Fury Over Ealing Broadway Crossrail Plans
Campaigners say application being rushed through in holiday time
A crucial planning application which will determine the future look of Ealing Broadway station is due to be heard on Wednesday August 13th.
Campaigners involved in improving Crossrail's major Ealing scheme are furious and say such a key decision should not be made over the holiday season.
Plans were underway to host a public exhibition on the station forecourt (on Sept 2nd and 4th ) and representatives from Save Ealing Centre (SEC) had written to supporters explaining they could view and comment on the application before it was determined.
However, they have now been told Crossrail is unwilling to wait and wants to push the process along.
Crossrail says delays in obtaining planning approval will damage their target of opening the new station in late 2016. It says this is only an outline planning application, and further detailed applications will be consulted on.
Will French from SEC says: '' Crossrail hasn't explained why it is so important to push its plans through so hurriedly at the height of the summer break when so many people are away. When they get back from their holidays many people will be pretty unpersuaded by the idea that the Council's exhibition can capture public views after the plans have been approved.''
Read the SEC concerns in full here
Liberal Democrat Councilllor Jon Ball - who will be standing in the general election in the Ealing Central and Acton parliamentary seat - is unhappy with the way the council has handled the planning matter.
He says: '' I am shocked that Ealing Council is reneging on its promises to local residents groups that residents would get the chance to see and have their say on the proposed plans for the new Ealing Broadway station at an exhibition in September before the Council decides whether to approve them. Instead, the Council is shamefully trying to push the plans through next week while many residents are on holiday. The new Crossrail station will be at the heart of our town and our Borough and residents deserve to be consulted."
Fellow Lib Dem Cllr, Gary Busuttil who is on the planning committee is writing to the committee chair urging that it be deferred.
SEC say they are also trying to get the decision deferred until after the exhibition but fear that the majority of residents will not have a chance to comment on the plans.
A Crossrail spokesman said: '' It had originally been expected that Crossrail's proposals for Ealing Broadway station would be considered by the Council in July. This was extended to August to allow more time for local consultation. The Planning Committee on 13 August will consider the design concept for the station which, if approved, will allow Crossrail to move on to the next stage of design development.
''Crossrail is wholly committed to engaging with the community to share these detailed designs as they emerge and address comments. "The Council is planning an exhibition in early September, which will show their developing designs for the station forecourt and surroundings. Crossrail will support this exhibition in order to explain the plans for the station and to receive comments so that they can be addressed within the detailed design process. This will be followed by other potential opportunities for local input to the designs as they develop over future months as described above."
Ealing Council say: “The planning committee will consider Crossrail’s application for Ealing Broadway Station at its meeting on 13 August. The committee will consider plans for the interior of the station including the ticket hall, lifts and platform extension to accommodate longer trains as well as design concepts for the station’s exterior.
''Initial station designs were made public by Crossrail last November but they have since been updated following comments from residents and the council on the exterior design, in particular the canopy. The council ran a five week consultation following the submission of the revised plans to give residents the opportunity to contribute their views. The consultation formally ended on 29 July, but comments and feedback are accepted up until the planning committee meets and this has been communicated to residents.
“The council intends to hold an exhibition in September to show residents its plans for the wider forecourt and Haven Green area. This exhibition is separate to the planning application consultation and was not intended to be part of that process. However following discussion with residents it was agreed that it would be useful to have representation from Crossrail at this exhibition which has been agreed."
Ealing Council say comments can be taken until Monday 11 August - to view the application- No P/2013/5387 on the Ealing.gov.uk website .
7th August 2014