Public consultation about plans for hotel in town hall

Mastcraft  – which is looking to take over the Town Hall and turn it into a “Boutique Hotel” with the loss of The VIctoria Hall from much public access, has announced that there is to be a public consultation on its plans from  Thursday 21st June to Saturday 23rd June in the Walpole Room in the Town Hall. It is expected that their plans will be based on this scheme which, if they were to proceed, would involve the demolition of property that is in the Victoria Hall trusts ownership.
The consultation is open on
Thursday 21st June 09:30 – 12:30
Friday 22nd June 14:30 – 17:30
Saturday 23rd June 10:30 – 15:00

There is more information about these plans on Save Ealing’s Centre website.

Up to 15-storey high block of flats proposed for old Woolworth’s site in West Ealing

After a long delay A2Dominion have submitted their planning application for the old art-deco fronted Woolworth’s site in West Ealing.  It’s likely to prove a controversial application given the many hundreds of people who signed West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum’s petition to save the art-deco facade.  (You can still sign this petition here.) The application sees the site demolished so the facade will go if the application is approved by the Council.

The application is for 120 flats and just under 1,000 sq metres of retail space on the ground floor. The block will be up to 11 storeys at the front along the Uxbridge Rd and up to 15 storeys at the back on Singapore Rd. From looking at the drawings this makes it taller both front and back than any of the existing nearby buildings.

The application can be found here. The closing date for comments is 8th June.

If you would like to object to this application we have produced quite a detailed set of six points for you to consider. Also, at the bottom you will find a template letter with short summaries of these six points which you can use and amend as you wish.

Reasons for objecting to A2Dominion’s plans for 96-102 Broadway, West Ealing

1.Planning policy issues

Falls short of  Ealing Council’s  target of 50% affordable housing

Ealing Council in its Housing and Homeless Strategy 2014-19 has as one of its key outcomes to ‘Ensure 50%of new homes are affordable housing’. Plans for this site are for a total of 35% affordable housing and not 50%. This proposal  includes 35% affordable housing split between 62% affordable rented and 38% intermediate housing. With the full 50% affordable housing the site should have the following:

42 social housing units against the proposed 26

18 intermediate housing units against the proposed 16

So, the plans fall short on both counts.

Exceeds London Plan density matrix

The Design and Access Statement submitted with the proposal states that in accordance with Policy 3.2 of the London Plan (2016) and Policy 3.4 of the Ealing Development Management DPD (2013) this site is classified as ‘Central’ due to its location in a Metropolitan Town Centre. The density range guidance for this site is therefore 215-405 units per hectare and 350-1100 habitable rooms per hectare.

This site is approximately 0.20 of a hectare. The proposal is to build 120 units. This gives a density of 100/20 x 120 which comes to 600 units per hectare, almost 50% higher than the maximum density specified in the London Plan.

Whilst the Council and/or developers may argue that the London Plan is only for guidance it does clearly state ‘development proposals which compromise (the matrix) should be resisted.’ We believe the Council should resist this proposal as its density clearly compromises the standards laid down in the London Plan.

2.Height

With up to 11 storeys at the front on The Broadway and up to 15-storeys at the back along Singapore Road this planned building is significantly higher than any around it. Whilst the architects have made some design and height alterations following last year’s public consultation the proposed building still dominates the skyline. It remains out-of-keeping with the size and height of the new buildings that have established the current standards along this stretch of the Broadway – Pershore House, Rosemoor House, Hyde House and the Holiday Inn Express hotel.

3.Cumulative impact of high rise blocks on Singapore Road

Commenting on the previous Green Man Lane Estate proposal, the then Mayor and Deputy Mayor expressed serious concerns about the scale and massing of the proposed buildings along Singapore Road. Particular concerns, as listed within the report (ref: PDU/2553a/01) included the size and overbearing scale of the elevations facing Singapore Road, the articulation of the building through the massing, and the scale of the building when viewed from Broadway, along with the buildings’ visual relationship with the town centre.

https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/PAWS/media_id_166569/green_man_lane_estate_report.updated%20pdf.pdf page 9

Adding an even higher building of 15-storeys on Singapore Road simply further increases these concerns and the impact on the many hundreds of residents already living and soon-to-be-living along this road.

4.Design

The design is out of context with the existing and planned buildings on either side. The initial design has been amended following last year’s public consultation.  This current design is claimed to be a modern interpretation of the building’s original art-deco façade.  The art-deco style of building is a significant visual feature of this end of the West Ealing Broadway with the two Catalyst Housing Assn owned buildings either side of St James Avenue and 154A The Broadway (above the Juniper shop) which had to keep its art-deco style when the Council gave permission for an additional floor to be added.  The design for this new building lacks the subtlety of the next door building Rosemoor House which has incorporated an art-deco style frontage on The Broadway in a much more muted and less brash style.

