in helping them tackle anti-social behaviour and reminded residents that reporting problems to the police is vital. For urgent issues call 999 and non-urgent call 101.

To make the PSPO work effectively we as residents need to play our part by reporting problems to the police and Council. As well as the two police numbers above, the Council’s website has an online  page for problems such as flytipping, graffiti and abandoned vehicles. It takes a bit of getting used to but I’ve reported a lot of flytips this way and they do get cleared pretty quickly so it’s worth the time and effort to report problems.

Let’s hope that together we can make the PSPO a success and really start to reduce the problems caused by anti-social behaviour in West Ealing. For its part, West Ealing Neighbours will be in regular contact with the police and Council to find out how the PSPO is working and what impact it is having and we’ll report back on what progress is being made.




Ealing Works – the West Ealing Workspace Hub is taking shape

The new co-working hub in West Ealing now has a name – Ealing Works – and the designers Project Office are working on plans for the two floors with the aim of opening early summer.

Project Office are very keen to hear from anyone involved in the creative industries interested in using the facilities at Ealing Works or renting space there. What would you like there to be in this space?  There’s a simple online form you can use to give your thoughts.

Following a round of formal and informal consultation Project Office have come up with a 10-point manifesto which will underpin the plans for Ealing Works


You can keep in touch with developments on the Ealing Workspace website

A year of progress for West Ealing

It’s not quite the end of the year but talking to friends and about West Ealing made me realise what has been achieved this year. Yes, there is still much to do but it seemed right just to stand back and celebrate what I believe has achieved in 2016.

West Ealing Neighbours’ was set up 10 years ago with the aim of ‘making West Ealing a better place for residents, businesses and visitors’. Over these 10 years we have had some successes worth celebrating and some frustrating failures. But this year that I’ve felt we are really beginning to make long-term and sustainable progress towards our aim. Here’s a couple of reasons why:

Dean Gardens and anti-social behaviour

We know Dean Gardens has a poor reputation, is a gathering place for street drinkers and, once night comes, can be used for drug dealing. Now though, through the work of WEN, other residents’ groups, faith groups, housing associations, Ealing Council, the police and West Ealing Business Improvement District, we found the money to commission some radical and exciting designs to transform Dean Gardens in to a desitination park to be proud of. Our next challenge is to raise the money to put these great ideas in to action. It’s quite a challenge but I think we can do it with the support of the Council and local partners. Redesigning Dean Gardens can go a long way to reducing the anti-social behavior associated with it and make a huge contribution to the improving the reputation of West Ealing and most definitely making it a better place for everyone.

To see the ideas for Dean Gardens and be kept in touch with progress just visit the specially set up website.

On the theme of anti-social behaviour it’s worth saying that thanks to the support of the borough commander we have had additional police resources alocated to West Ealing for the past few months. I’m told over 40 arrests have been made in this time, mostly for drug dealing. In addition, as many of you will know, there is a proposal to introduce a Public Space Protection Order which will give the police more powerto tackle anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in and around the shopping centre. More details in an earlier post on this blog . Taken together it does feel that serious efforts are being made to tackle the blight of anti-social behaviour in and around Dean Gardens and the high street.

The West Ealing Workspace hub

The idea of a co-working hub in West Ealing has been around for a few years but it’s now just a few months away from opening. I think this is another development that has the potential to bring significant change and benefits to West Ealing.  If we get it right it will attract a wide range of freelancers, artists, musicians, small and start-up businesses and many more in to St James Avenue in the heart of West Ealing. This injection of enterprise and energy could bring all manner of benefits to West Ealing – its reputation , its shops and its community. All reasons for making West Ealing a better place.

West Ealing Neighours – December newsletter


West Ealing Christmas Fair Saturday 10th December 12noon – 4pm

Come and join us for our Christmas Fair in Melbourne Avenue on Saturday 10th December from 12noon to 4pm. One of last year’s highlights was the singing from some great local choirs and we’ve got them back again – watch the video of last year’s Fair here

There’s something for all the family with face-painting, Father Christmas, and a nativity play. And watch out for our Abundance stall selling, apple juice, elderflower cordial, fruit butters and chutneys all made from locally grown produce – ideal for that little extra Christmas treat.

The West Ealing Workspace Hub needs you!

We’ve brought you a number of updates about plans for a co-working hub in West Ealing.  Now called The Workspace Hub and based in St James House in St James Avenue, the project is gathering speed and they need your help to create the space that suits your business needs.

The architects Projects Office are designing the hub and will be leading a workshop on Wednesday 14th December. They want your input into the manifesto which will be at the heart of the hub’s development.

  • What is important to you?
  • What does your business need?
  • What skills can you share or would you like to gain?

Join the workshop to get your ideas at the heart of West Ealing’s dynamic new workspace. After the workshop they will be holding a drop in session throughout the afternoon so drop in to explore the space and talk to the designers.

Register for the workshop for free .The workshop is 1-2pm plus a drop-in session from 2-5pm both on Wednesday 14th December at St James House, 105-113 Broadway, Ealing W13

If you can’t make it on the 14th you can keep up to date with the hub’s progress through their website where you can subscribe to their mailing list.

