Angie Bray Calls Ealing's Chief Executive To Raise Priory Centre Concerns

Community group says not enough information available to public

Acton Town Hall
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Acton Town Centre Regeneration Planning Document

A prominent user of the Priory Community Centre says key information is missing from Acton Town Hall Redevelopment plans and that tomorrow's deadline for the public to comment on the plans is shoddy.

Julie Saunders, Director of Theatre Studio West and a member of the 'Town Hall Team' of local residents who have been actively involved in scrutinizing the plans, says she has asked three times for key information about the size of rooms for use by community to be provided and has still heard nothing.

Ms Saunders says that while there is provision for community groups in a new hall to be built within the new leisure facilities, it appears that the space will be much smaller than that already used by these groups in The Priory Centre.

"We currently have one large hall, a dance studio, a theatre studio and a kitchen, as well as our own loos for our groups.  Under the Council's plans, we'll be squeezed into one hall, that can be split into three spaces. And we'll be on the third floor with no loos." Ms. Saunders told that she has repeatedly asked for the dimensions of the community space provision, through phone calls, emails and in-person requests at meetings.  Ms. Saunders says she has 100 children taking theatre classes with her on a Saturday and the plan as it stands does not provide enough for the community as a whole. 

Ealing Central and Acton MP Angie Bray (Con) contacted this evening to say that she had just spoken to Ealing Council Chief Executive Martin Smith to voice her concerns.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful that they can close a consultation without including all the relevant information to allow people to make an informed comment," Ms. Bray said.

"I told him this is absolutely no way to treat long-standing community groups."  According to Bray, the Chief Executive said he will 'go away and think about it."

Ealing Council has yet to respond to a request for a statement about the concerns raised.

Ms Saunders said she's worried that the new development plans are more about the leisure centre and less about the needs of the community.

Plans for the site include the provision of a new 25m swimming pool, a trainer pool, a library, leisure facilities, community spaces and council offices. The Priory Centre may become a new one-form entry primary school, but until the consultation process is completed, nothing has been finalised.  Construction work is scheduled to start in spring 2012, subject to planning permission.

The consultation document is currently available on the Ealing Council website and residents have until 5pm, Friday March 25th to make comments.

To complete the consultation, go to or contact Shehzad Ahmed on 020 8825 9234 or email

24th March 2011

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