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ArchitectureIn the past few months we have continued our work of looking at all new planning applications in the Borough and submitted responses to the Council on many. Here are a few detailed examples of our work:

Step Aside, Edgehill Road, W13 8HW (190790FUL)  GRANGE & WHITE LEDGES CONSERVATION AREA

Construction of a two storey dwelling house with habitable roof space and basement (Following demolition of existing house) – Resubmission.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We do not support demolition of the existing house on this site merely to achieve the applicant’s wish to have a ‘new & contemporary home’.  Although this property may only have modest architectural merit, it contributes to the character of the Grange & White Ledges Conservation Area, in which it sits, and its loss could only be justified if the proposed replacement enhances the Conservation Area’s character and is of complementary design.  The proposed new house does not meet those criteria and, in fact, would harm the character of the Conservation Area.

Despite some reduction in massing since the initial application for the site (application 184167FUL in November ’18), this proposed six-bedroom house with new basement housing leisure facilities represents over-development of the site.  The massing of the planned building presents as block-like, particularly from the south west.  The design lacks quality, the central glazed section is incongruous to the area and the three rooflights proposed in the front roof slope are a completely unacceptable feature in the Conservation Area.  .  Finally, the proposal would detract from the setting of the Grade II listed building, Thorncote, opposite it.

Rear of 78 Haven Lane, W5 2HN (190290FUL)  HAVEN GREEN CONSERVATION AREA

Construction of 3 storey dwelling house following demolition of existing office building.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We object to the proposed over development of this small site and the resulting loss of amenity space.  The planned development is of poor design with poor access.  Therefore, this application should be refused.

 Land Adjoining Buildings, East Churchfield Road, W3 7LP (190579LBC)  ACTON PARK CONSERVATION AREA    

Construction of a boundary wall including the installation of a gate following the demolition of existing wall.( Listed Building consent).

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We object to the planned loss of historic fabric.  We consider that the reasons for refusal of the previous application remain valid and we concur with the many objections of local residents to this current application.

Land Rear of 6 Castlebar Hill, W5 1TD (185940FUL)    

Construction of a two storey dwellinghouse including basement; associated amenity space and landscaping; refuse and cycle storage

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We object to any development on this existing garden site.  The 2018 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 122, in conjunction with the definition “previously developed land” (in the glossary), strongly discourages the development of garden land as envisaged in this application. Furthermore, this land was designated as amenity space for the occupants of the neighbouring consented development in application 163250FUL.  There would also be severe overlooking issues with several neighbouring properties (some of which are heritage assets in that they are buildings of “facade or group value”), which would result in the loss of their amenity and privacy.

Town Hall, New Broadway, Ealing, W5 2BY (190181FUL & 190182LBC) EALING TOWN CENTRE CONSERVATION AREA   

Internal and external demolition works with associated internal and external alterations, erection of part 6-, part 8-storey extensions, rooftop plant, disability access, platform and alterations to wall and railings, replacement fire escape stairs, substation and refuse store in connection with change of use to 120 guestroom hotel, health and fitness club, bars and bistro, together with retained Council Democratic Services, committee rooms, community and publicly-available uses and meeting rooms.

Partial demolition, conversion, alterations and extensions of Ealing Town Hall to provide a new hotel and retain community, publicly-available facilities and Democratic Services, with associated development.(Listed Building Consent)

We do not object in principle to the insertion of a new central block to the Town Hall behind the existing facade and front elevation rooms, nor to a new central entrance, provided that it is done in such a way as to respect the existing facade.

However, we object strongly to the bulk and height of the proposed central addition.  As is acknowledged in the applicant’s views 4a and 4b, the resulting addition would be visible above the existing building in medium- and long-views from the south, which would be unacceptable.  The fact that recently constructed Dickens Yard buildings are also visible above the Town Hall is irrelevant and should not be used as justification.  Any new insertion should be no higher than the existing building and should also not project beyond the existing rear building line as this insertion is planned to do.  We note that there have been minor changes to the elevational treatment of the proposed central addition so that the previous metal cladding would be replaced by ceramic cladding in an attempt to deal with criticisms expressed by ourselves and many others at the consultation stage.  However, we do not consider these changes to be sufficient to address our previous concerns about the design being out of keeping with the remainder of the existing listed building.  It is also clear from submitted view 7a looking south-west that the extension will unacceptably intrude into previously open skyline blocking views of the spire of the listed Christ the Saviour Church.  This would be even more apparent if a viewpoint from further west were chosen.

