OPEN Ealing finds a permanent home

WEN is delighted that the arts organisation OPEN Ealing now has a permanent new home in Dickens Yard. OPEN started life in what was A2Dominion’s old headquarters on the Uxbridge Road opposite the fire station. There it grew and thrived and became a key arts venue for all of Ealing with a wide range of arts activities across the seven floors of this building. One highlight for me will always be the residence of the Opera Viscera and their sell-out perfomance of Narcissus and Echo

OPEN had to leave the building when A2Dominion wanted to build their new HQ on this site. Since then OPEN has continued to run classes and events from a number of temporary homes. Now, at long last, OPEN has a brand new permanent home in Dickens Yard located between Jigsaw and Gymbox. Great news and we wish them well.

More details about OPEN Ealing can be found here

New effort to save Warren Farm

The struggle to save Warren Farm continues. This is a recent email from the Hanwell Nature group:

‘After 9 long months, we can finally announce their is exciting news – a real break through in the campaign to protect Warren Farm.

cHanwell Nature’s legal team have found the strongest legal argument yet, and a local resident and member of Hanwell Nature has issued legal proceedings against Ealing Council’s decision to grant planning permission without undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment. (EIA) as to the impacts such a development would have.  We firmly believe Ealing Council has a duty to protect our open green spaces, and the environment that we all share. This new legal action opens the door to a judicial review of that decision in the High Court.  Therefore we need your help to make sure that happens.

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?

At a time of perilous climate change and the world’s attention firmly on creating solutions to protect our environment, we can’t keep looking away helplessly while our environment suffers at the hands of ill-considered development. It’s time to take a valiant stand for nature and ensure our Councils are protecting it when considering large developments, with high impact. 

READ MORE

THERE ARE MANY WAYS YOU COULD HELP

  • You can pledge to donate to the legal fund on our crowd justice page  we have 29 days to raise £11,000 we are almost half way there!
  • Forward this email to your group, family and friends.
  • Download a copy of  “easy steps to protect Warren Farm”that you can take with 5mins – 1hr of your time  here.
  • Could you join together with others to become and Environment Angel (see the attached PDF for more details).
  • Please share on your social media
  • Comment on our blogshttp://www.hanwellnature.com/blog/  have your say.
  • Share the campaign video https://vimeo.com/356906929
  • Like and follow us on Twitter, lets get it up to a 1000 followers (don’t have a twitter account perhaps someone you know does, why not share the link with them to like our Twitter profile https://twitter.com/HanwellNature
  • Like our Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hanwellnature/?hl=en  there are some amazing pictures of the wonderful nature now living on Warren Farm. 


    We appreciate all your help in getting this important cause out there, and if you would like us to talk at a meeting or gathering of your friends or local residents we would love to support you in that.  Or maybe you can think of other like minded groups that support the environment, that you could reach out to? 

For further information please email us, we would love to hear from you. 

The Hanwell Nature “hive” is at maximum output.

Best wishes and thank you again, every bit of support keeps us going.’

How you can help save the Victoria Hall

Ealing Council wants to hand over Victoria Hall and the Princes Hall to a developer. See our story of December 2nd for full details of the Council’s plans for the Town Hall.

There are several things you can do.

!. Object to the Council scheme, now published by the Charity Commission (details at http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Schemes/4057721.pdf). Since our last e-news, the Friends of Victoria Hall have suggested how best to comment.  You can find out more on through these links to the Friends web site:
What’s wrong with the deal
What Ealing is saying
How to object

There is more background in a video at https://exposurebox.com/save-victoria-hall/.

The Charity Commission allowed only 30 days over the Christmas period for the consultation, but after the Friends objected this has been extended to Monday 6 January 2020. Please find time to submit your views, ideally in your own words but based on the reasons set out in the Friends’ summary. Please do it as soon as possible.

2. Sign the petition on 38degrees.org.uk.

3. Join the Friends by using the form at 
http://www.cepac.org.uk/uploads/1/3/3/4/13344659/fovh_joining_form_p1_11-19_nf.pdf

Thanks to the Campaign for an Ealing Performance & Arts Centre for this information.

Ealing CVS is successful in bid to take over West Ealing Library

Ealing Community and Voluntary Service (CVS), currently based at the Lido building, has been successful with its bid to take over West Ealing Library and run it as a community managed library. It seems Ealing Law Centre has been successful in its bid for Hanwell Library

West Ealing Library is due to shut after tomorrow in preparation for the handover to Ealing CVS. You can find out all about Ealing CVS and what is does here.

