Ealing Planning Officials Visit St. Alban's Church

Residents opposed to development also turned up

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Residents opposed to the development of flats on the St. Alban's Church site gathered on Saturday morning (July 21) when Ealing Council Planning Committee made a site visit. The officials were visiting in advance of the Ealing Council Planning Committee meeting scheduled for 25th July.

The proposal is to convert the disused church into ten residential flats and add 2 two-storey buildings to the site. Local community groups, including St. Albans (W4) Community Association, and SACA,have produced what are three alternative uses to the proposed high priced housing units:

• School by local parents with the backing of the Church of England’s Diocesan Board of Education

• Theatre and community venue by SiteLine

• Church and community hall run by the Antiochian Orthodox Society

Councillor Gary Malcolm said:

"There are numerous grounds to oppose the application. The main argument against the development is the change of use. I do not believe alternative community uses have been explored by the developer. The Southfield Liberal Democrats believe that several community options do now exist.”

Angie Bray MP for Ealing Central and Acton recently said :

"This church building is an important part of the community and provides a well-loved backdrop to Acton Green. It currently houses just a nursery school and could therefore provide valuable extra space for community activities.

The scene at the site as residents gathered

Picture: Ian Wylie

The St Albans (W4) Community Association will speak against the development at the planning committee meeting. Councillor Andrew Steed, will be speaking against the plans as well as Cllr Malcolm.

A decision on the controversial development was expected to be made at a planning committee meeting at Ealing Town Hall last November but deferred. A report by a council official has recommended granting planning permission to the developer, subject to conditions. The Chiswick-based group SACA collected a petition of 4,500 signatures opposed to the plan, and want the building to be kept for community use.

July 21, 2012