New plans for 51 Drayton Green exhibited

St Helena’s Home at 51 Drayton Green has now been completely demolished and the rubble removed. Now the land owners – Notting Hill Housing (NHH) – want to try again and design a residential development which not only Ealing Council Planners will accept but hopefully local residents, the church and school next door will be happy with.

An exhibition is being mounted by NHH at the next door International Presbyterian Church (53 Drayton Green) on Thursday 4th August from 4:30pm to 8:00pm.

The plans feature a less dense residential development than has been proposed prevously. NHH’s first proposal a few years ago was for 91 homes and its current ‘Pending’ application with Ealing Council is for 31 homes. The new plans are for 21 new homes – 17 flats and 4 houses.

The letter circulated to local residents tells us that ‘the proposed development will improve the appearance of the surrounding area’. Well….come along to the exhibition and make up your own mind on that score.

Ealing’s library services are viable and vibrant: cut the overheads, not the branches

As a consultation on library services in the Borough draws to a close, and the threat of library branch closures looms, James Guest of Ealing Fields Residents Association breaks down the costs of Ealing Libraries, and find that the Council needs to take a closer look at libraries’ considerable overheads if they want to make any cuts.

Key points

  • Ealing spends £6.7million on libraries annually – £65 million of budget savings are said to be needed
  • Overheads make up a high proportion of library costs – over £3 million annually
  • The branch libraries targeted for closure are already closed more days a week than other libraries – hence their lower visitor numbers
  • Only 42 per cent of current expenditure on libraries goes to staff costs – running libraries on a volunteer basis will not save a great deal of money

Continue reading “Ealing’s library services are viable and vibrant: cut the overheads, not the branches”

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

Is the age of tall buildings for London at an end?

Chris Gilson reports on the potential slow-down of skyscraper growth in London, as a result of fiscal austerity.

One of West Ealing Neighbours’ major concerns in the last half decade is the potential growth of super-massive skyscrapers and commercial developments in the town’s center – all without increased provision for social services for new residents.   The recession has certainly slowed down a number of these developments, and now Bloomberg reports that for the capital in general:

London property developers are sacrificing height and glitz for better returns as the craze for building iconic skyscrapers comes to an end, said Ken Shuttleworth, the architect of the landmark Gherkin building….

While skyscrapers with nicknames such as the Shard, the Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie are joining the 40-story Gherkin as part of the British capital’s skyline, those buildings reflect past rather than present considerations. All of the office towers that are due to open in London by 2014 were conceived before the financial crisis and developers are increasingly adopting cheaper, less ambitious plans.

Does this mean that Ealing is now going against the grain by continuing to try and build large, tall, buildings (like the proposed 21 storey successor to Westel House) and developments?

Read the full article here.