Developer wins appeal to build 20-storey tower next to West Ealing station

Sadly, the decision by The Planning Inspectorate to give the go-ahead for this tower is no great surprise. The documentation with this decision is long and detailed. These are some of the key points about the Inspector’s decison:

‘The Council’s acceptance that it cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.’ The Council appears not to have proper records to prove it does not need this site to meet its housing targets.

The area around the site is largely non-residential.

There are already ‘buildings of significant size in the immediate area’ – Waitrose, Luminoscity, Sinclair House, Dominion House and the new station.

The proposed site itself is single -storey buildings of poor quality and under-used.

The starting point to assess the proposed tall building is ‘whether the site is worthy of the gesture. A spine of taller development is evolving along the path of the railway.’ This proposal would be seen as another part of that spine. So the site is worthy of the gesture.

The proposed building (not as high as that originally proposed) would not appear as an alien insertion into the townscape. It would be an indicator of the transition from buildings of lower size and height to the more intensive uses and buildings of greater height around the node or hub formed by the meeting of the roads, their crossing of the railway and the station.

The design, as long as the materials are of high quality, will be an exemplary piece of design that will make a positive contribution to the area.

The proposed building is well outside the conservation area and we should not equate visibility and harm.

The Council is delivering at best 40% of its objectively assessed need for affordable housing. The provision of these 144 units would be all be affordable homes.

There is no unacceptable impact on the living conditions of existing residents through loss of sunlight, loss of daylight, visual impact, overshadowing, overlooking and loss of privacy.

No Blue Badge parking will not be a deterrent given it is next to the step-free access station and the developer will give £10,000 to the Council to provide Blue Badge parking nearby.

Dean Gardens survey results: bigger bins, better CCTV, more play facilities and community gardening

There’s a lot more to the survey than just these headlines but these suggestions feature well up the list of people’s choices for how to improve the park. What was not scored high were such ideas as re-aligning the cycle track, installing a cycle repair station and putting in distance markers.

The full results of the consultation are now on the Council’s website. It’s a detailed report, so plenty to read. It’s well worth noting that the consultation had a very good response with 843 replies which compares very well with the response to many other Council consultations.

The report pinpoints the reasons why people go to Dean Gardens. ‘ The most popular reason for people to go to Dean Gardens with almost half of all respondents walking through it on their way to another destination such as school, shops, work or the station. Cycling through the park, the children’s play area, doing informal exercise and using the park for quiet
relaxation were also popular reasons. Very few respondents use the park for team sports and dog walking and 60 respondents said they don’t visit the park. Respondents could select more than one answer from the list and could also give other reasons.

Other reasons people gave included attending local festivals and events in the park, walking through the park to avoid the busy main road, playing basketball, roller-skating and skateboarding and using the park as part of a longer walking or running route.’

Following on from this the report gives the responses to the questions asked about what improvements they would like to see from a list provided by the Council. From these responses the report lasy out what improvements will start to be made and when. The first improvements will be made this winter and include:

  • Bigger compactor style bins
  • Upgrade CCTV
  • Logs, boulders and mounds
  • Free community activities
  • Community gardening area
  • Community orchard

These will be followed in Spring 2022 by:

  • Repair cycle route
  • Remove ‘teen’ tower
  • New trampoline
  • New calisthenics frame
  • New cantilever swing
  • New gym equipment