Our member, the Friends of Haven Green (FoHG), is pleased to report two decisions from the Planning Inspectorate concerning Haven Green, Ealing.
The first stems from last September’s public inquiry into Ealing Council’s planned changes to the green in preparation for Crossrail. These would have widened the pavements, and created a counter-flow cycle lane on the east side of the green. The society and FoHG objected to the plans because as it is common land the green is protected by national legislation for future generations to enjoy as open space. FoHG spoke for the society too, and the inspector accepted all our main arguments and refused to approve the council’s proposals. He gave permission only to resurfacing existing footpaths.
This is unlikely to be the end of the matter. The inspector declined to rule on the legitimacy of the cycle hub and racks that stand on the common. Other avenues may now have to be pursued for getting these resolved. And Ealing Council will surely have to do something to accommodate the 40 per cent increase in passengers passing through the green once Crossrail opens. Its consultants predict that if nothing is done, levels of overcrowding will be unacceptable.
The second decision concerns the electricity substation which has stood largely unused for over five years on the green. The inspector agreed with us that ‘the substation obstructs the views of the common and is an alien feature within the landscape’. He added ‘it is an urbanising feature in an essentially open setting’. We now look forward to the substation being removed and the area restored to its previous condition.