Residents urged to reject latest scheme for Victoria Hall sell off

1 December 2019 — Ealing residents have been urged to reject the scheme proposed by the Charity Commission that would allow Ealing Council to sell off the Victoria Hall as part of its Town Hall deal with a hotel operator.

The Victoria Hall was built next to Ealing Town Hall with money raised through a Victorian crowdfunding campaign. It is owned by a charitable Trust set up in 1893 to run the Victoria Hall for the benefit of local people. The Hall has hosted countless meetings, entertainments and exhibitions over the years.

However, for nearly two years the Council has been trying to persuade the Charity Commission to allow it to amend the Trust rules so that the Victoria Hall can be included in a £2.5m sell-off of the Town Hall site.

The Commission has just published the draft of a Scheme that would clear the way for this to happen, subject to the result of a public consultation that is due to end on 26 December 2019.

Roger Green, chair of The Friends of the Victoria Hall (FoVH), said: “Even a cursory look at the Charity Commission proposal shows that this would be a very poor deal indeed for Ealing residents. They’d likely lose affordable access to facilities that have been serving the community for 126 years.

 “The prospect of losing the Borough’s largest indoor community space to a private company is bad enough, but the terms under which it would happen are just too soft. Incredibly, the Council seems to be prepared to let the whole of the Town Hall and Victoria Hall go for less than the price of a three-bedroom flat in Dickens Yard. That can’t be right.”

A  FoVH team is going through the fine detail of the Charity Commission’s draft Victoria Hall Trust Scheme in order to lodge detailed objections. FoVH has requested an extension to the consultation period which it believes is absurdly short in the run-up to the Christmas break.

Why is Ealing Council so keen on tower blocks?

Find out why and much more in the November issue of the Ealing Matters newsletter

Ealing is becoming one of the most over-developed boroughs in London. Ealing Matters research has found that 85 tower blocks over 10 storeys were built in the borough recently, are being built or are in the pipeline. Of these towers, 26 are 20 storeys or higher and eight are 30 storeys or more. Why has Ealing, traditonally a low-rise residential borough, been singled out for such treatment when seven London boroughs have no high-rise towers and have no plans to build any?

Some 38,000 new homes (virtually all flats) will be crammed into Ealing over the next 10 years. If all the flats are sold/rented/occupied the borough will be home to 76,000 new residents. There is no joined-up planning. Against this populaHon growth, we suffer two to three week waitng times to see our GP, continued financial and service cuts at Ealing Hospital, all our Primary and Secondary Schools are at full capacity, town halls and other civic buildings are being sold off, two children centres are being closed, seven Council Libraries downgraded and Ealing and Southall Police Stations have closed.

opposition to this extreme form of town cramming is growing, and with it mounting criticism of the Council leadership driving it. However, we can look forward to a pause now to further schemes being announced for the next couple of months lest it affects our voting decisions at the upcoming elecHon. But once the elections are over expect things to revert to their current course unless there’s a serious property crash.

NORTH ACTON SET TO BECOME THE DENSEST RESIDENTIAL SUBURB IN THE UK

tiith 27 tower blocks over 10 storeys, 13 of these with 30 or more storeys and 7 with 40 storeys or more, North Acton looks like becoming the UK’s densest suburb by 2030. There will be some 5,000 new flats and almost 2,000 new student flats. If all occupied the 12,000 residents will flood the streets, buses, tube and rail staHon during term time.

OLD ACTON LIBRARY ON THE VERGE OF BEING SAVED BY AND FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

Acton Arts Project (AAP) has been trying to take over the repurposing and management of this massively unused asset since 2014. AAP is a group of trustees formed to create a cinema and a creaHve working space in Acton. On 15 October Ealing Council Cabinet approved the selection of AAP as the preferred occupant. Provided AAP passes financial and non-financial assessments they will be given a 24 year lease.

AAP has set a funding target of £100,000. Over £46,000 has already been raised. Crowdfunding at:

www.spacehive.com/a-cinema-for-acton

FRIENDS OF THE VICTORIA HALL FORMED: FEARS THE HALL WILL FALL INTO PRIVATE HANDS

Ealing Council and its development partner Mastcraft still continue to behave as though nothing is amiss in their plans to convert most of Ealing Town Hall into a hotel. The Council wants to ‘gift’ Victoria Hall, Prince’s Hall and some adjoining rooms to Mastcraft. However these facilities are not owned by the Council but by a Charitable Trust established in 1893. Over two years ago the Council applied to the Charity Commission for permission to change the ‘objects’ of the Trust in order to facilitate disposal to Mastcraft. In spite of expensive legal acHon by the Council and Save Ealing Centre and other community groups, the Commission has yet to announce its decision.

