South Acton 'Gentrification' plans stir row

Loss of park space leads to angry reaction from residents

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Contact Eileen Feeney who is organising opposition to the plans - remember to include return contact details

An ambitious scheme which aims to aid the continuing regeneration of the South Acton area has resulted in an angry reaction from local residents.

The scheme aims to incorporate the estate into the wider neighbourhood with more low rise and private housing. The main phase of the redevelopment is proposed to begin in 2006 and will involve the construction of 864 new homes. There has already been 86 new properties built on the estate and refurbishment of another 351 will start in the New Year, along with a brand new community centre.

Ealing Council recently received planning permission for a £10 million refurbishment of Corfe Tower, Harlech Tower and Beamaris Tower, the first major renovation these properties have had since they were built in the seventies.

However, the plans also include building housing next to the railway line at the south side of the park space on Bollo Bridge Road. The land has been designated as 'railway sidings' to allow it to be developed on. Residents are concerned that the reduction of the already limited green space within the area will have a negative effect on the community. There were plans to build on this public open space a few years ago but they were dropped due to the strength of public opposition. Another petition has been organised against the latest plans.

There is particular concern about the way in which the plans will require the movement of the play area in the park nearer to the Bollo Bridge Road. This road is likely to be a primary diversion for traffic once the West London Tram scheme shuts the Uxbridge Road.

Local shops are also under threat as the plans will include new retail space and a community centre. Hursh Newsagents have already been told that they are not going to have their lease renewed as well as the supermarket on Bollo Bridge Road. These shops have served the area for the last 30 years.

Change Base on Bollo Bridge Road are handling the consultation on the matter and consultation and comment forms are available at their offices. Unfortunately they are not willing to comment on as it is not an 'official' Council site.

October 1st, 2004