John Lewis plans to build homes-to-rent over Waitrose in West Ealing

John Lewis’ plans to build 10,000 homes to rent on its sites in the South East was written about in the press a few months ago. Now, according to an article in today’s business pages, one of those stores will be the one in West Ealing. The retailer is quoted as saying residents in the area will be invited to a public consultation over the coming months.

Later: There will be an public exhibition about the plans in West EAling Library on Friday 1st Juky 4-8pm and Saturday 2nd July 10am-2pm.

Lidl to replace Wilko but not yet

Yes, the rumours of Lidl repalcing Wilko are true but not for some time yet. Wilko rents its site from Lidl and eventually Lidl will redevelop the site and take over the ground floor. However, none of this is happening soon as Wilko has another 2-3 years on its lease. Let’s hope that when it does have to move Wilko can find another site elsewhere in West Ealing.

West Ealing station bookswap shelves will return

Thanks to one of our WEN Facebook page posters for finding out that the bookswap shelves that were in the old ticket office will be getting new shelves and will return in the brand new station.

I can’t remember how many years ago Chris Gilson persuaded the staff at West Ealing station to host the bookswap project but it’s great news they will be back. Thousands of books must have been swapped over the years and now thousands more can be added. Some good news for once and let’s hope for many more years of discovery and enjoyable reading for everyone. And, lastly, a very big thank you to the man who used to work in the old ticket office for keeping the bookswap project alive.

Leave Warren Farm to Nature say campaigners

WEN received this press release from the group campaigning to make Warren Farm a nature reserve:

30 March 2022

In one of its last announcements before the local elections, Ealing Council launched a public consultation on the future of Warren Farm. Leader Peter Mason released a video in which he confirmed the council’s ambition to see the site declared as a Local Nature Reserve and the meadows safeguarded. At the same time, he reiterated his view that some of the site could be allocated for sports. 

The Warren Farm Nature Reserve campaign group, which is asking Ealing Council to designate the whole of Warren Farm and its surrounding meadows as a statutory Local Nature Reserve, released the following statement:

‘We are delighted that the council has stated its ambition to create a Local Nature Reserve at Warren Farm and to continue its incredible rewilding. This is a further step in the right direction.

We understand the council’s need to balance different interests when considering the future of Warren Farm. But things have changed a lot in the 12 years since the site was last used for formal sports – or indeed since Warren Farm was an actual farm! We are in a Climate Emergency and we are witnessing biodiversity loss in the UK at an alarming rate. The government now requires councils to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain which we do not believe will be possible if any of Warren Farm’s species-rich habitats are allocated to formal sports usage, whether that be pitches or buildings.

In our discussions with Ealing Council our stance is clear. We want Warren Farm to be given Local Nature Reserve designation in its entirety. This means we want the site to be protected for nature, wildlife, our ground nesting Skylarks, all of the common, rare and vulnerable plants we have recorded here (some of which are red-listed and facing local and national extinction) and for open public access for the enjoyment of the local community irrespective of age, background or ability.’

Campaigners believe that Ealing Council must now prioritise environmental protection over sports provision at Warren Farm. Katie Boyles, Warren Farm Nature Reserve campaign organiser and Brent River & Canal Society Trustee commented:

“There is already first-class sports provision in and around Southall with superb new facilities at Spikes Bridge and at Rectory Park in Northolt.  Extensive work has been completed recently to provide amazing sports grounds at Gunnersbury Park and at Wyke Green, just down the road from Warren Farm. Nearby, Norwood Hall Playing Fields is one of several community sites identified as having additional available pitch capacity. What Ealing does not need is a new stadium, floodlighting, astro-turf, car parking or closely mown pitches at Warren Farm. We do want to see local people able to take healthy outdoor exercise and using the network of footpaths at Warren Farm where they can enjoy the song of Skylarks, the sight of our colourful meadows and the rare and threatened species found here.”

They also point out that sports pitches might not be the most effective way of improving the community’s health. It is likely that councils will soon be given targets for improving Healthy Life Expectancy, which is now a government priority. In February 2022, the government stated its intention to close the gap between the best and worst performing local authorities. Ealing’s HLE is below the England average and 21st out of the 32 London Boroughs.

Steven Toft, Warren Farm Nature Reserve campaign officer and Brent River & Canal Society Trustee commented:

“To improve Healthy Life Expectancy, you need a lot of people taking moderate exercise rather than a few already fit people doing vigorous exercise. Leaving Warren Farm as a rewilded area in which we can encourage people to walk and enjoy nature will have a far greater impact on Healthy Life Expectancy than putting sports pitches on the site.”

The proposal to designate Warren Farm as a Local Nature Reserve was published by the Brent River & Canal Society in October 2020. The campaign was launched in January 2021 and its petition now has over 11,000 signatures.

Warren Farm is a unique area of rewilded urban grassland. Species of birds, mammals, plants, reptiles, amphibians and insects which are rare in London have been recorded thriving on the land. Local Nature Reserve status would preserve the meadows for future generations and ensure the protection of its rare and endangered species such as the Skylark, a red-listed bird facing UK extinction. The Warren Farm Nature Reserve campaign is urging people to use Ealing Council’s consultation to ask for the entire site to be left in its rewilded state and designated as a Local Nature Reserve.

www.WarrenFarmNatureReserve.co.uk

Twitter & Instagram: @WarrenFarmNR Facebook Group: Warren Farm Nature Reserve

New art project for West Ealing needs your help and ideas

Local art charity Artification’s vision is to connect people and places through art.

