Annual report 2018
CANForum is the medium for the community to develop a neighbourhood plan.
A neighbourhood plan is a community-led process for guiding the future development and conservation of an area. The procedure was introduced by Government in 2012 as a means to enable local people to have direct involvement in how their area can be improved in providing new facilities, use of land and preserving what is best about their locality. The outcome is a document, developed by you, members of the community, to outline plans for the future of their area.
We need you to talk to us. We would like you to log on to our site and Have Your Say. Your comments are used to form the neighbourhood plan. The more comments we have the better the plan will be. Please go to www.canforum.org to HAVE YOUR SAY
We will let you know the findings before we prepare the Neighbourhood Plan. You can then participate in the development of the plan before an independent inspector reviews it. To be adopted, the Plan then needs to pass a local referendum by the local population in which majority approval is required. If this is achieved, then the Neighbourhood Plan becomes an important component for future development of the area covered by CANForum.
CANForum has had a very positive and interactive year. The volunteer committee is a group of unique and talented individuals those being Alan, Anthony, Don, Joanna, Libby, Maire,Mark, Mathew and Paul. I count myself privileged to be the Chair of such a group.
CANForum held public meeting in 2017 at which Catalyst Housing Association gave an update on their plans for Friary Park. This will be a high rise development. With social, affordable and private units. Private units being the most in number. This was a lively meeting which residents vigorously questioned the Catalyst representatives. CANForum is continuing to actively engage in ensuring environmental,equality and social housing issues are taken up in relation to any new development.
CANForum were contacted by a concerned resident in Cumberland Park Rd. A developer was going to build a house on infill land space which would impact on surrounding homes. Loss of privacy reduction of light and lack of space for bins etc would have been felt. We were able to print 400 leaflets explaining what was happening and post them through the mail boxes of surrounding roads. A great number of residents responded by by objecting to the planning application and it was denied.
We have worked with some of the residents of Shakespeare Rd offering support and advising them on a proposed over development of a terraced property.
Churchfield Rd has suffered greatly over the past year. We have written to the council and to our local Councillor stating our concerns and offering viable ways of making the parking on Churchfield Rd a better experience. CANForum along with local pressure achieved a notable achievement of 30 minutes free parking.
The refurbishment of the pavements, is still on going. The loss of parking spaces and the delay in completion of the works is something we have been working to resolve. We would like the extra trees and additional lighting as promised to go ahead. We would also like additional parking nearer to the Horn Lane end of Churchfield Rd to service our shops and eateries at that end.People from outside the area who shopped and dined are going elsewhere. We need that economy to stay in Acton.
Over in the Twyford area CANForum identified the growth of commercial Air B&b's in residential properties. These properties used only regular household bins that were constantly overflowing and smelling. The relevant council department was make aware of this and action taken. We continue to work with residents and RA's in this area.
CANForum was able to help residents in Cumberland Park, when a developer proposed to build a two- bedroom house in a rear garden. Within 48 hours of being notified by residents we printed and mail dropped nearly 400 flyers. Alerting other residents in nearby properties and roads of the proposal. At planning this development was refused.
CANForum has been working with council officers and TFL to improve the configuration and layout of Leamington Park Rd, where the McDonalds restaurant sits. We identified numerous problems such as road and lane layout, signage, entrance and exit of the restaurant signage and also pedestrian access. TFL has cut back the Japanese knot weed by the slip road from the Western Ave giving better visibility. Fewer signs on Leamington Rd allow the remaining signs to be more visible. McDonalds removed confusing directional signs from their property and reconfigured the entrance and exit. Pedestrian access and safety has improved but we are working to make that even more so.We hope in the future that this road will have only two lanes. CANForum would like to thank the Council Officers and TFL who listened to our concerns, held meetings with us, then worked with us to implement the changes needed.
After being contacted by residents who were greatly concerned about issues relating to The Duke of York Shisha cafe. We worked with residents and the evidence we accumulated was handed to the police, immigration and the council. We also contacted the owner of the land. The accumulated evidence resulted in the Shisha cafe being closed down.
We have been working and supporting Goldsmiths RA to keep the Goldsmith Arms as a local pub. Due to diligent work by the Goldsmith RA the pub is at present being preserved as a Community Asset. The idea that it could be demolished and a block of flats put in its place has garnered widespread support from residents and local groups. We will continue to support Goldsmith RA with this project.
In the months leading up to Christmas we had talks with shop owners the length of Churchfield Rd. Initially a Christmas Market was thought a super idea, but the continuing upheaval to road and pavement made that impossible. We scaled everything down to having the shops and eateries offering at a late night opening. Santa was booked to add Christmas cheer. Decorations had been donated and we had local crafters willing to brave the cold. We worked with council officers to close Churchfield Rd and re-route traffic for safety purposes and source safety barriers and high viz jackets for traffic and pedestrian control. Our local police were happy to lend a hand and gave good advice. Alas the open pavement trenches,wobbly barriers and poor lighting proved to be an insurmountable problem.
Resident Associations and Community Groups in various parts of the borough have long felt that their voices and concerns were not being heard, or they were being ignored. A meeting was held and agreement made that we will talk,share knowledge and support each other rather than act alone. With the proposed London Plan on its way we will all have need of this support.
The numbers of people logging into CANForum and also to our Commonplace site is growing and for that we thank you. Your comments are important to us.
We have finally cracked the software issue and we now have an online newsletter which is being emailed out to our supporters. Thank you to all those who have waited patiently.
In the next few weeks and months we will be hosting events which will give you the opportunity Have Your Say about Acton and for us to discuss the New London Plan and what it means for development in Acton.