Manor Building Planning Appeal Lost

Council will now be forced to pay thousands in costs

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Manor Building, Manor Road, West Ealing

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The Government's Planning Inspectorate has decided that Ealing Council has 'acted unreasonably' by refusing to allow a new development at the Manor Building site on Manor Road in West Ealing.

H & BB Ltd wants to demolish the current buildings and create a complex of up to 38 flats on the site which overlooks Drayton Green. 

A 200 strong petition from local residents was delivered to the Council in January and the planning application was turned down.

However, H& BB Ltd appealed and Government officers' have found in the company's favour.

Inspector Jane Miles visited the site in June and has criticised Ealing Council for refusing the application which she says was against its own officers' recommendations.

In a damning report she concludes :'' The appeal was an opportunity for the Council to set out its concerns and requirements, but it did not do so. It has not produced evidence, as it is expected to do, to substantiate each refusal reason.... Neither reason is properly supported with specific evidence.. Reasonable planning grounds for taking a decision contrary to officers' professional advice have not been shown and relevant evidence to justify the decision has not been presented...''

She believes that the application ''should clearly have been permitted having regard to the development plan, national policy statements and other material considerations.''

The decision has been met with upset from local residents.

David Highton from West Ealing Neighbours says the development will be out of character with the rest of the area and put more pressure on the local infrastructure. He says: '' It's yet another example of piecemeal development without any plan for the future of West Ealing.  We are getting a series of large and small developments, all bringing in more residents, and yet there appears to be no overarching plan, so no way of assessing their value and appropriateness.''

In his personal blog, Councillor Ian Gibb - who is also the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Ealing North - says: '' I think this is a crying shame as a 7 storey block of flats is a totally inappropriate development for this location.''

He adds that awarding costs against the council is to ''rub salt into the wounds'.

The costs for the appeal hearing - which have not been settled yet - could reach into the thousands.

An Ealing Council spokesperson says they have nothing further to add.


August 13, 2009

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