SEC e-mail concerning Planning Committee

Dear SEC Supporter,

 We are disappointed to tell you that Crossrail is insisting its revised plans for Ealing Broadway Station must go to go before the Planning Cttee on Wed 13 Aug. Although many people will be away on holiday then, Crossrail is unwilling to wait for a decision until the public has had a chance to view the plans at the exhibition, which is now proposed for Sept 2nd and 4th on the station forecourt.   Crossrail says delays in obtaining approval for their plans will damage their target of opening the new station in late 2016, although they have not provided details.   It also says this is only an outline planning application, and further detailed applications will be consulted on. 

 We are very unhappy about Crossrail’s decision. LBE had previously told us that comments from the exhibition would be considered as part of the consultation, and we had passed this message to you.  Many of you obviously accepted our advice as the report to the Committee says Ealing received only four comments on the revised plans.

 We are trying to get the decision deferred until after the exhibition but there is a real risk that the majority of us will not have a chance to comment on the plans unless we all act in the next few days.  LBE say we have until close of play on Monday 11 Aug to comment on the station plans which you can view as application No P/2013/5387 on the Ealing.gov.uk website

Our opinion is that Crossrail’s new design is certainly an improvement on the industrial scheme that Crossrail tried to foist on Ealing before Christmas.  However, we think far too many canopy supports will obstruct the station entrance and the number of them should be reduced.  We also think the plans give insufficient detail eg in terms of materials and visual impact on the Conservation Area for a development of this importance and in this location.  In addition, there are now 3 linked planning applications that are to be considered separately  – Crossrail’s, one for Villiers House PP/2014/3142 and a just published one – P/2014/3889 - for the kebab shop (no. 49 Haven Green) which Ealing Council intends to acquire and then demolish. It is difficult to see how you could get a coherent and consistent design for the whole station frontage without considering all 3 applications together.

As we advised previously, there is little change to the station internally with no escalators and lifts that may be too small for the numbers of people who will need to use them. While many people objected about this first time round, Crossrail’s revised proposals do not respond to these concerns. Except for the improvements required for Crossrail trains, we are also disappointed that other elements in the station which have long needed them are not to be updated.  Compared with the money no object treatment you may have seen on television recently Crossrail is giving to its central London stations, Ealing Broadway will be a huge disappointment

What will happen outside is still under discussion. However, while we know forecasts have been prepared, the Schedule 7 application plans provide no estimates of passenger numbers. So while the effect on the area around the station will no doubt be very significant, it is impossible for the public to assess what it would be. Access arrangements for disabled people are not explained in the current documents and remain a big concern. We are also disappointed that no cycle parking is proposed within the station building that would allow the ‘temporary’ racks on Haven Green to be removed.

There are many investors, developers, employers, passengers and current car drivers to persuade that the new station will be sufficient to support their long-term decisions, to  enable sustained growth in Central Ealing.   We continue to look to Ealing to improve public transport to promote the town centre’s renewal as the London Plan urges.

These anyway are our thoughts.  Please email yours to Planning@Ealing.gov.uk and also copy in the Crossrail Surface Stations Director – Matthew White at MatthewWhite@crossrail.co.uk.

 

Best regards,    Save Ealing’s Centre Group

7th August 2014