Save Ealing's Centre (SEC) is a voluntary alliance of 25 residents' associations and community groups drawn together as local stakeholders in response to proposed developments in the centre of Ealing. Our Vision statement (recently revised) defines the principles we believe should guide plans for the centre of the borough. All our activities are aimed at furthering this vision.
News of latest developments is below.  Our archives and more details on each of the main topics which concern us can be seen in the separate sections listed on the left. 

LATEST UPDATES for 2019


UPDATED 18th March 2019: Crossrail and Ealing Broadway Station - latest information

The Crossrail delays continue. Crossrail Ltd. still aren’t able to predict a new planned opening date for the central London section of the service but have confirmed that it won't now open in 2019. The situation in Ealing is even worse as they haven’t yet let a contract to start the station building work. Previous dates of 19th December and 14th February have been and gone and all they can say now is “early April”.

The design for the canopy outside Ealing Broadway Station will be different from that shown on their hoardings. The revised design will be simpler and deals with a number of issues with the old one. The illustrations we have seen look broadly acceptable - see HERE . There will have to be a new “Schedule 7” planning submission to cover this change.

Ealing Council have radically changed their previous ideas for the “public realm” outside the station. We have fed back significant concerns with the new proposed design and will see what changes have been made when it shortly comes out for public consultation.

Crossrail were to have introduced a 4 trains per hour stopping service to Heathrow in May 2018. They still don’t have confidence that they can run a reliable service with their new trains and signalling. This new service will now have to wait until December 2019 at the earliest.


MORE and YET MORE ON THE VICTORIA HALL PROPOSALS

UPDATED 4th February 2019: Mastcraft new planning application to Ealing council
 
 SEC is surprised that Mastcraft has now made a new planning application to convert the Town Hall into an hotel. This includes demolition of property owned by the Victoria Hall Trust to make room to build the hotel’s 120 rooms. The Victoria Hall will be shrunk through the loss of the easternmost bay and a rose window that is an integral architectural feature is to be relocated. Public access to the hall and several adjacent areas will be restricted.

The consultation on Mastcraft’s planning application runs until Feb 26th. There are over 100 documents in the full application details but the key sections are in the planning statement,  and you may wish to view the relevant design and access statements – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and the Built Heritage Impact Assessments – Part 1 and  Part 2.  

Please have a look at them and submit your comments via the website in good time for the 26th February.

Be warned however that these are large documents between 2 and 4Mb each although absolutely FULL of information well worth reading.

SEC lawyers have written a second and more detailed letter to the Charity Commission questioning the Council’s deal to hand over the Victoria Hall to Mastcraft who are commercial hotel developers.
These areas were paid for from public subscription and are owned by a charitable trust.
You can see the affected area on these plans The Council has no right to dispose of the Hall without the permission of the Charity Commission and SEC’s lawyers believe that charity rules will not permit the deal to proceed.

You can see some previous information on the Mastcraft plans on our special Town Hall and Victoria Hall archive page HERE.  

UPDATED 4th February 2019: Crossrail and Ealing Broadway Station - latest information

Crossrail delays at Ealing Broadway station continue. Crossrail now doubt that the bridge can carry the supports for the original canopy design, while complications have emerged with the area outside Villiers House which is not in public ownership. This has required a major re-design to the canopy over the front entrance which will have to go back through Ealing Planning – see HERE  for their latest ideas.

We are promised a consultation on these plans together with Ealing’s latest thinking on the public realm in front of the station in the coming weeks. A key question will be disabled car passengers set-down provision.

Ealing today has a very full roundup of latest events HERE published on 24th January.

   
Back in November last year, Crossrail also sent a letter to some local residents explaining what is happening at Ealing Broadway Station and what is due to take place in late December/early January when there are road closures and hence bus diversions whilst they install some heavy machinery.
You can  see the text of their letter HERE

 SEC  notes generally that as spring 2018 turned into summer, then summer into autumn and with winter now here, the long promised improvements to Ealing Broadway station forecourt seem as distant as ever. Crossrail has been in the headlines recently for its cost overruns and other delays but they continue to hold out the prospect that the new Elizabeth Line service will be operational by the end of next year. They admit however, the other improvements at Ealing Broadway Station will be far from complete and their occupation of Haven Green will drag on deep into 2020.  