Whatever the Commission decides, local community groups have got together and formed a new group called ‘Friends of The Victoria Hall’. FoVH will campaign to save the hall for the community as a performing

arts, exhibition and meeting space. The founding groups are Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum, Campaign for an Ealing Performance & Arts Centre, Central Ealing Residents’ Association, Ealing Arts & Leisure, Ealing Civic Society, Save Ealing’s Centre and West Ealing Neighbours. An informal public launch of the group will take place at 7:30 pm at ‘The Forester’ pub, 2 Leighton Road, W13 9EP on Thursday 14 November 2019.

MOL AT GURNELL, WEST EALING UNDER THREAT

612 new homes are being promised by Ealing Council on protected Metropolitan Open Land currently occupied by the Gurnell Leisure Centre (swimming pool largely), its car park, the skateboard park and public green space. Six residential tower blocks have been proposed – 17, 15, 15, 13, 10 and 6 storeys.

MOL AT WYNCOTE FARM, HANWELL IN BRENT RIVER PARK UNDER THREAT

Wyncote Farm, owned by the Earl of Jersey in the 19th Century, has been owned by Mr Kashmit Chand Tack since 1990. It was for many decades a wooded area of many acres. To the north and east the land is bounded by the Grand Union Canal and to the south by the Brentford Branch Line single track railway and the M4. It has been designated MOL and Public Open Space for years but has been fenced off and used for a range of unapproved purposes for many years. In recent years large amounts of soil have been excavated and piled tens of metres high on the west bank of the canal. Ealing Council issued an Enforcement noHce on 15 March 2017 but for some reason this has sHll not been prosecuted.

PERCEVAL HOUSE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING APPLICATION EXPECTED IN FEBRUARY 2020

In 2017 Ealing announced plans to redevelop its Perceval House Council offices by building 471 new flats withthe tallest 20 storeys high. By the start of 2019 the number of homes had increased to 500 and the tallest tower to 26 storeys. Now we hear there will be 510 homes with a tower of 28 storeys. Who knows where it will end? That’ll be up to the Council as the planning authority to decide, acting as they do both as judge and jury.

The Council’s development partner Galliford Try promise to consult on their plans in January 2020, acer all the details are fixed. The current development ‘menu’ includes a new Public Library (no bigger than the current one in Ealing Broadway Centre), new Council Offices (50% of the existing floor space) and a first floor Customer Centre which hopefully will have step-free access.

PLANNING USER GROUP (PUG)

The Planning Users Group is the only chance local people have to find out how planning is done in Ealing. Its latest meeting took place on Wednesday 9 October 2019. Unfortunately the Ealing Council Officers running the PUG had failed to produce minutes of the previous 4 June 2019 meeting and they only distributed their agenda 24 hours before our meeting. A familiar story of failed Council Officer actions peppered the meeting. Users in previous meetings had flagged up a range of planning process changes and web site changes which were needed. None of the changes had been made. Some users became quite upset about this. The day after the meeting the PUG Chair, Chief Planning Officer David Scourfield announced that some users’ behaviour had been unprofessional and he was minded to put the next PUG meeting on hold.

EXPOSURE BOX

Goes from strength to strength to bring you on the spot video reports about the latest developments across the Borough. Check out all the broadcasts at h:ps://exposurebox.com/ .

Ward Forums to end

It is quite likely that many readers of this have never been to a ward forum. Whatever their drawbacks, and there are most defintely some, they do at least give residents a public forum at which to question their local councillors. The Council has decided to stop these from next April as part of the next round of budget cuts. Just how residents can ask questions, find out what’s going on locally and hold their councillors to account has yet to be decided. In addition, the ward forum budgets which fund a myriad of big and little projects across the borough will cease and the money put in to a central pot with the exact details to be decided.

West Ealing Neighbours is typical of many local groups in having had funding from ward forums. The annual SoundBite Festival and Christmas Fair have both received funding from ward forums. Ward forums have helped fund projects to spruce up patches of waste ground, traffic calming measures, help small community groups and much, much more. We shall have to wait and see what the Council proposes.

You can see what you’ve been missing by dipping in to a video of part of the recent Walpole Ward Forum here.