New monthly craft market to launch in West Ealing on Saturday 7th April

West Ealing Neighbours, with the support of Ealing Council, is launching its new monthly craft market in St James Avenue on Saturday 7th April. The market will open from 10am-3pm and its 16 stalls will feature a regularly changing selection of handmade goods from local craftspeople. There will also be free teas and coffees provided by St James Church.

WEN has been working with the Council on plans for this market for well over a year. We want to build on the success of the annual Arts and Crafts Fair in St James Church and the two West Ealing Family Days to pilot a regular craft market offering quality, locally made goods. If we are successful, we hope to increase the frequency of the market.

Please do come along and support this new venture and if you are able to distribute our posters and flyers in your streets do please email us a

If you’re interested in taking a stall at the market please email Martyn Clarke at



Government Reviews Ealing’s 15 Year Plans

On 1st November 2011 we have the beginning of National Government’s External Examination of Ealing Council’s spatial plans for the town over the next 15 years. Specifically under examination is Ealing’s Local Development Framework Core Strategy. You can examine this here (pdf).

At the heart of Ealing’s plans are the building of 14,000 new homes, almost 10,000 of which will be along the Uxbridge Road/Crossrail ‘Corridor’ and clustered around Acton, Southall, West Ealing and Ealing Broadway Stations.

Continue reading “Government Reviews Ealing’s 15 Year Plans”

Why do people shop in West Ealing? A recent survey gives some answers

‘Why do people shop in West Ealing?’ is the title of a survey late last year of 400 shoppers carried out by Brunel University on behalf of Ealing Council.  The answer – buying food is the main reason people come to shop in West Ealing, but there’s a good deal more valuable information in the results of this survey than  this one answer.

The final report is 20 pages long but here are some of the key findings from this survey:

What’s good about shopping in West Ealing:

1. Buying food was the main reason for people shopping in West Ealing.

2. Buying specific non-food items came second

3. Eating and socialising ranked third as a reason to come to West Ealing

Overall, West Ealing is liked for its varied, multi-cultural location that is good for food shopping, pubs, eating and socialising.

What needs to be improved about shopping in West

1. Better shop fronts

2. Improved cleanliness

3. Better safety and security

Interestingly, in an entry last December in his shopping blog (,  expert retail analyst Graham Soult sees independent shops as West Ealing’s brightest hope. He writes:

‘Arguably, it’s West Ealing’s independent shops that give it the
brightest hope for the future. Walking through, despite the visible problems,
the area has a cosmopolitan and colourful feel, with ethnic food shops
displaying their wares in the street. The West Ealing weekly farmers’ market
in  Leeland Road – which seemed to be well advertised when I visited – also adds to the area’s reputation as a mecca for foodies, and is apparently its trump card in attracting shoppers from other parts of London.’

WEN has been arguing for some years that West Ealing is a great place for food shopping and that we need to build on this strength as a central part of any plan to regenerate the high street. We’d love to hear your views about our shops.  Use our forum to tell us where locally you like to buy your food, why and what you’d recommend others to try out.

David Highton

The changing face of our high street

Pamela Howard School of Dance: One of the new shops on our high street

The recent opening of the British Heart Foundation’s new shop (see previous post) made me think again about the changing nature of our high street. Yes, you could just say it’s yet another charity shop and we already have eight. But, it struck me that this shop is something rather different for West Ealing. Almost every time I go in to one of the charity shops it seems busy as I try to manoeuvre my way between the shoppers and the clothes rails. What BHF seem to have noticed though is that there is a complete gap in the market for a charity shop selling household goods such as electrical appliances and furniture.

Much has been written about how Britain’s high streets are changing. I
have lived in West Ealing since 1978 and, like many others, can all too easily reminisce about how West Ealing’s high street used to have a Marks and Spencer, a WH Smith, Mothercare, let alone the department stores such as FH Rowse and Daniels. But that time has gone and in the last few years the twin impact of the recession and the growth of internet shopping have undoubtedly left their mark as shops have moved out or closed down. In a recent article in the Financial Times Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said ‘Given the structural nature of these changes
there is no point harking back to the old high streets we all claimed to love. We need to be creative in looking for new roles and uses for these empty shops.”

I think BHF has been creative. We have seen new shops move in and  Lidl and Poundworld are now part of our high street. They have been joined by some rather different businesses – British Immigration Solutions and The Pamela Howard School of Dance. West Ealing Arts has opened a community arts project in an old office building a short walk away from the main shopping centre (see later article). The London Residents Forum is hoping to open the old Oxfam shop as a borough-wide resource and drop in centre for tenants.

Yes, our high street is changing, it has to, but I see these changes as a sign that the high street still has a purpose for our community. It is still trying providing goods and services that we need and want. Please let’s just make sure we cherish and use our high street and other local shopping areas.

