|Bus Used To Raise Awareness of West Ealing Skyscraper Plans|
Residents claim 'publicity blackout' on new developments
West Ealing residents took to the streets in a London double-decker bus this Tuesday (25 June) amid claims that their attempts to raise awareness of planned developments in the area were being sabotaged. They were attempting to compensate for the lack of publicity for the schemes by the developers.
They had placed posters around the area to try to ensure that as many people as possible were aware of plans for two tower blocks. Within 12 hours of them being put up all 35 of the posters, which drew residents attention to a consultation event, had been removed.
There are now two skyscrapers planned of 25 and 26 storeys respectively. The sites on Hastings Road and Manor Road, West Ealing are in an area of low rise Edwardian, predominantly family homes.
Local resident Justine Sullivan explains, ‘Just last month, the consultation event for the first of the two towers proposed was rushed through in four hours on one day, with no press publicity for local people. We didn’t want the same thing to happen again’.
Another local resident, Dr Gerald Power explained why it was so important for local people to come to the event and find out what’s proposed, ‘Over the last three years, our community has worked closely with Ealing Council to develop a Neighbourhood Plan setting out how space in our area can be used to provide much needed affordable homes for local people. This Plan was approved by a massive majority in a referendum in May 2018, and very sadly neither of the proposed towers meets the Plan’s agreed principles whatsoever.
‘Not only do these two towers flout the agreed levels of height and mass for those particular sites, but they offer a paltry 90 homes available for affordable rent out of a total of 330, with a laughable total of 15 three family bedroom homes across the two schemes. The largest proportion of units is one and two bedroom flats for sale, and Ealing is already awash with empty flats bought by investors and left standing empty for years. These towers won't even make a tiny dent in the Ealing housing list, and a massive and permanent blot on our community’.
Another resident, Simon Baker added ‘Inside the consultation event itself, it was clear that both schemes had been developed independently of each other and didn’t even know the other tower was planned. It doesn’t seem possible to build one tower on such a busy bottle neck intersection, but two at the same time is mind-boggling. It’s clearly up to us to press the developers to go back to the drawing board and come up with something sensible that actually does provide affordable housing for Londoners, and for Ealing Council to reject their planning applications until they do’.
The second day of the two day consultation event on the Manor Road tower hosted by Southern Grove and Metropolitan Thames Valley took place this Tuesday at the Drayton Court Hotel, the Avenue, W13.
The consultation has concluded on the Hastings Road tower and the planning application is now being prepared by A2Dominion.
Danny Lynch, A2Dominion’s Director of Land and Development, said, “We are unaware about any publicity material being removed in regards to our proposed development in West Ealing. It is not something we would do as we have no authority in the area.
A spokesperson for Southern Grove and Metropolitan Thames Valley said, "I can assure you we welcome the local community engaging with us and having their say - that is what democracy is all about and why we are holding these events.
"Southern Grove and Metropolitan Thames Valley have been open and transparent from the start and can confirm don’t know who was behind the removal of the posters. Have you checked with Ealing Council?
"We actually met with numerous groups, including some of those mentioned below to talk through the plans before the two day public exhibition - which I know was appreciated by many of the representatives of the groups.
"I can confirm over 3,500 leaflets were issued to properties in the local area 2 weeks before the exhibition took place.
"All local groups including, but not limited to the Draytons Community Association, West Ealing Neighbours, Five Roads Forum, Save Ealing Centre, were also informed and sent the details of the exhibition asking them to let their members know. Some have also publicised on their website."
June 27, 2019