Ealing Council’s Planning Committee have approved an application by developers to build ten towers, including one which is 25-storeys high, in South Acton. The development will provide 852 new homes.
The ‘monster tower’ development on Bollo Lane was approved by ten votes to three, despite more than 600 residents objecting. The 25 storey block will be by far the tallest in the Chiswick area.
The towers are to be built on the narrow strip between Bollo Lane and the railway line from Acton Town station southwards, bordering Chiswick, on land owned by Transport for London but no longer needed by them. The tower blocks will stretch from Acton Town station to the 25-storey Bollo Brook House at the Chiswick end of the development.
It will be a few metres across the ward boundary from Chiswick’s Southfield ward, but local councillors say the impact of the huge tower will affect Chiswick residents every bit as much and maybe more.
Critics say the towers will change the character of Chiswick and are at-odds with LB Ealing’s zero-carbon pledge. The pledge encourages businesses, including developers, to reduce their carbon footprint or ensure it takes measures to make new buildings are carbon neutral.
Ealing’s planners recommended the development be approved because they say the development offers a good opportunity ‘maximising the potential for additional mixed Build to Rent, affordable and market housing’. Affordable housing meets the Council Policy requirement for 50% on site, they say.
Planning process ‘deeply flawed’ – Cllr Gary Malcolm
Liberal Democrat Southfield Councillor, Gary Malcolm, said during the planning committee it was revealed that no site visit had taken place. Also, when the votes were taking place, some people’s votes had disappeared. Later on Twitter he claimed he had been “gagged” from speaking during the meeting.
It is wrong for Labour councillors to ignore residents' concerns and press on these developments. pic.twitter.com/zz8LRSHInn
— Cllr Gary Malcolm ?️ (@CllrGaryMalcolm) January 20, 2021
On the decision to approve the development, Cllr Malcom said:
“The Labour-run Planning Committee heard many reasons why the ten tall towers – one 25 stories high – were not appropriate. Many cited the change of character to Chiswick and the overdevelopment in the area. Liberal Democrats also feel that the Labour Council are allowing schemes that are against their own policies to ensure that buildings are carbon neutral. The planning process is deeply flawed. We will continue to fight for the residents’ corner.”
‘Fantastic news’ – TfL
Jonathan Cornelius, Head of Property Development at TfL, said:
“It is fantastic news to get the go ahead for our plans at Bollo Lane in Acton Town. The proposals have been designed to reflect the area’s heritage and context, such as the Grade II-listed station next to it, and will bring hundreds of much-needed homes to this part of London.
“The scheme has also been designed to benefit the local community with welcoming green spaces, improvements to pedestrian and cycling facilities and new commercial opportunities for local businesses. Securing this latest green light at planning committee is an important milestone as it is the largest site on which we have secured planning ourselves. We will shortly be approaching the market for a partner as we strive to deliver these homes – including hundreds of new affordable homes – as fast as we can.”
The developers are planning phased construction over five years with work beginning at each end of the site and working towards the middle. Originally it was hoped that construction could have started this Spring but the project has been delayed due to the coronavirus.
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