Ealing falls well short in building affordable homes

Thanks to the Ealing Today website for running this story. A new report by the Green Party on housing in London claims that London boroughs are falling well short in building affordable homes.  According to their figures using the London Plan target of 40% affordable housing for new development, the borough of Ealing is 1,871 homes short of this target. Ealing falls even further behind if the Strategic Housing Market Assessment figures are used – falling short by 4,539 homes.

This is a timely report for West Ealing given the plans for the Woolworth’s site which propose 35% affordable homes.  This is lower than the London Plan target of 40% and lower still against Ealing’s Housing and Homeless Strategy target of 50%. The application for the Woolworth’s site has yet to go before the planning committee for a decision.

The development of West Ealing continues with 19 flats proposed on high street site

A planning application has been submitted for a part five-storey and part six-storey building with 17 one-bedroom flats, one two-bedroom and one studio flat on the site once occupied by the Community Shop and offices (Pure in the above illustration).  The application number is 183569FUL  and more information is available on the Council’s website.

At some point we expect to see an application come forward to redevelop Chignell Place.  The owners have taken possession of most of the shops and cafes in this once notorious cul-de-sac.  This will almost complete the redevelopment of this run from Chignell Place to the Diamond Hotel. Then development across the road above the empty site where the Polish supermarket used to be is likely soon.

 

 

 

 

 

New St John’s Primary School officially opens

It almost didn’t happen. The original plans for the redevelopment of the Green Man Lane Estate did not include a new school for St John’s even though the school was built as part of the original estate in the 1970s which was deemed no longer fit for purpose. At the time, WEN commented on this and proposed that this was the ideal opportunity to build a new school as there was already great pressure on primary school places.

Luckily, good sense won the day and the plans were amended to include a new school and to build houses along Felix Road on the original site of the school.

The new school which officially opens today (19th June) can take over 600 pupils along with some 100 in its new nursery. All in all, a welcome addition to the primary schools in West Ealing.

Up to 15-storey high block of flats proposed for old Woolworth’s site in West Ealing

After a long delay A2Dominion have submitted their planning application for the old art-deco fronted Woolworth’s site in West Ealing.  It’s likely to prove a controversial application given the many hundreds of people who signed West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum’s petition to save the art-deco facade.  (You can still sign this petition here.) The application sees the site demolished so the facade will go if the application is approved by the Council.

The application is for 120 flats and just under 1,000 sq metres of retail space on the ground floor. The block will be up to 11 storeys at the front along the Uxbridge Rd and up to 15 storeys at the back on Singapore Rd. From looking at the drawings this makes it taller both front and back than any of the existing nearby buildings.

The application can be found here. The closing date for comments is 8th June.

If you would like to object to this application we have produced quite a detailed set of six points for you to consider. Also, at the bottom you will find a template letter with short summaries of these six points which you can use and amend as you wish.

Reasons for objecting to A2Dominion’s plans for 96-102 Broadway, West Ealing

1.Planning policy issues

Falls short of  Ealing Council’s  target of 50% affordable housing

Ealing Council in its Housing and Homeless Strategy 2014-19 has as one of its key outcomes to ‘Ensure 50%of new homes are affordable housing’. Plans for this site are for a total of 35% affordable housing and not 50%. This proposal  includes 35% affordable housing split between 62% affordable rented and 38% intermediate housing. With the full 50% affordable housing the site should have the following:

42 social housing units against the proposed 26

18 intermediate housing units against the proposed 16

So, the plans fall short on both counts.

Exceeds London Plan density matrix

The Design and Access Statement submitted with the proposal states that in accordance with Policy 3.2 of the London Plan (2016) and Policy 3.4 of the Ealing Development Management DPD (2013) this site is classified as ‘Central’ due to its location in a Metropolitan Town Centre. The density range guidance for this site is therefore 215-405 units per hectare and 350-1100 habitable rooms per hectare.

This site is approximately 0.20 of a hectare. The proposal is to build 120 units. This gives a density of 100/20 x 120 which comes to 600 units per hectare, almost 50% higher than the maximum density specified in the London Plan.

Whilst the Council and/or developers may argue that the London Plan is only for guidance it does clearly state ‘development proposals which compromise (the matrix) should be resisted.’ We believe the Council should resist this proposal as its density clearly compromises the standards laid down in the London Plan.