The Creative Connections project is an artwork opportunity coordinated by Artification and funded by Clarion Futures West Ealing Grants Programme & plans to:

1. Create iconic public art in West Ealing

2. Celebratory Art Fest to involve local residents & community groups

3. Revitalise & help make West Ealing an attractive neighbourhood

We will deliver art workshops, co-create public art & exhibit the work created, develop new skills & improve the neighbourhood through community cohesion & creativity. Local people will set the brief & select the Artwork.

Professional artists will work with residents, school & community groups to develop local themes into public art that will be displayed in West Ealing and visible to all visitors & residents.

Let us know if you’d like to be involved in.

  • Project launch & steering group
  • Project meetings
  • Art workshops
  • Mural & exhibition
  • Community celebration

ARTification www.artification.org.uk email: info@artification.org.uk

Your ideas:

The artwork could represent community spirit, local history, beauty, colour. We are seeking your input to help shape the Artist opportunity.  Please share your ideas: 

  1. Themes (Reflections, stories, insights, topics and hopes which locals suggest for the artist consider / reflect / portray.)
  • Key Words (Please share key words or phrases to help stimulate the strongest, most relevant artwork for West Ealing.
  • Local inspiration for this artwork (Suggestions from locals for inspiration, approaches and hopes for the artwork)
  • Style, Content and Colour

We look forward to working together creatively in West Ealing.

Name:

Email:

Postcode:

All work stopped on Manor Rd tower block

Following the closure of the east bound platform at West Ealing due to safety fears over nearby demolition, Ealing Council has stopped all work on the site of the tower block next to the station. It seems no construction management plans have been submitted to the Council by the developers, Southern Grove. These plans were one of the documents required by the Council before any work commenced.

No trains stopping at West Ealing station over safety concerns from nearby demolition

No trains are stopping at West Ealing for the time being due to safety concerns about the demolition work taking place in preparation for Southern Grove’s 20 plus storey tower block next to the station.

I don’t remember hearing any mention of this level of disruption in any documents about Southern Grove’s plans. There’s also been no information about this station closure given to residents and it’s not clear how long this disruption will last.

More detail now from campaigning group Stop The Towers:

NO TRAINS TO PADDINGTON FROM WEST EALING STATION
Just 8 days into work on the controversial Manor Road tower and poor site management has already stopped London-bound train services.
 
Eastbound services for thousands of commuters from West Ealing’s new station were today suspended, with staff unable to foresee when the platform could operate safely.  This is due to the risk of a retaining wall collapse. Falling debris from the small buildings currently being demolished on Manor Road has also fallen onto the pavement beyond the blue hoarding. Network Rail engineers on site could not believe that a towering 22 storey building of largely one bed apartments is set to be built next to the station platform.
 
One commuter who was turned away stated “It’s ok for me, I can walk to Ealing Broadway. But for many less able, that’s just not possible. It shows complete disregard for residents.”
 
In an official statement Balfour Beatty stated the suspension of services was due to “An unsafe structure”. An unnamed engineer attending the site stated he was amazed the 22 storey tower got planning permission, adding “it’s a potentially horrendous situation we have to deal with”.
 
Unbelievably, there is no evidence that the statutory requirement for a Demolition Plan and/or a Construction Management Plan has yet been complied with by developer Southern Grove or their partners, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing. Ealing Council has either not asked for it, or not yet validated it, again displaying a lack of care when dealing with developers. When the developer was contacted by Stop the Towers they tweeted “it is called regeneration and progress”. The full tweet (below) has since been deleted.
‘Thanks for the mention it is called regeneration and progress’
Justine, Co-Chair of Stop The Towers said “From day one we said building a 22 storey tower so close to the railway and station was dangerous. The arrogance of the developers is breathtaking. But blame must lie firmly with Ealing Council who has spent the last 10 years flogging off every spare inch of land for greedy developers to build unneeded tower blocks of luxury flats and encouraging them to build higher.  This is precisely why STT exists. The sheer arrogance and the greed of developers, the recklessness of the planning application and the lack of care from those on the planning committee who supported it – it is appalling.  We’ve always known the site was unsuitable and now we’re in one of those ‘told you so’ moments.”

James Murray MP wrote on Facebook:
As many people living near West Ealing will know, the eastbound platform at the station was closed this morning. This was the result of an “unsafe structure” at the station – caused, almost certainly, by the building works for the Manor Road tower.
After seeing the closure this morning, I spoke to TfL who confirmed this was the result of a potentially dangerous situation with the retaining wall. TfL said that after they were alerted last night, an inspector visited the site and decided that no trains would stop at West Ealing on the Paddington-bound line.
I urged TfL to make sure the station can reopen safely as soon as possible. Once it is safe, I said they must then find out how this happened. If, as seems all but certain, this is the result of building works for the Manor Road tower, I said to TfL I want to see them take action against the developer.
We must make sure the developer does not get away with causing this disruption and potential danger without penalty – and most importantly we need TfL to push them to make sure this does not happen again.


No trains from West Ealing to Paddington until the weekend according to James Murray / Network Rail

Stop The Towers want to know why there is no demolition nor construction plan logged on the Council Planning Portal and why was there not an adequate risk assessment done that took account of this potential hazard.

Fighting for the rights of residents, your Stop The Towers team.

Stop The Towers
www.stopthetowers.org