Hanwell Arts & Crafts House Faces Demolition

Objectors say density of redevelopment would set unwelcome precedent

Hanwell Arts & Crafts House Faces Demolition
178 Church Road, Hanwell

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A proposal to demolish an Arts & Crafts house in Hanwell is meeting with fierce resistance from local residents some of whom fear that, if approved, it will create a precedent for ever more dense development.

The historic property at 178 Church Road built in 1912 is to be replaced by six modern flats and two semi-detached houses which objectors describe as being shoe-horned into a narrow garden.

The building to plot ratio proposed is 70% to 30% compared to a maximum of 50% to 50% set by most councils.

Residents are being urged to object by searching for reference 201141FUL on the Council planning website .

Hanwell Village Green’s conservation area is defined by spacious green areas and large garden plots. However, 28 mature trees in the front and back gardens will be removed and replaced by hardstanding for cars and a much reduced green space for 26 residents.

Local neighbour, Jeanette Grose, commented, “The quality of life for both future inhabitants and neighbours will be severely affected by loss of light and clean air not to mention noise and pollution which will dramatically rise when access to greenery is prized more than ever during this pandemic.”

The house is deemed a “key unlisted building” which “contributes positively to the character of the area”, according to the Council’s own Conservation Area Character Appraisal, 2008. It is seen to be a missing link, between two, distinct styles; the Art & Crafts period from 1880 up to WWI, whilst anticipating the later 1920s-30s.

There have been almost 90 objections to-date. Ealing Civic Society commented, “We consider that the ‘positive contributor’ status of the building should be upgraded to local listing as a minimum and we ask that the Council take immediate steps to protect the house in this way.”

The Victorian Society added, “The demolition of no.178 would cause serious harm to the conservation area by removing a key building, and the application has failed to demonstrate that the proposed would lead to sufficient public benefit to justify this harm.

“The harm would be further exacerbated by the construction of a building which not only obscures the characteristic green space, but also takes inspiration from the adjacent, uniform development. Another characteristic feature of the conservation area, is the spacious plots and rear gardens of the residential properties.

“The substantial development proposed within the plot would destroy this both by infilling the garden to the rear and encroaching on the open space adjacent to the road, with the addition of a prominent boundary wall. The danger with harm such as this is that it could set a precedent for similar development in other parts of the conservation area.”

The deadline for comments on the application is 5 June and a decision is due to be taken by the Ealing Planning Committee on 9 June.

Some local residents’ groups believe that Ealing Council’s arrangements for the publicity of planning applications during the lockdown has been inadequate. The public notices for developments like this one are published in a newspaper which does not circulate in the area which is a requirement of the relevant legislation. The Council have refused to consider the publication of notices in sites like EalingToday.co.uk even though the current guidance from the government is to increase the use of digital media to make residents aware of developments that may affect them. Ealing Council say that if they were to publish notices digitally they would do so on their own site.

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May 28, 2020

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