2.Height

With up to 11 storeys at the front on The Broadway and up to 15-storeys at the back along Singapore Road this planned building is significantly higher than any around it. Whilst the architects have made some design and height alterations following last year’s public consultation the proposed building still dominates the skyline. It remains out-of-keeping with the size and height of the new buildings that have established the current standards along this stretch of the Broadway – Pershore House, Rosemoor House, Hyde House and the Holiday Inn Express hotel.

3.Cumulative impact of high rise blocks on Singapore Road

Commenting on the previous Green Man Lane Estate proposal, the then Mayor and Deputy Mayor expressed serious concerns about the scale and massing of the proposed buildings along Singapore Road. Particular concerns, as listed within the report (ref: PDU/2553a/01) included the size and overbearing scale of the elevations facing Singapore Road, the articulation of the building through the massing, and the scale of the building when viewed from Broadway, along with the buildings’ visual relationship with the town centre.

https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/PAWS/media_id_166569/green_man_lane_estate_report.updated%20pdf.pdf page 9

Adding an even higher building of 15-storeys on Singapore Road simply further increases these concerns and the impact on the many hundreds of residents already living and soon-to-be-living along this road.

4.Design

The design is out of context with the existing and planned buildings on either side. The initial design has been amended following last year’s public consultation.  This current design is claimed to be a modern interpretation of the building’s original art-deco façade.  The art-deco style of building is a significant visual feature of this end of the West Ealing Broadway with the two Catalyst Housing Assn owned buildings either side of St James Avenue and 154A The Broadway (above the Juniper shop) which had to keep its art-deco style when the Council gave permission for an additional floor to be added.  The design for this new building lacks the subtlety of the next door building Rosemoor House which has incorporated an art-deco style frontage on The Broadway in a much more muted and less brash style.

The proposed balconies on the Broadway side are very unlikely to be used by residents for sitting out on given the high level of air pollution along this very busy road.  From past experience the balconies will be used for storage and hanging out washing. This will make the frontage look a mess as has happened with the Rosemoor House next door.

5.Loss of art-deco facade

The proposed demolition of the existing building will mean the loss of the iconic art-deco façade. This façade is almost certainly the most recognisable feature of the West Ealing high street.

In 2013 at a public meeting of the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum local stakeholders voted to preserve this 1926 icon. Over 1,000 have signed a petition to preserve the façade. You can add your signature at:

www.wecnf.org/save-our-heritage-petition/

6.Social impact

The cumulative effect of all the recent and proposed housing developments along and close to the Broadway in West Ealing may raise significant social problems for the area. In the last few years this stretch of The Broadway backing on to Singapore Road has seen, or will see, an extraordinary number of high-rise housing developments –  the Green Man Lane Estate, The Appleton (BHS site), Rosemoor House, Pershore House, and Hyde House, let alone the developments that may be proposed at the recently purchased Sainsbury’s site. This level of development raises the serious prospect of bringing with it serious cultural and social problems associated with this type of densely packed housing.   West Ealing has long-suffered from serious anti-social behaviour, much of which centres on these new housing developments,  and this and similar developments threaten to undo all the effort and hard work put in to tackling anti-social behaviour by the Council, police, housing associations,faith groups and residents’ groups.

 

Template letter for objections

Katie Crosbie

Planning Dept

Ealing Council

Perceval House

14-16 Uxbridge Road

Ealing W5 2HL

 

Date:

 

Dear Sir/Madam

96-102 The Broadway, West Ealing.   Application Reference: 182180FUL

I wish to object to this application for the following reasons:

1.Falls short of  Ealing Council’s  target of 50% affordable housing

Ealing Council in its Housing and Homeless Strategy 2014-19 has as one of its key outcomes to ‘Ensure 50% of new homes are affordable housing’. Plans for this site are for a total of 35% affordable housing and not 50%.

2.Exceeds London Plan density matrix

The density range guidance for this site is 215-405 units per hectare and 350-1100 habitable rooms per hectare.

This site comes to 600 units per hectare, almost 50% higher than the maximum density specified in the London Plan.

