This site is for residents and others opposed to the 50 per cent expansion of St Gregory's Primary School, Woodfield Road, Ealing.
Councillors Ball and Stacey voted against granting planning permisison. Councillor Dennehy had to abstain becasue he had spoken in support of our objections. The others all voted to grant planning permission. 
Councillor Popham, a Cleveland Ward councillor, voted in favour of granting planning permission. His stated view was that the committee had granted planning permission to much worse applications. Well, we were always taught that two wrongs do not make a right.
Obviously we were all hoping for a different outcome, but the councillors' refusal to defer the application sent a very clear message to the public gallery that their minds were already made up. It is a shame for all concerned that those people who have cried "done deal" from the beginning seem to have been proved correct.
We hope the committee's actions will give all LBE councillors and both local MPs pause for thought. Local residents are not only angry and frustrated, they also feel disenfranchised and very badly let down.
Perhaps the ease with which the councillors were able to ignore the planning problems inherent in the application as well as the majority opposition will lead to some change in the system. Perhaps all councillors will now take a look at the impunity with which the members of last night's planning committee felt able to sweep aside all opposition.
They deferred a small residential application -- for the second time in a row -- because they couldn't get to grips with very basic planning issues relating to doors and windows. The next item on the agenda was the St Gregory's aplication. They passed this major development application, however, saying that they had read and understood all of the related documents and complex arguments. This displays a truly shocking level of arrogance. 
Was this application predetermined all along?  
We shall be posting a full report soon. You can also read Cllr Dennehy's view of the proceedings here: http://www.benjamindennehy.com/blog/
Some months ago we commissioned an independent planning consultant to report on the St Gregory's application. Today (15/03/11) we have emailed a copy to all members due to sit on the planning committee tomorrow night, as well both local MPs, senior planning and transport managers, the leader of the council and the CEO.
You can view or download the report by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

During today's site visit (12/03/11), the members of the planning committee didn''t even bother to visit the north-western part of the St Gregory's site.
They didn't walk along Woodfield Road to the site of the proposed new pedestrian entrance, they didn't visit any of the Brentham Estate homes that were made available for them to visit, they didn't visit the affected roads. How can they possibly make an informed decision? Or are their minds already made up?
We think they are treating local residents with contempt. It is an absolute disgrace. If you agree, tell them so!
Let Us Know What You Think!
Some people have been cc'ing us in their brilliant emails to the council complaining about the planning officer's report (see below). We think these emails deserve a wider audience, so we're going to start publishing extracts here.
If you'd like us to include highlights from your email, send it to Clive Groves: saynotostgregs.expansion@gmail.com. Please tell us if you'd prefer to remain anonymous.

Let the Council Know What You Think!
A whopping 686 people signed our petition opposing the expansion plans. Will these people take any notice? Ask them!
Tell the members of the planning committee what your concerns are!
Ray Wall, Chair of the Planning Committee (ray.wall@ealing.gov.uk)
Aileen Jones, Head of Planning Services (aileen.jones@ealing.gov.uk)
Alex Jackson, Manager, Planning Services (alex.jackson@ealing.gov.uk)
Francis Torto, Transport Dept (francis.torto@ealing.gov.uk)
Julian Bell, Leader of the Council  (julian.bell@ealing.gov.uk)
Martin Smith, CEO of the Council (chiefexecutive@ealing.gov)
The councillors due to sit on the planning committee on Wednesday 16 March are:
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to sign our petition and write letters, emails and so forth. We really appreciate your support.

Odd, isn't it, how the transport dept is reportedly currently unable to upload the travel assessment to the council website, but it took us a couple of minutes to upload it to our website?
You can view and/or download the documents at the bottom of this page.
You will note that this report is dated 8 March 2011. How could the planning officer finalise his report and add the application to the agenda for the 16th without having had access to such a vital piece of information? Especially given the huge flaws in the draft version?
We urge you to read it for yourselves and draw your own conclusions, but here are some quick highlights:
  • It contains large swathes of the draft assessment, which, as you may remember, uses faulty data collected on 16 December 2010. This was not only the penultimate day of term, it was also snowing. Furthermore, the school closed at lunchtime so that everyone could go to the carol concert in Ealing Abbey. We couldn't see any of these specific abnormal conditions noted in the report (though the officer is surprised that there were fewer cars on the road than expected, given the cold weather). We need accurate data and reports: inaccurate reporting could cost lives.
  • A second traffic count was done on 27 January 2011. (Results are in Appendix 7.) Was 27 January a normal day for traffic conditions in the area? Let us know if you know of any reason why it wasn't.
  • It says that the main school entrance on Woodfield Road is dangerous because, well, it's on Woodfield Road, which is heavily congested during the school run. However, moving the entrance further down to another point on Woodfield Road is not considered to be dangerous. Why not?
  • The zebra crossing outside the school could be moved to be sited in between the existing entrance and the proposed new pedestrian entrance, and the report suggests it could be transformed into a puffin or pelican crossing. We're not sure what impact this would have on traffic flow and pedestrian safety, but we are sure that the frequent loud beeping will have an impact on those people living near it. (And remember: this would be 24/7, not just during the school run.)
  • Woodfield Road could also be subject to a 20mph zone and more yellow lines, particularly near school entrances.
  • The report suggests that the parking and access rights of Westmoreland Place residents be protected, but we don't think it gives enough weight to the fact that Montpelier Primary School is also right there. How can Mount Ave and Westmoreland Place support even more school-run traffic?
  • The existing traffic problems at the junction of Woodfield Road/Mount Ave/Eaton Rise are noted, and the report states that it already exceeds capacity.
  • Apparently it's illegal to block a car from entering the public road from a driveway. But, it's not illegal to block a car entering a driveway from the public road.
Happy reading!

Total Gridlock on Woodfield Road. Again.
This photo shows total gridlock during the afternoon school run recently. The local resident who took the photo said that the gridlock lasted about 20 minutes. This is the junction of Woodfield Road and Woodfield Crescent, a few metres from the proposed new, sole pedestrian entrance to the school, which is the narrow alley between Woodfield Crescent and Fairlea Place.

We appreciate your continued support. Your views count! It's not too late to make your voice heard -- contact the planning officer, your local ward councillors, your MP, the archdiocese, the school's governing body, local newspapers and websites. Click on General Information for a list of contact details.
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