New Plan To Develop Hanwell Arts and Crafts House Garden

Two semi-detached houses could be built covering 50% of the green space

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

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A group of Hanwell residents are urging people to object to a new plan for a development at 178 Church Road ahead of a looming deadline.

Last year a proposal to demolish the 1912 Arts and Crafts house in the Hanwell Village Green Conversation Area came to nothing following over 400 negative comments being made on the proposal. Objectors included James Murray, MP for Ealing North, ward councillors, numerous individuals and groups

Now property developer Luxgrove has come up with a revised plan, which no longer proposes to demolish the house, but to convert it into flats and build two semi-detached four bedroom houses in the large garden at the rear of the property leading to the loss of around half of the existing green space.

The garage attached to the house would be demolished and a rear extension added with a roof terrace and green roof.

The garden measures 975 m2 and the property is neither statutorily nor locally listed but is considered a positive building within the Conservation Area. The Conservation Area is comprised of two distinct areas. The north is characterised by buildings dating from the 18th / 19th centuries set in spacious plots with many trees, whereas the south is characterised by buildings from the late 19th Century as well as many out of character inter-war developments. Church Road is located on the south side of the Conservation Area.

It is argued in the application documentation that the development of land to the rear of existing properties is ongoing within this stretch of Church Road. To the back of 180 to 190 Church Road there are two developments, Dormy House and Windview House.

The contention is that the proposed semi-detached houses to the rear of 178 will echo the existing buildings and that the new buildings are necessary to secure the ‘long term viability’ of the existing house.

A visualisation from the developer of how the houses might look
A visualisation from the developer of how the houses might look

Jeanette Grose, one of the local residents leading a campaign against the proposal said, “Building on back gardens in not a feature in the conservation area and the Mayor’s London Plan clearly sets out ‘the principle of no net loss of overall green cover’ for new developments. Yet if approved, it will cause the destruction of 18 mature trees, a 200-ft long hedge, shrubs and greenery when access to green spaces during this pandemic is vital for health and wellbeing.”

She questioned Ealing Council leader Peter Mason at a recent Ealing Matters meeting on the issue of the borough allowing planning applications in which gardens have been replaced by housing. She asked how this can be allowed when the Council’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy aims to plant more trees and hedgerows. Councillor Mason responded that the vision is for developers to bring forward proposals to achieve biodiversity net gains and to help regreen the borough.

She says that the latest proposal for 178 Church Road does not achieve these goals and neither protects nor enhances the conservation area adding, “It will set a worrying precedent for backland housing and mass over development. Most Councils will not approve new housing which total more than 50% of the building plot.

“We have a duty to protect and improve our community by cherishing our historic housing and gardens. An independent heritage report commissioned by Ealing Council described the design of the rear semi-detached houses as being poor ‘with a crude amalgamation of various traditional elements which lack cohesion and architectural integrity.

“Hanwell Village Green’s conservation area is defined by spacious plots and greenery. I urge anyone with a love of heritage and gardens, to object to this planning application which contravenes all the policy guidelines.”

The new planning application reference is 216269 FUL and you can make comments on it on Ealing Council’s planning web site. Any such comments need to be submitted by 8 December.

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November 25, 2021

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