3.Height

With up to 11 storeys at the front on The Broadway and up to 15-storeys at the back along Singapore Road this planned building is significantly higher than any around it. The proposed building will dominate the skyline opening the door for yet higher developments in the future. It remains out-of-keeping with the size and height of the new buildings that have established the current standards along this stretch of the Broadway – Pershore House, Rosemoor House, Hyde House and the Holiday Inn Express hotel.

4.Cumulative impact of high rise blocks on Singapore Road

Commenting on the previous Green Man Lane Estate proposal, the then Mayor and Deputy Mayor expressed serious concerns about the scale and massing of the proposed buildings along Singapore Road. Particular concerns included the size and overbearing scale of the elevations facing Singapore Road.

Adding an even higher building of 15-storeys on Singapore Road simply further increases these concerns and the impact on the many hundreds of residents already living and soon-to-be-living along this road.

5.Design

The design is out of context with the existing and planned buildings on either side. The art-deco style of building is a significant visual feature of this end of the West Ealing Broadway.  The design for this new building lacks the subtlety of the next door building Rosemoor House which has incorporated an art-deco style frontage on The Broadway in a much more muted and less brash style.

6.Loss of art-deco facade

The proposed demolition of the existing building will mean the loss of the iconic art-deco façade. This façade is almost certainly the most recognisable architectural feature of the West Ealing high street.

7.Social impact

The cumulative effect of all the recent and proposed housing developments along and close to the Broadway in West Ealing may raise significant social problems for the area. In the last few years this stretch of The Broadway backing on to Singapore Road has seen, or will see, an extraordinary number of high-rise housing developments –  the Green Man Lane Estate, The Appleton (BHS site), let alone the developments that may be proposed at the recently purchased Sainsbury’s site. This level of development raises the serious prospect of bringing with it serious social problems associated with this type of densely packed housing.

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

 

West Ealing successful in bid for TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhood fund

Some of you may remember filling out a brief online questionnaire from Ealing Council a few weeks ago which asked questions about what would make West Ealing a better place in which to live. The survey was in aid of a Council bid for significant funds from TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhood Fund.

Good news is West Ealing is one of the seven winners of the first round of funding, Ealing Council has secured funding to further develop its proposals.  These proposals include better conditions for walking and cycling, changes to the town centre to make it more attractive and less dominated by cars.  Also included in the Council’s bid is a plan to redesign Dean Gardens  – using the exact same plan that was produced as the result of a concerted effort by a group of local stakeholders including West Ealing Neighbours and other residents’ groups, faith groups, West Ealing BID, Clarion and other local housing associations, the Council, the police and others.  This is the plan that can be seen here. 

Congratulations to Ealing Council for all their hard work and I very much hope that for this next stage the proposal will be developed with the local community so that it will be one which truly represents the wishes of local people. We want to see a plan we can all  fully support as it has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for many, many West Ealing residents.

 

Give your views and help secure funding for a healthier and more attractive West Ealing

The Council wants to hear your views in support of a bid for funds from TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme. The scheme is about delivering attractive and healthy neighbourhoods for residents -in this case residents of West Ealing. It includes improving conditions for walking, cycling and leisure with the aim of improving local air quality and the social and economic vitality of West Ealing.

This is a great opportunity for West Ealing and fits really well with the plan WEN and other local stakeholders helped to draw up to improve Dean Gardens – the plan is  here

Dean Gardens is just one aspect of the improvements that could be made if this bid is successful. Time is a bit short as the deadline is Friday 6th October so the more people who complete the online questionnaire the more helpful it is for the Council in its bid. The questionnaire is available here

 

St James Ave ready for makeover to revitalise a ‘dead space’ in West Ealing

 

 

It’s taken a while but the redesign of the pedestrian area of St James Ave looks like it’s about to start.  It’s the pedestrian section between the Uxbridge Rd and Canberra Rd which is currently a bit of a dead space and, until very recently, had become a bit of a gathering place for street drinkers and RISE clients.  Though, in fairness, this seems to have lessened with the new PSPO and police powers to move people on if they gather in large groups.

The plan is to redesign the space so it can be used for all manner of outdoor events and activities. This ties in with the work being done on St James House to become home to the new co-working hub which will include studio space for artists and creative industries.