 Crossrail say that the station is ‘under technical review by Network Rail as part of the contract letting’ (whatever that means). With this in mind we look forward to confirmation that it will be built according to the 2014 approved designs. The forecourt and the space around it are LBE’s responsibility and they promise that once the station itself is agreed they will consult further on these public realm details, probably in the New Year.

 Since it got its green light back in 2008, Crossrail’s works across the Borough as a whole have been quite a shambles. Unlike in the central and eastern sections nobody has taken the lead in planning how it would be implemented and how it can best fit into the existing environment. Promises and deadlines have been broken repeatedly with the buck passing back and forth between TFL, Crossrail and Network Rail, while LBE spectating from the side-lines like the rest of us. When the Elizabeth Line finally opens expect that 4 out of 5 Ealing stations (the exception is Hanwell) will prove poorly designed and interface badly with the neighbourhoods they serve.

 SEC has written to the National Audit Office to suggest that they examine the implementation of Crossrail in Ealing in its recently announced investigation of the overall Crossrail Project 

You can see the full text of this letter  HERE



10th November 2018: Crossrail and Ealing Broadway Station - yet more ongoing delays


Endless Delays. Crossrail eventually admitted at the end of August that the new Elizabeth Line service through central London wouldn’t be able to start until Autumn 2019. However, these delays are nothing compared to what we have experienced on the western surface section of the route, where the scale of the work is much smaller.

The planned design for Ealing Broadway Station was approved in summer 2014. Work near us eventually started in late summer 2015 and the eastern “emergency escape” footbridge was put up a few months later. Work on the platform extensions then continued slowly, but everything else seemed to slow down to a snail’s pace. The same was true for the other west London stations on the Crossrail route. We got the tale from Crossrail Ltd. that this was due to the difficulties of working around an operational railway. However, work well away from the tracks didn’t seem to be going on either.

Some concerned residents in West Ealing prompted BBC London to run an article about the delays in July 2017. This got Crossrail to admit that the contract for work on the station buildings had been canceled because of increasing costs related to extra design work. There was no explanation of why a construction contract had been let before design work had been completed. We were told that a new (cheaper) contract would be in place in December 2017, with the work to start shortly afterwards. This whole process then suffered slippage after slippage. The invitations to tender only went out in October 2017 and to date no new contract appears to be have signed, although there are signs that a contractor may have been chosen.

We were told in late 2017 that temporary contracts would be used to advance some of the work that could only be done during “possessions" of the railway, when no trains would be running. There were plans to replace the staircase to platforms 2 and 3 at Ealing Broadway Station using such temporary contracts at Christmas 2017 and at the early May bank holiday 2018. Both these plans were called off at the last moment when they realised they may not work. Attempt no. 3 at replacing the staircase (using contractor no. 3) is now underway. Passengers now have walk all the way down the platforms and cross over the “emergency escape” footbridge to get at these platforms. It is thought that a new staircase will be installed over the Christmas break.

The introduction of new services hasn’t fared much better on our section of the route. Crossrail were to introduce a 4 trains per hour service to Heathrow Terminal 4 in May 2018 using their new Elizabeth Line trains. They then found that they couldn’t get the signalling to work with them in the tunnels to Heathrow. Two of their new trains per hour now just run to Hayes & Harlington, with 2 of the old (rebadged) Heathrow Connect trains every hour running all the way to Heathrow. It is not clear when the 4 trains per hour service will start, but it won’t be before May 2019 and perhaps not until December 2019.

We await Crossrail’s next failure to deliver on time and on budget.

Ealing Today also have an item from August 2018 suggesting that the opening of the Western Section of Crossrail will be delayed. You can read the item HERE
They also have an item from September 2018 reporting that passengers may be "At risk" from the continuing delays at Ealing Broadway Station and calling for action. That item is also available HERE

23rd July The SEC Summer 2018 Newsletter is now available for viewing.