David Highton

A charity shop with a difference opens in West Ealing

Newly opened British Heart Foundation shop

British Heart Foundation opened the doors of its new shop today and it set me thinking about charity shops and our high street. I thought first off I’d better count how many charity shops there are along the street between the Lido Junction and the junction with Eccleston Road. I counted 8 (including the Salvation Army) plus the mystery Storefair which threatened to open back in September but has remained resolutely shut for months.

In my experience most of these shops are usually busy and you have to manoeuvre your way round them between the clothes rails and the shoppers. So, I think the BHF shop, which sells electrical goods and furniture, is a clever move as it fills a gap in what charity shops usually offer. Most charity shops won’t touch electrical goods as they have to be properly checked for safety etc. When I went in this morning it was packed both with goods and people and looking at what is on offer in BHF I was impressed. I think it will do well.

There’s a much wider question raised not just about charity shops but also about what sort of future we want for our high street? But I’ll leave that for another time.

David Highton


Ealing Broadway developer Glenkerrin faces collapse

Vice Chair Eric Leach reports that according to ‘Property Week’ magazine would-be Ealing centre developer Glenkerrin is facing collapse.

Grant Thornton is expected to be appointed on 10 May as Administrators to the company’s five London properties. Irelend’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) is the instigator of this action. NAMA also appointed Grant Thornton as Receivers to the Irish Glenkerrin properties.

Glenkerrin bought up the existing Arcadia site and other properties immediately west of Ealing Broadway Station and proposed a retail and residential development , including a 26 storey residential block, in 2008. Ealing Council agreed to the Planning Application but the Government eventually turned it down in December 2009. WEN as part of Save Ealing Centre spoke at a Government Inquiry on the application and you can read Eric’s personal blog of the daily twists and turns of this Inquiry here).

It appears that Glenkerrin is in debt to the tune of 650 Million Euros.

WEN is not surprised at Glenkerrin’s collapse, but we are surprised that it has taken so long for it to take place.

Eric Leach

Money wasted on meaningless pavement replacements on The Avenue

Eric Leach questions Council ‘regeneration’ on The Avenue in West Ealing.

Way back in February 2010 we reported that the Council planned to spend £280,000 on regenerating The Avenue retail strip. Over a year later workmen are taking up lots of quite serviceable paving stones from the wide pavement on the eastern side of the road and replacing them with new paving stones. This must itself be costing thousands of pounds and there is no obvious regeneration benefit here. At a time when £millions are being cut from Council budgets it seems quite obscene to spend money unnecessarily.

We still await the conversion of the mixed Stop and Shop and Pay and Display kerb side car parking arrangement into ‘free-form’ 30 minutes free parking controlled by car registration numbers. Although budgeted to cost £8,500, the new arrangement is not scheduled to increase the number of cars which will park there. These new parking slots will continue to be dominated by mini-cab car parking – an arrangement that the Ealing Broadway Councillors are quite happy to tolerate even though it works against the best interests of Avenue traders and shoppers.

What with this work underway and the conversion of The Drayton Court pub into a hotel in full swing, car parking on the Avenue is even more of a shambles than usual. When the 27 bed hotel opens in June we are promised 18 hotel car parking spaces – 6 in front of the hotel and 12 in what was part of the garden at the back. However the access road at the back via Gordon Road is terribly narrow and will be just one way.

Eric Leach

Demolition starts at Green Man Lane Estate

Chair of WEN, David Highton reports on the beginning of the end for the Green Man Lane Estate.

Demolition began yesterday as the 10-year redevelopment of the Green Man Lane Estate  kicked off in earnest. Council leader Julian Bell was joined by representatives from housing association A2Dominion, builders Rydon, architects Conran and GML residents as the bulldozers finally moved on site. Whatever your views, and West Ealing Neighbours’ views are fully documented on our website this development marks a huge change for West Ealing. When completed the development will house some 2,000 people as compared to the curent 800. This ‘densification’  will be repeated in a year or two when the Sherwood Close Estate (aka Dean Gardens Estate) is similarly redeveloped.  Add to these two developments the 100s of new homes at Sinclair House (opposite West Ealing station), the Daniels development, the Waitrose development, the newly completed flats on the old Groveglade indoor market site and many more smaller developments and the changes are having, and will continue to have, a profound impact on West Ealing.

This policy of ‘densification’ lies at the heart of the Council’s plans for the next 15 years as detailed in their Local Development Framework. You can read more about this on our blog by clicking on the LDF category on the right hand navigation and on our website

David Highton

21 storey tower set to dominate West Ealing centre skyline

Vice Chair of WEN Eric Leach reports on a new development in West Ealing.

Just 12 months after National Government said ‘No’ to a 26 storey residential building overlooking Haven Green, plans have been submitted for a 21 storey residential building which will overlook Walpole Park.

The plan is to demolish the old Westel/TVU mini-Centre Point lookalike building on the corner of Craven Road and the Uxbridge Road on the eastern borders of West Ealing. In its place is planned to build three new buildings – a hotel, a flats for sale block and an Affordable Rents flat block.

Continue reading “21 storey tower set to dominate West Ealing centre skyline”