|Details Published of Acton Town Hall Redevelopment|
Council claim scheme will offer 'A new heart for Acton'
The planning application for the proposed £multi-million revamp of the Acton Town Hall complex has now been submitted and a decision is expected in March. The project will see the modernisation of the Acton Town Hall complex.
Preparatory works are already taking place at the site and demolition is expected to take place in the summer, subject to planning permission.
The council’s plan is to house a range of community services and spaces together in the new centre. The council plans to invest £13.2m in the project. Total costs are expected to be higher with the gap being met from the sale of some of the remainder of the Town Hall and the current library building.
The iconic frontage of the Town Hall and the chimney to the rear are Grade II listed and the plan is to retain and restore them. Part of the Town Hall will be refurbished to create the Library and council offices with the remainder being sold.
The Kings Rooms and the baths will be largely demolished and a new three-floor centre is to be built in their place. The façade of the Kings Room will be retained to create a new entrance on Uxbridge Road and the centre will be linked to the library and offices in the existing Acton Town Hall complex that runs along Uxbridge Road.
The Priory Centre is being transformed into a primary school. The Salisbury Street car park will remain as it is and will continue to provide parking spaces to visitors of the centre.
Although the new pool will be shorter than the current length, it will be bigger overall. It will expand from four to eight lanes and will meet the standard training size for Olympic pools. It will also have facilities for disabled people with lifts into the pool and changing facilities with hoists. Users of the baths requested that skylights be provided in the new pool to allow natural top lighting, so this will be one of the many features of the new centre.
A new, larger, glass-fronted gym is planned for the centre. Like other council gyms, it will operate at rates more affordable than most local private gyms.
The council originally intended to sell the Priory Community Centre to developers to help pay for the project. However, in the face of pressure on local school places the council now intends to keep the site and turn it back into a local primary school. Priory Centre users will be offered space in the new Town Hall complex and the council says it has been working to find temporary accommodation for them until it is ready. The council has been in discussion with the groups that use the centre since late 2010 to understand their requirements. On average, the Priory Centre is empty half of the time, so the new centre will have a series of flexible spaces that can be used more efficiently by the community.
There is also the option of using the council’s meeting rooms during the evenings and weekends when they are not in use and when demand for community facilities is highest.
The library will continue to operate from its current building until the new centre is complete after which it will move into its new home in the refurbished old Assembly Hall. The old library building will then be sold and turned into either retail or restaurant space.
The council will continue to provide day care facilities and drop-in services from the newly refurbished building. There will also be spaces on the second floor for a mixture of activity rooms, sensory rooms and therapy rooms to provide services for local children and adults. These spaces will be available for community hire in the evenings and at weekends.
The plans are due to go before Ealing Council’s Planning Committee on 14 March. If the committee agrees the plans, they will then be sent to the National Planning Casework unit part of the Department for Communities and Local Government for final approval.
If this approval is granted, work will start straight away. The council will also be talking to the Town Hall team and other local people about the detailed designs for the interior of the building. To take part, contact Shehzad Ahmed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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February 3, 2012