This edition contains the latest on the Town Hall sell-off and what SEC are doing to try and prevent the loss of The Victoria Hall and a few other parts to a hotel run by Mastcraft. There are also some items on the recent abolition of the Borough Conservation Officer - which threatens Ealing's heritage - and items of local interest.
You can read the full newsletter HERE
Our newsletter archive can be found via the menu on the left or directly HERE



NEW 8th February 2018: Ealing Council publish consultation for West Ealing station area
Crossrail complementary measures.

From this                                                       to this  

Ealing Council are consulting about possible changes to the area around West Ealing station to prepare for the anticipated increased demand in the area as a result of crossrail at the station.

You can see the consultation documents (both the document and proposed plan of the area) on the council's West Ealing consultation web page  The consultation closes on 26th February 2018


UPDATED 4th and 8th February 2018: Crossrail and Ealing Broadway Station - ongoing delays


Endless Delays. Crossrail announced last July it had terminated Vinci Ltd’s 2013 contract to upgrade West London’s stations and was re-tendering the work. We were assured that with new contracts would be in place by December 2017 and the upgraded stations could still be ready in time for Crossrail’s 2019 full opening as the Elizabeth Line. We now learn the re-tendering exercise was delayed and with new contracts unlikely before late spring, work won’t start till summer at the earliest. Whether it can end by Crossrail’s December 2019 deadline looks increasingly doubtful.

Still too many steps. Unperturbed, TfL published a series of maps in January of the different stages the Elizabeth Line would open. These showed that by the time Crossrail’s Heathrow service began in May 2018 all West London’s stations would have step free access from street to platform. The announcement triggered a wave of complaints to TfL. No West London station is step free, and the delays mean none will be soon. At the last count, you had to negotiate up to 48 steps to get from the street to the platform at Ealing Broadway. TfL has since quietly amended its maps.

Carillion steps in and then out.  With concern growing about its lack of progress, Crossrail tried a new way to get things at Ealing Broadway moving. It rushed through some temporary contracts for work over Christmas 2017 on the stairs and the lift foundations. Unfortunately, the contract went to Carillion who, even before they went bust, found they couldn’t do the job. Crossrail say they have an arrangement with Carillion’s staff and/or administrators to persevere with this project.

Undersized Lifts. Last autumn, Crossrail submitted to LBE a revised “Schedule 7” planning application, little different to the one 3 years earlier. There were a few welcome changes but no increase in the much criticised undersized lifts. Crossrail claimed the platform 2&3 lift was bigger to handle the expected passengers, but the drawings show it’s the same size as previously. What is new is the lift entry/exit arrangement. This had been a “straight through” design with passengers exiting at the end opposite the entrance. This separate exit has unaccountably disappeared. The effective capacity of the lift has been reduced and those with wheelchairs, buggies and bikes will have either to back in or back out. The plans have been passed.

Heathrow Hassles. Crossrail plans to replace the twice hourly Heathrow Connect service this May with new trains running every 15 minutes. Here too it has snags. Too few new trains have been built yet those they have still lack the software for Heathrow’s signalling system and can only get to Hayes and Harlington. With insufficient existing Heathrow Connect trains for a 4 per hour service, the present 2 trains per hour Heathrow Connect service is likely to run a while longer. Perhaps Crossrail will resort to a paint job on the existing trains to hide its embarrassment? 

At least the job pays well.  But never mind the naysayers and other odd cracks now starting to show eg in  The Evening Standard. Things remain upbeat in Crossrail’s corporate world. The PR department runs at full swing, pushing out positive messages whenever they can. Staff are also doing quite nicely with their pay at the top end of the scale for public bodies. Just look at pages 92 and 93 of the TfL annual report and statement of accounts 2016-2017. Nice work if you can get it.

