Lib Dem councillors determined to have their say on Bollo Lane tower blocks

Image above: Ealing Southfield ward councillors Gary Malcolm and Andrew Steed

Southfield’s Lib Dem councillors have complained that they are being shut out of discussions about the development of the Transport for London site on Bollo Lane where there are plans to build ten very tall tower blocks, including one that developers propose to be 25 storeys high.

The proposed development is coming up for discussion on Wednesday 20 January at LB Ealing’s Planning Committee. The recommendation by the Council’s Planning officers is that full and outline planning permission be granted.

Cllr Gary Malcolm has asked to speak at the meeting, but has been told he doesn’t have an automatic right to speak as the development is not in his ward, so he may not get the opportunity. The proposed tower blocks are only a few metres away from the ward boundary.

“Southfield residents shall not be silenced into submission”

Cllr Malcolm said:

“The Labour-led administration has been trying to silence representatives from a hugely affected area from speaking at the Planning Committee meeting. I have received hundreds of petition signatures from angry residents in my ward opposing these tall, monstrous developments. There also are over 600 other people who have objected to the development on the Council’s website.

“Southfield residents shall not be silenced into submission. I will continue to fight for my constituents who will suffer from the negative impact by the monstrous towers. I shall be posting my planned speech on the YouTube meeting comments section, where the live broadcast of the meeting will take place, whether the planning committee wants it or not. As an elected ward representative, I believe it is my duty to submit these petitions live at the meeting and present my constituents’ concerns.”

Image above: Map of the site of TfL Landholdings at Bollo Lane, Acton

TfL Landholdings development – what’s proposed

The site is currently an industrial site which houses a number of TfL transport functions including train crew accommodation, lifts, escalators and lorry and car parking, which have been identified by TfL as surplus to requirements or suitable for relocation to other TfL-owned sites, plus other commercial and retail uses.

What is planned is a mixed use development of residential and commercial properties. According to Ealing’s planning officers, 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.

Images above: Bollo Lane site – what’s proposed

‘High quality, modern new residential accommodation’

‘It would deliver a high quality and modern new residential accommodation to a high standard with a good mix of unit sizes that comply with adopted standards, in an appropriate mix of tenures’.

Southfield’s councillors object to the development on the grounds that it is too big, the buildings too tall and the impact on residents in Southfield ward will be as great, if not greater than in the ward where it is actually being built.

Cllr Andrew Steed told The Chiswick Calendar “it will be significantly higher than anything near it and the developers of the tower block in Stirling Road are already applying to build higher in the expectation that the TfL landholdings development will be passed”.

Images above: Bollo Lane site – what’s there now

Hurlingham Property received planning permission in 2020 for two blocks, one at Stirling Road, the other on the corner of Roslin Road opposite the Royal Mail sorting office. Originally planned to be nine storeys, they applied at the beginning of January 2021 for one to be 11 storeys and the other 15 storeys.

They justified the height increase in the statement which accompanied the new application thus:

“This is very much in keeping with the emerging building heights of the area. The existing 75 metre distance from the nearby Acton Gardens development will also help to reduce any potential visual and daylight/sunlight impacts on our closest neighbours.”

Chiswick Councillors Andrew Steed and Gary Malcolm object to the TfL landholdings blocks because of their height, because of the density of population it will bring, the impact on infrastructure such as transport and GP services. There is not enough space for children to play, they say and the development also goes against Ealing council’s environmental policy.

The Planning Meeting takes place at 7.00pm on Wednesday 20 January. You can view the meeting live on Ealing Council’s YouTube channel which can be found here.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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