The proposed balconies on the Broadway side are very unlikely to be used by residents for sitting out on given the high level of air pollution along this very busy road.  From past experience the balconies will be used for storage and hanging out washing. This will make the frontage look a mess as has happened with the Rosemoor House next door.

5.Loss of art-deco facade

The proposed demolition of the existing building will mean the loss of the iconic art-deco façade. This façade is almost certainly the most recognisable feature of the West Ealing high street.

In 2013 at a public meeting of the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum local stakeholders voted to preserve this 1926 icon. Over 1,000 have signed a petition to preserve the façade. You can add your signature at:

www.wecnf.org/save-our-heritage-petition/

6.Social impact

The cumulative effect of all the recent and proposed housing developments along and close to the Broadway in West Ealing may raise significant social problems for the area. In the last few years this stretch of The Broadway backing on to Singapore Road has seen, or will see, an extraordinary number of high-rise housing developments –  the Green Man Lane Estate, The Appleton (BHS site), Rosemoor House, Pershore House, and Hyde House, let alone the developments that may be proposed at the recently purchased Sainsbury’s site. This level of development raises the serious prospect of bringing with it serious cultural and social problems associated with this type of densely packed housing.   West Ealing has long-suffered from serious anti-social behaviour, much of which centres on these new housing developments,  and this and similar developments threaten to undo all the effort and hard work put in to tackling anti-social behaviour by the Council, police, housing associations,faith groups and residents’ groups.

 

Template letter for objections

Katie Crosbie

Planning Dept

Ealing Council

Perceval House

14-16 Uxbridge Road

Ealing W5 2HL

 

Date:

 

Dear Sir/Madam

96-102 The Broadway, West Ealing.   Application Reference: 182180FUL

I wish to object to this application for the following reasons:

1.Falls short of  Ealing Council’s  target of 50% affordable housing

Ealing Council in its Housing and Homeless Strategy 2014-19 has as one of its key outcomes to ‘Ensure 50% of new homes are affordable housing’. Plans for this site are for a total of 35% affordable housing and not 50%.

2.Exceeds London Plan density matrix

The density range guidance for this site is 215-405 units per hectare and 350-1100 habitable rooms per hectare.

This site comes to 600 units per hectare, almost 50% higher than the maximum density specified in the London Plan.

3.Height

With up to 11 storeys at the front on The Broadway and up to 15-storeys at the back along Singapore Road this planned building is significantly higher than any around it. The proposed building will dominate the skyline opening the door for yet higher developments in the future. It remains out-of-keeping with the size and height of the new buildings that have established the current standards along this stretch of the Broadway – Pershore House, Rosemoor House, Hyde House and the Holiday Inn Express hotel.

4.Cumulative impact of high rise blocks on Singapore Road

Commenting on the previous Green Man Lane Estate proposal, the then Mayor and Deputy Mayor expressed serious concerns about the scale and massing of the proposed buildings along Singapore Road. Particular concerns included the size and overbearing scale of the elevations facing Singapore Road.

Adding an even higher building of 15-storeys on Singapore Road simply further increases these concerns and the impact on the many hundreds of residents already living and soon-to-be-living along this road.

5.Design

The design is out of context with the existing and planned buildings on either side. The art-deco style of building is a significant visual feature of this end of the West Ealing Broadway.  The design for this new building lacks the subtlety of the next door building Rosemoor House which has incorporated an art-deco style frontage on The Broadway in a much more muted and less brash style.

6.Loss of art-deco facade

The proposed demolition of the existing building will mean the loss of the iconic art-deco façade. This façade is almost certainly the most recognisable architectural feature of the West Ealing high street.

7.Social impact

The cumulative effect of all the recent and proposed housing developments along and close to the Broadway in West Ealing may raise significant social problems for the area. In the last few years this stretch of The Broadway backing on to Singapore Road has seen, or will see, an extraordinary number of high-rise housing developments –  the Green Man Lane Estate, The Appleton (BHS site), let alone the developments that may be proposed at the recently purchased Sainsbury’s site. This level of development raises the serious prospect of bringing with it serious social problems associated with this type of densely packed housing.