UPDATE 5th January 2018: Ealing Borough Faces New Building Boom

A New London Plan is proposing massive new developments in Ealing that will affect everybody.  If the plan is adopted the annual rate of flat building in the Borough will double. Over the next 10 years 28,000 new homes would be built and Ealing’s population would grow by around 25%.

Save Ealing’s Centre is concerned about the implications of such a steep rise. While the need for homes is indisputable, the Borough seems expected to provide a disproportionate number of them. There is no information where all these homes would be provided and what safeguards there would be for the Borough's heritage. Impacts on services which are already over-burdened are not considered. 

SEC has asked Council leader Julian Bell whether it thinks such an ambitious programme is sustainable and where the homes would be provided. Our letter to him, the current targets and particularly his response, which raises many more questions than answers, can be seen  HERE

Save Ealing's Centre proposes to respond to the London Plans consultation. However our experience has been that the GLA pays little attention to comments from local groups. Views from our Council are likely to carry more weight so we shall be raising this issue with the Council again over the coming months. However, if the implications of the London Plan's targets concern you we would encourage you to raise your concerns with Julian Bell yourself.

The Plan’s consultation ends on March 2nd 2018 and you can leave your comments via the box at the bottom of the London Plan page.



SEC is delighted with the outcome of the 12th October referendum. Residents and local business voted overwhelmingly to support the introduction of a new Neighbourhood Plan for Central Ealing.
The new plan will form part of the statutory development plan, and will directly influence decisions on local planning applications that affect the Town Centre.  It will give local businesses and residents greater democratic influence in changes taking place here.
Thanks are due to those in the Forum who laboured long and hard to bring the plan to fruition and to SEC supporters who helped ensure the vote in favour at the referendum.

For more information about the Neighbourhood Plan visit the Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum web page where you will find the full details and view the full Plan. 


UPDATE 30th August 2017: Crossrail and Ealing Broadway Station

Work on the Ealing Broadway Station upgrade under Crossrail has almost ground to a halt.  Crossrail explain this is because its plans are being redesigned and the contract re-tendered.  Instead of bringing the work forward  to alleviate the station's existing problems, as was once promised, it seems Ealing Broadway Station will be one of the last pieces of the Crossrail project to be completed.  For more information see this full report HERE


NEW 30th August 2017: Neighbours paper highlights Ealing plans

Many of you will have seen The Neighbours Paper which is freely available throughout the borough. This edition is guest edited and focuses on residents' concerns about developments taking place in Ealing which are replacing the best bits of the borough with poorly designed over-sized blocks of flats - one of SEC's regular items.
You can download a copy via their website at http://www.neighbourspaper.com/  and catch up on earlier editions to see their articles giving early airings to vital subjects.
This edition has a full page article on the Council's plans for the Perceval Hose redevelopment which will doubtless feature in future SEC campaigns.


UPDATE 29th June 2017: The Cinema site SEC survey



New landowners St George announced in May that they are finally to build the much promised cinemas.

However they have now applied for what they call "minor amendments" to the Ealing Filmworks Development that originally received planning permission back in March 2015. St George say that the changes won't affect the 2019 deadline for delivery of the cinema, but there are quite few substantial changes that will increase the height and bulk of the development and the number of flats within it and reduce the commercial space - i.e. less shops!

SEC have produced further in depth details of the plans - which you can see HERE and also published a survey into the changes proposed. You are encouraged to complete this survey and show how local residents feel about the latest plans. You can find the survey HERE

Additionally SEC would encourage you to comment on the application either by e-mail to planning@ealing.gov.uk or via the Ealing Council  planning website  or even by post. Full details of all those methods are available at the end of our further details sheet.


New 7th July 2017: Information for Hanwell and West Ealing supporters

Here are a few new items of interest to our West Ealing and Hanwell supporters.

 1.         You may remember that there was a planning application to replace just the (now closed) BHS store in West Ealing. Well now it has been revealed that this will also include the demolition of the old Woolworths building. The developers A2 Dominion are having a public consultation exhibition on Saturday, 15th July from 1pm to 4pm at The Lounge, St John’s Church, Mattock Lane, West Ealing, London, W13 9LA. You are encouraged to go along to see what might be in store for the future (other than more big empty shops or restaurants?)

