Petition Raised Against St. Alban's Church Development

Campaigners enlist help of local pubs in drive to collect 1,500 before 1st September

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Residents campaigning against plans to convert a disused Victorian Church on South Parade have launched a petition. They hope to collect 1,500 signatures before 1st September to present to Ealing Council.

"All the pubs in the immediate area are now competing for the largest number of signatories," said campaigner Colin Bastin. "The publicans have the petitions on their noticeboards or behind the bar. Publicans at The Swan, Duke of Sussex and The Tabard have all signed."

The group are also delivering leaflets and putting up posters to draw attention to the planning application after they discovered that many residents were unaware of the scheme.

Developers want to covert St. Alban's, the large red-brick Church opposite the Murco petrol station, into 10 flats and one large detached house. A permanent building will also be provided to replace the two temporary structures at the back of the Church which currently house the Caterpillar nursery. This will have a capacity to look after 64 children with ten carers and other staff in attendance.

The 10 flats will be inside the Church building which will remain standing. New floors and partitions will allow the conversion into residential units. There will be an two storey extension at the back of the Church which will house the nursery and next to it will be a two storey house.

Objectors to the scheme were unhappy that the plan was to be decided by Council Planning Officers through delegated powers rather than being scrutinised by Councillors. However, leader of Ealing Council Julian Bell said "If your LibDem Councillors had taken this up for you they could get the planning application considered by planning committee not delegated powers. I will ask officers to have it considered at planning committee."

Andrew Steed, who represents Southfield Ward for the Liberal Democrats said, "This is a victory for all the people who have justified concerns over this development, and it is good news that the Council have seen sense and allowed the decision to be discussed in public. My colleagues Councillors Gary Malcolm and Harvey Rose will continue to work with local residents to achieve a solution for this site."

August 2, 2011