The Ealing 'pocket common'It may be more famous for its Sixties comedies and the fact it has its own Broadway, but the west London suburb of Ealing has put itself on the map for a different reason.

The Ealing 'pocket common'

The town has a new area of common, set up in a swap for land swallowed up by road and bridge building for a redeveloped Hangar Lane. The road forms part of the North Circular Road and is close to the junction voted Britain’s scariest – the Hangar Lane gyratory – last year.

Campaign group the Open Spaces Society expressed its pleasure at the establishment of what it calls a ‘pocket common’ in the heart of suburbia.

Transport for London, the capital’s body overseeing road, rail and other transit systems, gave the land, east of Hangar Lane, in exchange for areas lost by the bridge building.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the OSS, said: “Thanks to the vigilance and persistence of the Ealing Common Society, the local watchdog, and other local groups, TfL has provided in exchange a very useful area of land in the immediate vicinity of the lost common land.

“Although trees were lost during the bridge building, TfL has planted a range of species on and around the land.  It is a tiny area, only 880 square metres, but it will be much enjoyed by the public and is a precious open space. It is already beginning to green up.

“In addition, some further amenity land will be released when the works are completed and this too will be registered as common land.

“The Open Spaces Society was consulted about the proposed exchange and had no objection provided there was landscaping and tree planting, and we are delighted to discover that this is being done,” she said.