But Community input is needed for Acton plan
Last week, 21 interested locals attending a meeting at St Mary's Church. The meeting was to collect opinions from the community about the Local Development Framework - Acton's future in terms of planning.
Dick Johns, of Ealing Council Planning Department gave a talk about the LDF process and said the aim is to create "the right balance" for all Acton areas. He also told those at the meeting "I'm afraid it's a long process."
The Council has produced a number of documents aimed at explaining the consultation process.
As we understand it, the consultation process started in 2006, is now continuing and aims to finalise a document in 2010. So this is not a speedy process. However, some of the policies may be in place before then.
One Acton resident, Richard O'Conor who was present at the meeting said: "I thought the meeting began to make more sense as it went along. At least you have to credit the Council for ‘trying’ to consult.The meeting was good to have gone to but it was a pity so few people had turned up. I suppose ‘Planning Policy’ is a bit boring and irrelevant in a borough with so many people in rented or temporary accommodation. For those of us who did turn up it was a good opportunity to meet the planners."
Lucy Taylor, who works on Economic Development at Ealing Council, talked about how one of the aims of the development framework is to find "Acton's niche" and to identify new directions we as residents would like to see in Acton.
As part of the process East, the architecture, landscape and urban design practice responsible for the new town square at the Mount, has been appointed by Ealing Council to draw up a strategic ‘vision and development framework’ for Acton Town.
In order to gather public opinion, Ealing Council has produced a "Consultancy Response Form". As Sara Nathan, who tried to use the response form earlier this week reported: "It is the least user friendly consultation I have ever seen - and that from an Ofcom person is saying something...ours have improved considerably, this one is as repellent as it is possible to be."
We spoke to Dick Johns to ask whether it would be possible to send in comments without using the form. He told us: "People can send in comments about anything they want to, in whatever way they would like to. We would prefer an electronic reply - email would be fine - as that is easiest for us to use." We have started a thread on the Forum for people who want to post their comments there. All comments will be passed on to Ealing Council.
Dick Johns added that the planning team are keen to visit any local groups - community associations or others - who would like to have the opportunity to put forward their aspirations for Acton. They would pay for the cost of a venue for any such meetings.
ActonW3.com would like as many people as possible to contribute to this process. The document, we have to admit, is long and pretty undigestible. To register to use it, click here then click the register tab at the top. Then click here here to get straight through to the Acton section. We are told the documents should also be available to look at in Acton Library.
If you have comments about the Local Development Framework, about how you would like to see Acton developed for the future, comments can be posted in the Forum thread. If you know of a local organisation or group who would like to take part in the planning process, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2, 2007