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

 

Crime and anti-social behaviour rates drop in West Ealing PSPO area – notes from WEN’s public meeting 26th April

Notes from West Ealing Neighbours’ Annual General Meeting on Thursday 26th April 2018 at St John’s Church, Mattock Lane, West Ealing

Review of past activities

David Highton, chair, opened the meeting with a brief review of some of West Ealing Neighbours’ activities over the past couple of years:

  • Following the cancellation of the 2015 SoundBite Festival In Dean Gardens due to an overnight incident in the park, WEN took the initiative to try to start to tackle anti-social behaviour. It brought together local stakeholders such as housing associations, faith groups, residents’ groups, councillors, council officials and police in a series of regular meetings. With financial support a plan to redesign Dean Gardens was commissioned. This plan has been incorporated in to the new Liveable Neighbourhood project for West Ealing funded by TfL.
  • This group supported the introduction of the Public Space Protection Order which came into force in April 2017 and which has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in West Ealing.
  • WEN has been on the working group for the co-working business hub due to open later this year in St James Ave.
  • The Abundance project continues and contributes £500-£1000 a year to WEN’s funds. The projects produce includes apple juice, chutneys and more and the main outlet is Cheddar Deli in Northfiled Ave. Thanks to Elizabeth Highton for all her hard work on this.
  • In December we started looking after the planters/seats in Melbourne Ave and have cleaned them, replanted some and now maintain them on a regular basis. We have offered to look after the flower beds planned for the pigeon-infested patch of grass on the corner of Leeland Terrace and Melbourne Ave.
  • We continue to help put on the annual Soundite Festival and Christmas Fair.
  • Diane Gill and others manage our successful Facebook group which has about 4,500 members.
  • The bookswap shelf is still active in West Ealing station
  • Jane Humphreys runs the monthly book club meetings in the Star and Anchor on the last Wednesday of each month.
  • The 2017 accounts show a bank balance of nearly £7,000. Some of these reserves could be spent for the benefit of the local community and this is an item later on the agenda.

Election of the committee

David Highton, Eric Leach, Diane Gill, Andrew Cazalet, Jane Humphreys were all willing to stand again for the committee and Laura Cross was willing to stand as a new committee member. These nominations were proposed and seconded and accepted by the meeting.

David noted that there were a number of other people interested in getting involved and we will follow up with them after the meeting

Difficulty of dealing with the Council over claiming benefits

Tony Eley talked briefly about his own experiences of how difficult it was to claim housing benefit now everything is done online. He asked the audience to raise this with candidates for the local election and what they could do to help improve this very difficult situation for many older people, non-English speakers and residents not able to access or use the internet.

Public Space Protection Order

Abbi Shaw, Safer Communities Officer gave some statistics about the impact of the PSPO:

As part of the analysis undertaken on the West Ealing PSPO, crime and ASB data from April – October 2017 was reviewed in comparison with the same period from the previous year (prior to the introduction of the PSPO).

The analysis showed that, compared to a borough wide reduction in overall crime of 5% during April-October 2017, crime in the PSPO wards is down 29%.  Particularly striking for me are the significant reductions in criminal damage (45% compared to 9% borough wide) and drug offences (77% compared to 3% borough wide).

Reductions in ASB, violence and sex offences and public order are all significantly better than those across the borough too.

Wider analysis was also done around other emergency services data, which showed a 24% reduction in alcohol related calls to London Ambulance Service compared to the same period the previous year.

She then took questions covering problems about the PSPO displacing anti-social behaviour from West Ealing to Northfields, Hanwell and Ealing Broadway. As a result, the Council is working on a borough-wide PSPO with a consultation likely in December.

In reply to a question about the problem of reporting incidents on 101 she said changes were likely to be made to this service. But residents could contact her to report incidents and these would be logged and investigated.

West Ealing Business Inprovement District

Anna Elliott BID Manager explained about how the BID works in West Ealing. Busineses with over a£10,000 annual rateable value contribute 1.07% of the rateable value to the BID. There are some 400 levy payers.  All the money raised is used to provide services and other benefits to local businesses such as a waste collection service, pest control services and a wide range of publicity and promotional activities such as the recent and successful children’s craft activities at Easter.

The BID’s first 5 year period ends next year so she is leading the campaign for the ballot in Novemebr when businesses will vote yes or no to renewing the BID for a further 5 years.

She explained a new BID initiative which is a map of the West Ealing shopping centre showing key businesses, cultural events and more on one side and a list of shops by category on the other.

West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood project

David Highton spoke briefly about this £8.6m TfL funded project. It has only just started and the most useful information is in the FAQs handout which everyone should have.  The plan includes a redesign of Dean Gardens (as mentioned earlier) and a range of measures to improve the area along and both sides of the Uxbridge Rd.  The improvements are aimed at making it more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists along with improving the air quality. WEN is on the stakeholder group which will meet regularly and help shape and guide the final plans.