In addition, we object strongly to the loss of the eastern section of the Victoria Hall which formerly housed the organ and organ chambers – this section forms part of the original construction of the Victoria Hall and contains an important rose window feature which should be revealed in situ in any restoration.

Because of the loss of the conservation officer and the absence of independent conservation expertise within the Council we consider it essential that the planning authority insists upon the applicant funding an independent assessment of the proposed impact of the proposals upon the Grade II listed designated heritage asset.

Various locations

Installation of freestanding ‘InLink’ electronic communications apparatus with digital display screens on two sides (height: 290cm x width: 89cm x depth: 28cm)(following removal of existing telephone call box)(56 Day Prior Notification)

Ealing Civic society objects to these applications for electronic communications apparatus.  Whilst we support the removal of obsolete telephone kiosks, we maintain our objections to any proliferation of unnecessary and unwanted street clutter, especially where the apparatus is to be sited within a Conservation Area.

We draw the attention of planners to the recent High Court judgment upholding the decision of Westminster City Council that this type of equipment serves a dual purpose of communications and advertising and so should not benefit from permitted development rights.  Prior Notification is thus inapplicable and full planning applications should be submitted.  Where existing units are not at the edge of the footway, any replacements proposed should be relocated so that they do not present obstruction to the public.  Advertisement consent should also be sought for each site.

And to the associated advertisement applications:

Ealing Civic Society objects to the granting of advertisement consent for the proposed equipment.  If telecoms equipment is essential, it should not be used a platform for visually intrusive and unasked-for advertising messages.


Construction of part five and part six storey building to provide 34 units consisting of co-living accommodation (House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)) (Use Class Sui Generis) including shared communal areas and kitchens, large communal amenity/social space and an outdoor rooftop terrace on the fifth floor level; provision of 34 covered cycle spaces and refuse / recycling storage area (following demolition of two single storey existing buildings)

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  While we do not object in principle to a building on this site nor the overall planned design of the building, we consider this scheme to be overdevelopment.  Any development should not result in a building that is higher than the adjacent Metro Bank, especially since the site is within the Ealing Town Centre Conservation Area.  In addition, the proposed units would not comply with nationally adopted technical space standards for housing – they would be too small even for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).  Furthermore, since there is no seating area or table space within the units, the planned communal kitchen areas are inadequate in size.  The Council will also wish to note that, because each unit is planned to have its own kitchenette and bathroom, technically, this development would not be an HMO as asserted in the application.

85 Cleveland Road, West Ealing, W13 0HF (190874FUL)

Construction of three storey building comprising nine self-contained residential units (1 x 3 bed, 4 x 2 bed and 4 x studio); and provision of associated parking spaces, cycle and refuse storage, amenity spaces and landscaping (following demolition of the existing two storey dwellinghouse)

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We object to the planned demolition of the existing house – there is no justification for demolishing an apparently well-maintained family home that is perfectly habitable and capable of being refurbished.  However, if the Council is minded to accept the demolition, much more time and thought needs to be put into the design of the replacement building.  We object to the current design proposal which we consider to be unresolved, in particular, with respect to the front elevation.  The over large gables and materials would not be in keeping with the neighbouring properties.  Instead, we would prefer a design that demonstrates an understanding of the surrounding context, for example, that includes rounded bays to match with the adjoining properties and a reduction in the size of the gables.

Goldsmiths Arms, 130 East Acton Lane, Acton, W3 7ER (190949FUL)    ACTON PARK CONSERVATION AREA

Demolition of Public House (Use Class A4) and redevelopment of site to construct a building, 3 to 6 storeys high with part basement to provide 65no. Residential units (100% affordable), 524sqm (Net Internal Area) of flexible Commercial Floorspace (Use Classes A1, A2, A3, A4,D1 [community centre and nursery] and D2 [Gym]) at ground and part basement, with 4 no. car parking spaces, bin stores and cycle parking, new vehicular access on Friars Place Lane and private gardens and landscaping.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We object to the proposed demolition of the existing pub which is a locally listed building and a major contributor to the Acton Park Conservation Area.  In addition, we object to the proposed building, which we consider to be very overbearing, oppressively barrack-like and out of scale within neighbouring properties.  If the Council is minded to approve development of this site, we would prefer a sensitive conversion of the existing building that incorporates community facilities, which the local community have made it clear that they would miss.