West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum (EWCNF) has more about this site listed as "asset 6" on their web page at http://www.wecnf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/WECNF-Heritage-Assets.pdf

 2.         There is also a current planning application for replacement of nearly all the little cottages between the gym and Lidl entrance in Hanwell (they were built in about 1715) and later with the front gardens were built over to provide the shops. The development will be of up to 10 storeys of 63 units mixed between studios and 3 bed flats. Amazingly, the scheme describes the block as Marshall house (after the designer of guitar amplifiers which were made in one of those shops)

The Planning application is ref: 172913FUL:  64-66 and 70-88 Uxbridge Road, Hanwell W7 3SU which you can see via the Ealing planning application website at https://pam.ealing.gov.uk/online-applications/ - which was broken but is now working again!

Ealing today published an report on this application a while ago and it can be seen on their website

    
The proposed Marshall House Existing eastern end of site next to gym Existing western end of site towards Lidl

3.     UPDATED 7th July 2017    Full details have not yet been published but there are plans to replace the Wickes/Nissan site on Boston Road.  There may be up to 300 residential units (including 58 "affordable units") with 83 car spaces and over 300 cycle spaces with a new "Village Square" and play places.

A2 Dominion’s PR team organised a pre-planning exhibition on Wednesday 5 July 4-7pm and on Saturday 8 July 2-4pm.   

Also Ealing Today have a few more details on their website

The next steps are to review the scheme and the consultation in August for a planning application to be made in September for possible presentaion to Ealing planning committe and, unless refused, to start construction in 2019. When more information is available, we will try to update this web site.

It is not known if Wickes will take over one of the proposed shops but it must be doubtful knowing how much space they need for the retail area, the service area and especially for customer parking. Is this the end of yet another useful store?

You can get a flavour of the scheme by looking at the images below and see a larger version of some of the proposed buildings by clicking on them.



Plan of area to be developed View from McCanns public house View out into Boston Road from within


New 5th June 2017: Haven Green cycle parking

 
(Hey notice the walker and the lady are still there un-moved even at night - he he)

You may or may not be aware of Ealing's plans to contruct a cycle hub with a steel structure roof and night-time floodlighting in part of what is commonly known as the "BBC Car Park" on the south side of Haven Green alongside the railway. This is to remove the cycle stands presently situated actually on the green spaces nearby.

Here is a link to the  planning application search site and you are encouraged to make comments on the application. The application number to enter where it asks for "keyword, reference number" etc  is 171986FUL. It seems that the application closed on 21st April but your comments may still be considered.

One consideration for pedestrians using the path alongside to get from the west side of the green to the station is that this will become a shared pedestrian/cyclists area with cyclists required to dismount and wheel their bikes all the way into the new hub. You may wish to comment on this proposal as we already suffer from cyclists using pavements around pedestrians and prams and disabled carriages.



UPDATE 3rd July 2017: Crossrail and Ealing Broadway Station

Progress on Crossrail in Ealing is seriously delayed. In 2011 TFL, the London Borough of Ealing and our then MP Angie Bray  announced to great fanfare that lifts and other work at Ealing Broadway Station needed for Crossrail would be brought forward because the station was already seriously overcrowded. The announcement turns out to have been completely untrue. Work has not just not been done early, it is slipping backwards. 

SEC is campaigning with others to find out what has gone wrong. But the authorities give little away.

SEC has therefore recently written to Val Shawcross, Transport Supremo at City Hall, pointing out that works at Ealing Broadway Station are falling well behind the previously published completion dates and are now scheduled for completion as late as May 2018.
They also point out that, despite Haven Green having been despoiled now for over 18months, there seems to have been little work completed apart from the new passenger bridge at the far end of the platform.
SEC awaits her response!

As regards Crossrail itself, about 80% of the overall work is complete and you can see a lot on their website at http://www.crossrail.co.uk/
and some updates from an Ealing point of view on our Crossrail page HERE