Concerns were raised by a number of people about TfL not being car friendly and this could affect elderly and disabled people who need to use their cars to come to West Ealing. Also, concerns about wasteful ideas which may lead to unnecessary changes to pavements and Dean Gardens. Another question raised about ensuring pedestrians are properly considered in the plans.

One key role for West Ealing Neighbours is to give maximum publicity to this project and the plans so as many residents as possible know about them and are able to put forward their view and ideas.

West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum (WECNF)

Eric Leach, Chair of WECNF, talked through the group’s plans for West Ealing which will go to vote alongside the local election on 3rd May. If over 50% of both residents and businesses who vote are in favour then the plans will become part of the formal planning decision process. The plan can be seen at the local library and on their website www.wecnf.org

Using our surplus funds

David Highton explained that WEN has almost £7,000 in the bank. We don’t need to hold this amount so are there any ideas as to how some of it could be spent to benefit the local community?  For example, WEN has spent about £3-400 on the improving the planters in Melbourne Ave. We could, for example, take on planting the flower beds that are due for inclusion in the Council’s redesign of the patch of grass by Sainsbury’s.

Two ideas were suggested: we could fund live music in St James Ave as part of making it a more inviting and attractive space and we could hold more public meetings as there are now only two ward forums a year.

The committee will consider these and any other suggestions and report back on its decisions.

Any Other Business

The meeting closed at 9pm and David thanked the committee for its work and support.

 

Tackling anti-social behaviour in West Ealing – WEN public meeting Thurs 26th April 7.30pm

Tackling anti-social behaviour in West Ealing

Public meeting on Thursday 26th April  7.30-9pm in the lounge at St John’s Church in Mattock Lane

Come and join us to hear about some of the major projects happening in West Ealing:

Tackling anti-social behaviour

It’s just a year since the Public Space Protection Order came in to force in the centre of West Ealing. How effective has it been?  Do you think it’s resulted in less anti-social behaviour or is it just the same as ever?  Come and hear the Council’s Safer Communities Team report back on the PSPO’s first year.

Making West Ealing more attractive to shoppers

Do you shop in West Ealing?  Anna Elliott the new chief executive of the West Ealing Business improvement District has some ambitions plans to make it a nicer place to shop.  Hear what plans she has to attract more shoppers.

Liveable Neighbourhoods –transforming West Ealing

Ealing Council has won £8.6 million from TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods fund to improve West Ealing town centre and its surrounding streets to make conditions better for walking, cycling and public transport. It’s early days but come and find out a bit more about this major scheme.

Electing a new WEN management committee

We need people to join our management committee.  It doesn’t have to take a lot of your time. If you’re interested do please email WEN chair David Highton to find out what’s involved – westealingneighbours@gmail.com

We will also report back on our activities in 2016 and 2017 along with an update on West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum’s plan covering central West Ealing which goes to a vote Thursday 3rd May.

Website: www.westealingneighbours.org.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/124290860921562/

Email: westealingneighbours@gmail.com

Hunt the Easter Bunny and Easter Egg-stravaganza – free family fun in West Ealing this weekend

Lots of activities for families in West Ealing this weekend:

Easter Arts & Crafts in Melbourne Avenue Friday to Sunday 11am-5pm

  • make an Easter Bunny mask
  • paint your own Easter eggs
  • Easter colouring

Plus a chance to win a super Easter Egg.

Also, the BID Bunny Easter Trail.  Pick up your free map from Wilko and follow the trail to find the Easter pictures and collect your prize at the end of the trail. Runs from 24th March to 7th April 9.30am – 5pm in West Ealing town centre.

Look here for more details.

Both events funded by the In West Ealing (West Ealing Business Improvement District)

 

 

Closure plans for Ealing Hospital revealed

A Freedom of Information (FOI) reply has revealed plans to create a 50 bed frailty/elderly unit within refurbished parts of the closed down EDGH. The FOI reply document arrived on 21 February 2018. The FOI planning document is dated 16 June 2017. This document has the snappy title of ‘Client section (call-off) of a PSCP from the Procure 22 Framework: Information Pack for SaHF/STP Implementation Programme for London North West Healthcare NHS Trust’. Some eight months later I can’t believe there isn’t a more recent version of the document.

Rather confusingly the frailty/elderly residential unit for 50 people is called ‘Ealing Local Hospital’ (ELH). The 2012 NHS North West London ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ (SaHF) changes never envisioned a ‘Local Hospital’ offering in-patient beds. Apparently the writing of the detailed/full business case for closing the 327 bedded EDGH and creating the 50 bedded ELH will commence in March 2018. ‘External approval’ of this business case is not expected until December 2019. These dates should be taken with a pinch of salt as they are eight months old, the overall SaHF business case was rejected by NHS Improvement and NHS England in November 2017 and NHS bosses are famous for creating schedule dates that are never met.

