|First Chance to See Ealing Centre Plans|
A 'vast improvement' on previous proposals - but not without concerns
New plans for the redevelopment of Ealing Town Centre have gone on show and been cautiously welcomed.
A preview of the exhibition - which opens to the general public this afternoon - was held last night for invited guests.
Will French, an experienced town planner and member of the Save Ealing Centre (SEC) alliance has shared his personal thoughts with Ealing Today.
He believes what's on offer is a vast improvement on the former highly controversial Glenkerrin scheme - which SEC and many others campaigned against.
The 26 storey tower (which had been dubbed 'the leaf') has now been scaled down to 18 storeys.
Mr French says: '' This is not likely to be too obtrusive to pedestrians on the Uxbridge Rd as it is set well back by the railway. More critical will be what it will look like from points around the Green and this needs careful appraisal. Even the strongest critics must agree however that what is now envisaged is a great improvement on Glenkerrin’s plans. Set back behind the railway, the tower would be a background element in most views of the Green compared with Glenkerrin’s very aggressive scheme.''
However he is concerned with other elements of the plans which would affect The Broadway (Uxbridge Rd) side of the site - part of Ealing Town Centre Conservation Area (CA).
He says: '' It would be very unfortunate to lose all the remaining Victorian/Edwardian frontages on this side of the street. Amidst the awfulness of frontages like WH Smith, there are some survivors of Ealing’s heyday that have great charm.''
The current scheme focuses on new homes and shops but Mr French says there should be other uses:
'' Much more effort should be given to promoting town centre functions on this, the most central of sites in Ealing. It is too valuable to give over upper floors entirely to housing. Other town centre functions that could have a place here include hotels, and leisure activities like the historic Ealing Club. It is hugely frustrating to me that Ealing could be turning its back on its really unique cultural heritage involving both its cinema and music industries.
Benson Elliot who own a large part of the site has appointed Londonewcastle as development managers along with and architects Allies & Morrison.
A planning application will be submitted in spring.
Exhibitions on the new plans for 9-42 The Broadway, will take place in 7a The Broadway at the following dates and times:
- Thursday January 29 from 4pm- 8pm
- Friday January 30 from 4pm- 8pm
- Saturday January 31 from 10am- 4pm.
Anyone with with questions can contact info@9-42TheBroadway.com or freephone 0800 881 5430.
All consultation materials will be published on the website www.9-42TheBroadway.com from January 29.
29th January 2015