Acton Town Development Framework Revealed
Full document unveiled shows big plans for Acton
Ealing Council, in consultation with East, URS* and DTZ* have produced a draft development framework for Acton.
The draft runs to nearly 70 pages and contains many ideas, images, proposals and comments on Acton.
According to the plan, it "provides a strategic vision and development framework for Acton Town Centre to help marshall co-ordinated change over the next 18 years towards 2026."
The document's vision for Acton Town Centre is to: "Make Acton the centre of choice for local residents by improving the diverse and mixed retail, leisure and community experience alongside a high quality, attractive physical environment that encourages visitors to stay longer."
"Key urban design and socio-economic objectives have been set out to help achieve this vision. These are:
- To create a revitalised town centre, which serves the local community.
- To facilitate local economic growth.
- To enhance the economic viability and success of the Town.
- To introduce an optimum mix of uses.
- To provide a range of improved community facilities and services.
- To create an attractive and good quality public realm.
- To improve accessibility, movement and linkage through the town centre.
- To maximise the regenerative potential and coherence of the Town.
The individual projects outlined in the proposal include:
- Redevelopment of the Acton Town Hall complex - to include a new swimming pool (redevelopment of Acton Baths, Library and the Priory Centre to include residential, retail and office floorspace)
- Potential redevelopment of the Oaks and Churchfield Road
- Potential redevelopment of the Morrisons site (dependent on the willingness of Morrisons to relocate their car park)
- Regeneration of the Rowley Industrial Estate
- Regeneration of South Acton Estate
- Streetscape improvements to Acton Town Centre
Many of these projects are allocated as being long-term plans. However, in the short term the report states that: "Ealing Council has already earmarked some funding through its budget for improvements to the streetscape, including deep cleansing, shop front and visual merchandising scheme which can be implemented within a short time period. Such visual improvements will build early confidence among residents."
It also states: "It could be said that Acton has an image problem, in the sense that it is often difficult to geographically locate it, or understand its shape. This is the basis of the task of making the shape of the town clearer; making its edges distinct, and improving the way in which its various parts may be brought together for the benefit of the Town as a whole." Several arrival points are identified and analysed. The report favours improving links and connections between Rowley Industrial Estate, South Acton and the town centre. It also mentions making the town centre more accessible and more easy to locate from Acton's stations.
It is also intended that: "the preferred options for the development sites and the design principles guiding the overall redevelopment of Acton Town Centre will be subjected to consultation."
Later in the document, a comment is made that: "Development that is uncoordinated will miss an enormous opportunity for regeneration for Acton Town Centre as a whole and must be resisted." Also that "Large stakeholders and landowners unwilling to engage with the town centre regeneration ambitions threaten to diminish the scope of possible redevelopment and regeneration."
One diagram highlights "character areas" which include:
Rowley Industrial Estate: "ramshackle but industrious character"
Later on, the document states: "Instead of treating the streets and footways as parts of the town that serve to link green spaces and stations, their role can be shifted to become the places where people want to be and go. To do this, widened footways, improved linkages and crossings, better design and specification and locations of lighting and street furniture will in turn attract people to shop, eat and meet across the whole town centre."
The Development Framework is extensive and ambitious. This document is intended as a basis for consultation. Those who would like to read the document in its entirety should click on the link to the relevant page on Ealing Council's website (see box, right)
The first opportunity to discuss this document will be at next week's Acton Business Forum (details on calendar section).
Ealing Council have stated that: "Over the coming months resident and business communities in each of the area will be invited to comment on these plans.
"Please note that the proposals in the reports are those of the authors and should not be treated as being those of Ealing Council itself."
*We are trying to find out from Ealing Council what these acronyms stand for.
May 29, 2008