Planners to Make Crucial Decision on Churchfield Rd
Residents' voices can be heard - this Saturday only
The New Year is starting with a site visit by planning officers from Ealing Council to the land between St. Mary's and Hooper's Mews in Churchfield Road. Dominion Housing Group, Metropolis Planning and Design LLP has submitted a planning application in October last year to Ealing Council for the redevelopment of part of the Oaks car park and relocation of the art screens.
The visit is to be this weekend - Saturday, January 6th at 10:00am. It takes place at a time of year when many are still recovering from their Christmas and New Year holidays. Some may even still be away. The Planning Committee will be considering the application at a meeting to be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, New Broadway, W5 2BY on January 10th 2007 at 7:00pm.
The Churchfield Community Association have announced that the officer in charge of making the decision about the development is recommending approval of the development. Residents are greeting this news with dismay. Currently, Churchfield Road is developing slowly as a street with attractive small shops - like Vanilla, Paint, Heart and Soul, Classix barbers, Anthony Wood (the newest addition to the road - an upmarket hairdresser). The buildings are mostly Victorian 3-storey and the road has an old fashioned feel to it. There is definitely a community spirit in this part of Acton, despite problems which Police, Council and others work hard to eliminate.
The proposed development is for a large number (72) of residential units to be built in what is currently a car park at The Oaks. The buildings would be 2, 4 and 5 storeys high - which many feel would overshadow neighbouring Hoopers Mews and St Mary's Burial Ground, effectively changing the landscape. Residents who viewed the drawings described them as 'hideous', 'unimaginative' and 'out of keeping with the surrounding architecture'.
Vlod Barchuk, local Councillor, raised objections to the 5-story buildings for 11 reasons: Over-development, loss of light to neighbouring properties, impact on existing retail businesses, inappropriate design, failure to take account of Acton Town Centre conservation area, failure to address parking problems that will be created by the development, impact on local schools, refuse and recycling collection, loss of green space, loss of public art, inadequate public consultation. He said: "In summary, there are numerous good reasons – critical, major and minor – for rejecting this application."
It is obviously important that as many people as possible who wish to register their feelings about the development should be present during the visit this Saturday. Currently, residents have been told that only one of them will be able to speak at next week's meeting, so the site visit this Saturday may well be the only opportunity for residents' voices to be heard.