I’d love to see the space used for exhibitions of work of artists and craftspeople from the hub as well as live music, maybe outdoor cinema in the summer as well as occasional markets, bike doctors, temporary health clinics and more. Even better if we could have an independent cafe with outdoor seating there as well.  You never know…it would all help revitalise this part of West Ealing.

 

Plans to build new homes on part of Northfields allotments

Proposals are being worked on to build new homes at the Mattock Lane end of the Northfields allotments. The allotments are owned by local charity Pathways. It also owns Dean Court which is accommodation for older people on the other side of Northfield Avenue. Pathways would like to redevelop Dean Court to increase the amount and quality of housing for older people. Their aim is to provide a total of approximately 110 Pathways social homes and 30 homes for sale across the whole development.

Part of their plan is to take about 10% of the allotment site, at the north end, and build 18 new social homes and four homes for sale.  These homes wil be in two buildings, one five to six storeys high and the other three to four storeys.These homes would be built first in order to move existing residents of Dean Court in to these homes whilst Dean Court is redeveloped. Residents can then return to their new homes in about two years.

These proposals are likely to prove controversial as the arguments about the urgent need for more housing are set alongside the role and value put on green space in an ever increasingly built up area.  These plans are at a very early stage and Pathways are now starting a lengthy period of consultation with the local community.  More information about the plans and how to ask questions and make comments are available on Pathways’ website . 

(I should add that I have an allotment on the Northfields site but my intention with this post is to put information in the public domain. There is another occasion for a close look at these proposals and the different points of view within our community.)

Your views wanted on plans for West Ealing

West Ealing is changing fast.  Hundreds of milions of pounds are being spent on redeveloping the Green Man Lane and Sherwood Close Estates and millions more wil be spent redeveloping the BHS site. As a result many hundreds of new families wil make West Ealing their home.On top of this we have Crossrail coming in 2018 and all the changes that it is likely to bring to the area. At this time of great change the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum has put together a detailed spatial plan for land use in the centre of West Ealing (see map below for area of plan).  The plan looks at how a series of sites in West Ealing could be developed.  These include the Royal Mail building in Manor Road and Chignell Place along with some radical ideas for building a mixed use development at the southern edge of Dean Gardens.

Also included are outline plans for how to invest the money from the future Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) that will go to WECNF if their plans are approved.  The CIL is a planning charge paid by developers to support the local infrastructure. WECNF’s plans propose investing in improving or replacing Jacob’s Ladder, maintaining the old Woolworth’s facade, improving Dean Gardens as well as investing in community facilities and community arts.

Lastly, WECNF put forward a series of local buildings as heritage assets. Buildings such as the Salvation Army Hall in Leeland Road, Ealing Magistrates’ Court, the bookend buildings to the entrance to Chignell Place, the parade of shops and offices above Barclays Bank and the two art deco buildings at the top of St James Avenue.

So, this isn’t just a dry old document. It’s a plan that profoundly affects how West Ealing could develop over the next decade.  These plans are available to view at West Ealing Library and are on their website.  Comments are very welcome and the closing date for these is 5th October. Comments should be emailed to eric@wecnf.org

 

Final plans submitted for BHS site in West Ealing – 10 storeys, 136 flats and ground floor retail space

The planning application for the BHS site (104-110 Broadway) has been submitted.  As you’d expect it’s a long and detailed document with a lot of technical information which needs careful study.

At first glance the essential details seem to be:

  • About 1200 sq metres of retail space on the ground floor which could include a cafe
  • 136 flats with 50 x 1-bed; 75 x 2-bed; 11 x 3-bed
  • Of the 136 flats 72% will be for private sale; 28% (38 units) will be affordable with 22 for rent and 16 for shared ownership
  • The height will vary.  From the drawings it looks to be retail plus 6 floors at The Broadway end and retail plus 10 floors at the Singapore Road end.
  • The building will get its heating from the Green Man Lane district heating system
  • It is a car free development
  • The developers are actively looking to acquire a nearby site to create a comprehensive plan for the area
  • 226 cycle spaces
  • The Section 106 contribution to the Council has yet to be decided – this is money to be used to compensate for the additional pressure on schools, doctors’ surgeries, public transport etc
  • The development will be called The Appleton to reflect the area’s history with fruit orchards in Victorian times

You can find the full details on the Council’s website and comments need to be in by 1st January 2016.