Just 8 days into work on the controversial Manor Road tower and poor site management has already stopped London-bound train services.

Eastbound services for thousands of commuters from West Ealing’s new station were today suspended, with staff unable to foresee when the platform could operate safely.  This is due to the risk of a retaining wall collapse. Falling debris from the small buildings currently being demolished on Manor Road has also fallen onto the pavement beyond the blue hoarding. Network Rail engineers on site could not believe that a towering 22 storey building of largely one bed apartments is set to be built next to the station platform.

One commuter who was turned away stated “It’s ok for me, I can walk to Ealing Broadway. But for many less able, that’s just not possible. It shows complete disregard for residents.”

In an official statement Balfour Beatty stated the suspension of services was due to “An unsafe structure”. An unnamed engineer attending the site stated he was amazed the 22 storey tower got planning permission, adding “it’s a potentially horrendous situation we have to deal with”.

Unbelievably, there is no evidence that the statutory requirement for a Demolition Plan and/or a Construction Management Plan has yet been complied with by developer Southern Grove or their partners, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing. Ealing Council has either not asked for it, or not yet validated it, again displaying a lack of care when dealing with developers. When the developer was contacted by Stop the Towers they replied “it is called regeneration and progress”. Their reply has since been deleted.

Justine, Co-Chair of Stop The Towers said “From day one we said building a 22 storey tower so close to the railway and station was dangerous. The arrogance of the developers is breathtaking. But blame must lie firmly with Ealing Council who has spent the last 10 years flogging off every spare inch of land for greedy developers to build unneeded tower blocks of luxury flats and encouraging them to build higher.  This is precisely why STT exists. The sheer arrogance and the greed of developers, the recklessness of the planning application and the lack of care from those on the planning committee who supported it – it is appalling.  We’ve always known the site was unsuitable and now we’re in one of those ‘told you so’ moments.”

James Murray MP wrote on Facebook:
As many people living near West Ealing will know, the eastbound platform at the station was closed this morning. This was the result of an “unsafe structure” at the station – caused, almost certainly, by the building works for the Manor Road tower.
After seeing the closure this morning, I spoke to TfL who confirmed this was the result of a potentially dangerous situation with the retaining wall. TfL said that after they were alerted last night, an inspector visited the site and decided that no trains would stop at West Ealing on the Paddington-bound line.
I urged TfL to make sure the station can reopen safely as soon as possible. Once it is safe, I said they must then find out how this happened. If, as seems all but certain, this is the result of building works for the Manor Road tower, I said to TfL I want to see them take action against the developer.
We must make sure the developer does not get away with causing this disruption and potential danger without penalty – and most importantly we need TfL to push them to make sure this does not happen again.

No trains from West Ealing to Paddington until the weekend according to James Murray / Network Rail

Stop The Towers want to know why there is no demolition nor construction plan logged on the Council Planning Portal and why was there not an adequate risk assessment done that took account of this potential hazard.

Fighting for the rights of residents, your Stop The Towers team.

Stop The Towers