St. Alban's Church Campaign Sniffs Victory

Council may concede that plan be reviewed by committee

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The campaign against a plan to convert a disused Victorian Church on South Parade appears to have won a small but significant victory after Ealing Council's leader appeared to concede that the application should be reviewed by a planning committee rather than decided by officers through delegated powers.

During prearranged online discussion on the web site Council leader Julian Bell said in response to a question on the development, "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."

Local Councillors for the ward say that the matter had already been raised some time ago with the chair of planning.

Andrew Steed, who represents Southfield Ward for the Liberal Democracts 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."

We contact Ealing Council's press department to ask them to confirm whether or not the decision had been taken to refer the decision to a committee but they have yet to do so.

St. Alban's, the large red-brick Church opposite the Murco petrol station, will be converted into 10 flats and one large detached house with a permanent building being 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.

Concerns are being raised over parking for the development with 8 spaces being provided for 11 units and no extra facilities being provided for dropping off and picking up children at the nursery. It has not been made clear at this stage whether or not residents of the scheme would be eligible to buy parking permits for the Zone B controlled parking zone.

Access to the site has also been raised as an issue. Opponents of the scheme says that the application incorrectly states there is already vehicular access to the site with parking for 10 cars but this does not currently exist and traffic from the new housing would join South Parade on what is said to be a busy and dangerous junction.

The large scale excavation that will be needed at the site has led to worries that flooding may result.

The application does not appear to give the proportion of social housing on the site and states that the nursery will only be open for half an hour each day leading to claims that it is incomplete and misleading.

We have requested further details of the project but the related documents on the Ealing Council site currently seem to be inaccessible.

The consultation period for the application is due to end on 15th July. Planning number: Ref: P/2010/5108

You can give your comments on the scheme here.

July 13, 2011