North Acton – beyond all recognition

One Portal Way, North Acton

I worked at Gypsy Corner in North Acton for over 20 years from 1975. Now, I barely recognise any part of it. WEN received this email from the Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum about yet another planned major development for this already highly developed area close to North Acton tube station.

‘A planning application for a development of seven buildings on site at North Acton has been submitted by Imperial College. The application will be decided by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation. OPDC has decided on this occasion not to ‘delegate’ the application to Ealing Council. Ealing’s Planning Committee has made the previous decisions on schemes at North Acton, on behalf of OPDC.

If this application is approved and these buildings are constructed, the CGI image below is what the increasingly notorious ‘North Acton Cluster’ will look like. The 55 storey tower at One West Point will be joined by a 56 storey tower in the first phase of Imperial’s development. Outline planning permission is being sought for two further residential towers of ‘up to 50 storeys’.

Image from Pilbrow and Partners Design and Access Statement

Planning permission is not a foregone conclusion. The OPDC Draft Local Plan has not yet been adopted. The Planning Inspector is looking at the implications of new policies on building heights, introduced last year in the 2021 London Plan.

Your objection can make a difference. The Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum is working with several organisations in Ealing, Hammersmith and North Kensington to resist this proposed development. These are some of the reasons why you may wish to send in an objection to the OPDC.

The ‘North Acton cluster’ is fast becoming London’s latest urban renewal disaster – traffic-ridden, windswept, sunless and with empty ground floor shop units and poor public spaces

This is massive overdevelopment of the site.  North Acton station cannot cope with this number of new residents.

Who will provide the schools, GP surgeries and other amenities that North Acton has long been promised?

Where does OPDC’s Draft Local Plan say that local residents should expect three more towers of 50 storeys at North Acton?

We had understood that the modified London Plan Policy D9 protects us from further tall buildings of this scale – unless and until a local plan is clear on suitable locations and appropriate building heights.  No such local plan yet exists.

Residential towers are now known to use far more embedded carbon in their construction, and more energy in their daily use, than lower rise housing.  These are proposals from a past era.  We and our children deserve better in the 2020s.

Views and skylines across West London continue to be destroyed by developments which will prove to be of the wrong kind in the wrong place.  Please do not repeat the errors of Vauxhall/Nine Elms/Battersea. 

It is best if you can put some of these points in your own words and/or add others most relevant to where you live.  ‘Cut and paste’ objections tend to be largely ignored by planning committees.

The point about London Plan policy D9 is important. This is one of our best chances of seeing the application refused.

You can find more information on the application on the OPDC website at this link.  The stated closing date for comments is 8th January.  We have asked for a 3-4 week extension given the scale of the proposals and the fact that the consultation period has been over the Xmas and New Year period.

It is possible to submit a response online via the OPDC’s cumbersome system.  Easier to send an email to  Or by post to Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation at c/o Brent Civic Centre, 32 Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ.

The OPDC rules for commenting on planning applications are below:

You must include your full name and address and preferably an e-mail address, if you have one. We are unable to accept anonymous comments so if you do not provide your full name and address, your comments will not be considered.

Please be aware we cannot treat your comments as confidential and they will be displayed on our Planning Register, so they can be seen by other people, but your personal details will be removed. We are not able to acknowledge receipt of your comments.

By law, planning authorities have to take account of representations up until the point when a decision is made. But if you can submit in the next few days, so much the better.

For more information about the work of the Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum, visit our website at  If not already a member you are welcome to join by emailing

Best wishes and thanks for your help’ 

Henry Peterson–

on behalf of the Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum

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