What will be housed in this ELH is still not set in stone. An Urgent Care Centre is likely to remain and to this will be added a range of day care, outpatients, diagnostic, therapy and maybe mental health services. However what is clear is that there will be no ‘traditional’ A&E services, no intensive care services, no operating theatres and no ambulances will ever deliver seriously injured or chronically sick Ealing residents to the ELH. One of the two 25 bed ‘Intermediate Care’ wards at Clayponds in South Ealing will close and effectively move to ELH.

Seemingly there will be no new build on the EDGH site. So any grandiose plans that might once have existed for a new ELH are no more. It’s all now about ‘refurbishment’ of the ‘light’, ‘heavy’ or ‘major’ flavour. London Borough of Ealing (LBE) planning permission may not be needed for this re-purposing.

There’s only one explicit mention of demolition on the EDGH site, with no spatial details provided. If it’s going to be all refurbishing and repurposing, this may result in no or limited land release for housing. LBE may be disappointed by this and may lose some interest in the site as it careers headlong into meeting Mayor Khan’s target of 28,000 new homes in Ealing by 2029.

The date for the closure of EDGH is by no means clear. Maybe one could reasonably surmise that the EDGH closure process began in July 2015 with the closure of Maternity services at the hospital. The opening date of the ELH is also far from clear. It’s December 2023 on page 3 and June 2025 on page 9 of the document.

Eric Leach, 21 February 2018

Iconic art-deco Hoover building’s restoration almost complete

A photo in today’s business news reminded me just how fantastic looking  the Hoover building is on the A40 at Perivale.  It’s good to read that its restoration is nearly complete.  As well as the facade, there are some stunning art deco features inside which I happened to see some photos of in the Council’s glossy magazine for developers Ealing London.

Detail of lift dial

There’s a brief history of the building on the IDM properties website. The restored building is being converted in to 66 apartments.  What about the Gillette building on the A4 next?

Photos courtesy of IDM Properties

 

 

 

Ealing Council cabinet approves West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood plan

On 16 January 2018, Ealing Council Cabinet approved the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum (WECNF) Neighbourhood Plan. WECNF, a Government designated body of volunteers, began working on the plan as an interim body in May 2012 and continued as a designated body as from March 2013.

On 3 May 2018, at the same time as and in the same Polling Stations as the Ealing Councillor Elections, two referenda will take place on the plan. One is for local businesses and the other is for local residents. Ealing Council has yet to announce the boundary of the referendum area. If over 50% of those who vote in both referenda vote ‘Yes’ then the Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted by Ealing Council as the statutory planning guidance for the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Area. As such it would join the Ealing Council Local Plan, The London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework as the set of planning guides for property developers to follow in central West Ealing.

 

Eric Leach

Chair, WECNF

www.wecnf.org

Feeding pigeons is bad enough but dumping food waste…!

I’m the first to admit I find fly-tipping and feeding pigeons extremely irritating.  Both are anti-social and give no thought to the problems they cause. However, when I saw that someone had emptied the contents of their food waste bin on the patch of grass by Sainsbury’s …….well, that’s just too much.  I’ve cleaned it up this morning but how could someone think this was a good idea?  The pigeons aren’t likely to eat eggshells, teabags, banana skins and orange peel. It will just attract rats.

The Council knows this patch of grass is a problem and will, I hope, one day soon redesign the area to put in some communal flower beds and signs asking people not to feed the pigeons. WEN has offered to help and I’m sure we can get volunteers to help when the time comes. In the meantime though I just hope no one else thinks it’s good for wildlife to empty out the contents of their food waste bin and let it rot away and attract rats.

And today (Friday) there was a pile of bread in exactly the same place. However, when I went back a bit later to clear it up it had already gone. So many thanks to whoever was kind enough to do that.

Is it a warm welcome for the black and orange mobikes?

The mobikes with their distinctive livery of orange and black have suddenly started appearing all across Ealing. They arrived in St James Ave West Ealing at the end of last week.

Mobikes, owned by Beijing Mobike  Technology Company, are very popular in China.  I can personally vouch for their popularity In Shanghai where bicycle riders seem to make no difference between roads and pavements!.

The idea of having lots of bikes available to hire is a great idea and they make good use of modern technology. However, a key question is whether users will return them to designated places or leave them dotted about the streets?  Time will tell.