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Threat to Brent River Park at Gurnell


Ealing council is proposing to rebuild the Gurnell Leisure Centre. It would be partly on the existing footprint but also extending eastwards.

But the council also proposes to build massive blocks of flats on the green open land to the east of the existing leisure centre. This is Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and part of the Brent River Park (BRP).

This scheme would obliterate the BMX cycle track currently next to the leisure centre. See http://savegurnell.org.uk/index.html for more information and to register your comments on the towers.

Because the BMX track would be obliterated, Ealing Council is at the same time making a SEPARATE planning application to build a new BMX track. This would be alongside Stockdove Way and be 5 times larger than the one built in 2012 as part of the existing Gurnell Leisure Centre.

When the existing sized BMX track was developed in 2012 it was in keeping with the MOL designation, as provision of cycling and sports facilities was deemed an ‘appropriate’ use of MOL, and it was part of the existing Leisure Centre footprint. The new BMX facility is on a new area and is designated as a ‘Site of Importance for Nature Conservation’ (SINC).

BRCS is strongly opposed to this plan. Ealing council should not be allowing, let alone be promoting, destruction of habitat and wildlife in a SINC – a site specifically designated as habitat.

Furthermore, the proposed blocks of flats at Gurnell Leisure Centre are utterly inappropriate use of MOL and BRP and are completely contrary to the council’s own Local Plan.

Ealing Council is, in effect, blackmailing local people into supporting the new track by telling them they will lose the old one, even though the planning permission for the blocks of flats has not been given.

Comments from ‘supporters’ of the new BMX track show that they actually recognise the harm of the new BMX site but feel they have to support the new track or they will get nothing.

The council should not be applying to re-locate the BMX track separately from the application to build flats. They should come clean about knock-on effects from the blocks of flats in that planning application.

You can object to the destruction of habitat and wildlife by a new BMX track by going to https://pam.ealing.gov.uk/online-applications/ (Put the Ref. No. 201541FUL into the ‘search’ box.)

Posted July 5, 2020