Ealing Planning Campaigner 'Assaulted'

Police investigate allegations which follow site visit

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Ealing Planning Campaigner 'Assaulted'

Victor Mishiku


Land at rear of Peacehaven

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Police are investigating claims that Ealing's veteran planning activist, Victor Mishiku, was assaulted on a recent site visit.

Mr Mishiku, is behind the 'Covenant Movement' which has helped thousands of people throughout the country in blocking property developments.

He's campaigned against many controversial applications in the borough and is currently advising residents trying to stop an application for flats to be built in the garden of a locally listed building in W3 known as 'Peacehaven' on the Springfield Park Estate.

Dating back to 1883, Peacehaven, on the corner of Creswick and Pierrepoint Roads, was for many years run as a Hostel for the International Friendship League. It was sold to Portswood Investments Limited (PIL), a company registered in the British Virgin Islands and is managed by Rooms and Studios.

There has been ongoing concern that the property is used as self-contained flats - not a guest house as has been claimed - and no change of use application has been submitted to the council.

A number of previous planning applications for the rear of the land have been submitted, but have been refused.

On Saturday (30th May) a site visit involving local Councillors, officers and developers took place and witnesses say this is when the incident occurred.

They report that Mr Mishiku had been called onto the land by one of the Councillors but was then 'manhandled' and 'pushed' by a man who, it is claimed, was acting on behalf of the developers.

Local resident, Peter Gallagher, who attended the visit said: '' Victor had merely responded to a request and had hitherto not attempted to go onto the land and after the furious and violent onslaught, simply turned and went back out again onto the public pavement!''

Mr Mishiku said, " I am almost 70 years of age and an older person perhaps with a weak heart, as has happened, could be seriously harmed if there is a repeat of this thuggish behaviour from the developers, whose backyard developments get support by some in Ealing Planning Department.''

Complaints have been made by residents and local MP, Rupa Huq wrote to the Chair of Planning, Cllr Karam Mohan outlining her concerns.

The application was due before committee last night (Wednesday 3rd) but has been deferred pending further investigations.

An Ealing Council spokesperson said:
'' The planning committee will consider the proposed development which is within the larger Peacehaven site by assessing it against a strict framework of planning policy and having regard to any material planning considerations. This is the way that all planning applications have to be determined. If non-planning or irrelevant matters were taken into account when determining an application the decision would be overturned on appeal.  

''The use of the Peacehaven building is not a matter for consideration by the committee as part of this application and an independent planning inspector has ruled that the use of the building was not relevant to assessing a similar proposal. The council is conducting a separate planning enforcement investigation into the use of the Peacehaven building which is ongoing and so we cannot make further comment at this time.''   

Police say a full report is due to be taken regarding the allegations today.

We have requested comment from the developer's representative regarding the allegations.

4th June 2015