North Acton is changing fast. Recently finished schemes have created new accommodation for students, new homes for residents. There are also plans coming up that will increase the numbers of people living and working in the area.
However, the location of the tube station is not satisfactory as it’s hidden behind existing buildings. The area also lacks a centre, a focal point that brings the new developments together and creates a sense of identity. The small paths to the tube station also means residents and workers have to walk down narrow pathways hidden from view, which we know they do not feel safe using at night and quiet times. Ealing Council has been working on a solution to these problems by developing proposals for a new station square to act as safer entrance to the station and be centre for the new and existing community.
The new space will be created where the Esso petrol station is located and it is funded by the developers who have already built schemes in the area. Ealing Council brought the site in July 2015 and already has planning permission for the new design. The next step will be the relocation of the current cycle hub which will begin in late January 2016 and will take six months and then the construction of the main square will start.
Objectives for the square
The public square at North Acton Station has been designed to address a range of local needs. These include:
- raising the profile and visibility of North Acton Station in the local area
- providing a high quality well designed space to act as a focal point for the area
- providing improved access from the street to the station building that complies with the Disability Discrimination Act 2004 (DDA)
- creating green space through trees and planting, which can soften the physical environment in the immediate area
- providing a place that feels much safer for people using the station, especially at night by creating clear views for people leaving and entering the station
- providing an animated space with activity throughout the day and evening to make it an attractive and safe location.
How the design delivers those objectives
We have designed a new space that will provide improved access to the front of the station. To keep it safe and make it place that people use we have included several important features.
- A ramp and steps down from Victoria Road will mean a safer entrance and people will be able to see the entire route ahead of them day or night. It will include full disabled access to the front of the station.
- A series of pavilion buildings around the square will be used for commercial or community uses and ensure that there is activity in the square during the day and evening as well as providing services like a newsagent that people want when using the tube. This will make it safer and discourage any antisocial behaviour
- The area will include tree planting and garden beds to soften the space and create a sense of greenery.
- It will be lit at night to provide safe environment
- There will space near the pavilions where events and activities can take place such as outdoor film screenings to ensure it’s a place that people can use
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