We have written to Ealing Council to object in the strongest terms to the latest proposals to redevelop the Oaks shopping centre. Commenting on the planning application, Dr Robert Gurd, chairman of the Society said “the appearance of the development would be completely out of keeping with every building in the vicinity and would make no attempt either to respect its neighbours or make a user-friendly contribution to the streetscape, which is the essence of civic design.” We have called for the Council to reject the application.
The Society objects to the Oaks application because of its highly detrimental impact on the local character of the neighbourhood. The high rise component is almost without precedent in the area and the other buildings along Churchfield Road would be entirely out of scale with the existing buildings. The elevations and sections of the blocks along Churchfield Road show just how overwhelming and out of scale those buildings would be (in particular upon the Grade II listed St Mary’s Church). Their banal, unrefined design, being devoid of context or reference, coupled with their disproportionate scale, means they are unlikely ever to be viewed as anything other an oversized blot on the landscape. Their impact from the south would be very harmful to the Conservation Area and indeed to the centre of Acton as a whole. In addition, the proposed scheme represents a major overdevelopment of the site that fails to follow the grain, scale or typology of the area. It would introduce overshadowing and loss of openness with little or no provision of public open or green space. Similarly, there appears to be little amenity space provided for residents other than some roof gardens. There appears to be no Social Housing Provision which is contrary to both the London Plan and Ealing’s adopted Core Strategy.