Ealing and Northfield

Dickens Yard is back

A revised scheme has been submitted by the developer St George and a consultation period starts today, ending on 13th October 21 days hence.

I got a notice from the council through my door today and saw notices on the street in Ealing Broadway too.

The application is due to be heard at a planning committee meeting to be held on 5th November.

If you want to make any comments you can do so here online.

This application has been pretty controversial with much of the running on behalf of the anti case having been made by Save Ealing’s Centre which purports to represent a wide range of groups. In reality SEC is a small group of activists with large homes in central Ealing.

Coincidentally I wrote to SEC three weeks ago today to ask for copies of its constitution and minutes. As a fully paid up member of one of the residents associations it purports to represent I figured I was entitled to see this material. I haven’t heard from SEC so I guess they don’t think public life should be transparent and open.

We don’t know who is behind SEC or what their objectives are. It seems they want to stop anything happening in Ealing. They may feel that this enhances the values of their properties but they are not speaking on behalf of the whole community.

Coverage in Ealing Times here.

6 replies on “Dickens Yard is back”


I know just how frustrating it can be not getting replies to letters. I wrote to you for example in April 2007 on behalf of SEAL and I’m still waiting for a reply.

Maybe SEC is very busy trying to save Ealing’s centre and hasn’t got round yet to dealing with your letter. Volunters have busy lives you know.

You do seem somewhat obsessed with SEC – the organisation – but seemingly you have ignored the substance of SEC’s objections to Glenkerrin1 and 2 and St George1. These SEC documents have been submitted to Ealing Council so you must have access to them.

I represent WEN at SEC. I don’t have a large home in central Ealing. I am not motivated in my work with SEC on enhancing the value of my property. SEC’s objectives are self evident in the name ‘Save Ealing’s Centre’. We don’t want the centre of Ealing ruined. SEC wants the centre to be revitalised. In the absence of an Ealing Council overarching vision for the centre of Ealing, SEC is investing considerable time and effort in producing an SEC vision for the centre of Ealing.

I, personally, do not want the market (is property developers and speculators) to ‘re-design’ the town centre.

No-one speaks on behalf of the whole community. However the SEC working group speaks for 26 local residents’ groups and community groups.



Your blog is a little unclear and potentially confusing.

Comments have to be submitted directly to the Council’s Planning Department, if they are to be considered as part of the planning application consultation which ends on Monday 13th October.

They can of course be copied to your exuberant and entertaining blog, but unfortunately won’t count for much .



I know that this new fangled interweb thingy is a bit confusing (especially if the colour used for unused links in this template isn’t terribly distinct) but often when I use the word “here” it is a link. In this case a link to the council’s website. Click on it to go to the right place to respond to the council (which isn’t here obviously). I kind of knew that already being a councillor and all. But thanks for your input as they say.


Really, Phil! You do have a “Bee in your Bonnet” about SEC.

Just because noone has rushed round to your house to give you the information you think you are entitled to have, you make a number of assertions. If you want to be taken seriously, then you should provide better evidence than that. However it does make for entertaining reading, and if that is what you set out to do, then you succeeded.

In any case, I would have thought that any development of Dicken’s Yard and the Arcadia site, however well or mis-conceived, together with the advent of Crossrail, would increase the value of all homes in Ealing, of whatever size.


Bearing in mind that the Gunnersbury Park Committee deliberately sort to work “in camera” might it not be assumed that SEC have the right to the same priviliges?


Before griping about SEC you should investigate the secretive and arrogant attitude of both the officers and the councillors. Before the CPO enquiry I asked for certain documents to be produced so that the objectors could prepare their case. This was refused on the grounds that they were confidential. Rubbish. In the end, the inspector asked for a viability study and, reluctantly, the concil finally produced the development agreement. Why were such appaling tactics adopted? Clean and open your council is certainly not!

The scheme as originally drawn is now probably unviable, just as I predicted at the enquiry in May. So the affordable housing element has been slashed, no doubt to prop up the viability. Unfortunately, this flies in the face of the UDP and the develoment agreement with St Georges. This is just what is required for an action group to instigate a judicial review.

As for the scheme itself, I can tell you that with 40+ years experience in the property game, the development will fail. Above all, the high class retailers will not be interested in this white elephant. Go back to the drawing board and design a proper scheme that incorporates both Dickens Yard and the Arcadia centre.


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