Residents Galvanized to Fight Development Of 'Dignified' Building

Action plan now in place to stop development

Planning Application for 91 Shakespeare Road

Nearly forty residents from Shakespeare Road and other nearby roads in Poet's Corner turned up at a public meeting tonight to voice their opposition to the development of the old Conservative Club at 89-91 Shakespeare Road, W3.

Residents complained that Ealing Council has not given them sufficient time to comment on the plans, which are to demolish the existing building and build 3 x four-bedroom homes and 3 x one-bedroom flats. The application also includes a hydraulic lift leading to a car park.  Residents are also concerned about the impact the building work will have on school children walking to and from, Derwentwater School. The main entrance to the school is at the end of Shakespeare Road.

While most residents were not opposed to the development of housing on the site, the demolishing of the Victorian building raised the ire of many in the room.

David Buckingham, a local architect who lives on Shakespeare Road, says the proposal is 'ill-conceived and unimaginative'.

Many people pointed to local folklore that this site is one of immense historical importance, not just for the building but for the supposed underground stream and 'artesian well' beneath it, although proof of this has yet to be found. The current tenants of the site, Ellie and David Hopkins, who own Rosebank Motors, say there is even a resident ghost on the site.

The building was, however, the site of Acton's first swimming baths, which is in fact written in to the drawings of the proposed new buildings, which reads 'Site of Shakespeare Road Baths. Built 1877."

In the meantime, residents are busy coming up with an action plan to stall the application, and to highlight the need to save the building as a rich part of Victoriana in Acton.

Planning officers from Ealing Council were unavailable for comment this evening.


09 January 2011

Bookmark and Share