Have your say on new plans to tackle anti-social behaviour in West Ealing

Ealing Council wants to hear your views on its plan to create a West Ealing ‘protected zone’ (Public Space Protection Order- PSPO) as one of its steps to tackle anti-social behaviour associated with street drinking and drug use in West Ealing and Hanwell.  We’ve written about these problems a lot over the past few years and this could be a good step in the right direction. There’s a more detailed story about this on the ealingnewsextra website and the actual consultation page of the Council’s website is here. 

There are obviously arguments about whether this will simply move the problem elsewhere but on the whole this could be a really useful step in tackling the problems we are all too familiar with in West Ealing. So WEN encourages as many people as possible to respond to this consultation. The deadline for comments is 5pm 23rd December.

Dean Gardens Update

This is related to the above story in that Dean Gardens is a well-known hot spot for anti-social behaviour. Over the past year WEN and a wide range of other local stakeholders and organisations, including faith groups, Ealing Council, local housing associations and residents’ groups, .have been meeting to look at ways to improve Dean Gardens.

Earlier this year we managed to raise enough money to commission experienced landscape designers BDP to help us with ideas on how to take this project forward. They have completed their study and have presented some exciting ideas to the group.

The next step, which we have just begun, is to talk to possible funders about these ideas to see if we can put together a consortium of funders to turn these ideas in to a reality. This may take some time but we think it can be achieved. You’ve only got to look at all the development happening in West Ealing to realise that it will be important to the developers that Dean Gardens is an attractive and vibrant public space. So, with the Council’s support and support from the developers we might just make it happen.

We’ll be posting highlights from the BDP study and further updates soon on our Dean Gardens website so take a look there in another week or so for the latest news on progress.

Pathways’ plans to build on Northfields allotments

We had a great response to our recent vote about Pathways’ plans to build on part of the Northfields allotments, so our thanks to everyone who took the time to participate. As well as the actual votes we also had a lot of comments. This will all be a great help to the committee when it meets to make a decision on whether or not to support Pathways’ plans. We’ll let you know the outcome as soon as we can.

In the meantime, if you missed the exhibition of Pathways’ latest plans you can find them on their website.

Save Ealing’s Centre seeks donations to fight development plans

West Ealing Neighbours is a member of Save Ealing’s Centre (SEC) and SEC has put out a call for funds to pay a barrister to help it fight what it believes are inappropriate plans to redevelop this site right in the heart of Ealing Broadway. These plans have been called in by the Secretary of State for the Dept of Communities and Local Government.

Many of you will remember the previous battle over Glenkerrin’s plans for the same site. These plans were also called in and the Council’s decision to approve was overturned by the Secretary of State and some time later Glenkerrin went bust.

SEC is not against developing this site but wants it done in keeping with the character of the area. The Council is paying a QC to argue its case and SEC needs to raise £25,000  to pay a barrister to put its case.

You can find out all the details on SEC’s website.

Celebrating Ealing’s cultural heritage 8-12th February 2017

Now in its fifth year the Festival has a full programme of live music including The Blues Band’s Paul Jones and Dave Kelly singing at the Red Room, the birthplace of British rhythm and blues. The world’s most recorded chamber orchestra, the Ealing-based English Chamber Orchestra make a welcome return and feature in an impressive line-up of classical music across the Festival.

The film programme includes a screening of David Cronenberg’s Spider along with a guided location walk and film screening of historical comedy

drama Pride (2014), written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus, at the ‘Island Triangle’,North Acton – the UK’s most filmed location.


Full details are on their website.

My West Ealing website coming soon

It’s been a while in the making but the www.mywestealing.com website is coming soon. My West Ealing is a new community resource and online space to connect with what’s happening in West Ealing. You’ll be able to connect with local people and businesses, and have your say about you’d like to see, do or change about West Ealing.

My West Ealing is the final project to come out of the ‘riot recovery’ fund set up after the 2011 riots. The aim of this new website is to become a one-stop shop for anything about West Ealing from events and advice services to local businesses, Council services and much, much more.

WEN’s website, blog and Facebook pages will keep going and will be just some of the many sites linked to by My West Ealing.

What, where and WEN

WEN is a group of some 400 strong made up of  West Ealing residents, workers and visitors who want their town to be better for everyone.

Membership is free and available to anyone in the West Ealing community, irrespective of background, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, political orientation, faith/non-faith, or gender.

WEN was formed in November 2005. The group is run by volunteer locals, elected annually by WEN members. The group’s committee is made up of

Chair: David Highton

Treasurer: Andrew Cazalet

Vice-Chair: Eric Leach

Iyke Anthony

Diane Gill

Chris Gilson

Nick Greenhalgh

Jane Humphreys


Email: westealingneighbours@gmail.com

Web Site: www.westealingneighbours.org.uk

WEN blog: www.westealingneighbours.org.uk/WEN-blog

West Ealing Christmas Fair this Saturday in Melbourne Ave from 12noon

Come and join us for our Christmas Fair in Melbourne Avenue on Saturday 10th December from 12noon to 4pm. One of last year’s highlights was the singing from some great local choirs and we’ve got them back again – watch the video of last year’s Fair here

There’s something for all the family with face-painting, Father Christmas, and a nativity play. And watch out for our Abundance stall selling, apple juice, elderflower cordial, fruit butters and chutneys all made from locally grown produce – ideal for that little extra Christmas treat.

Full details of the event here.