Planning

posted in: Planning | 0

architectureThe Society’s Environment Committee comments on all significant planning applications. These are recent responses which we have submitted to the Council from the last 2 committee meetings:

208 Western Avenue, London, W3 6ED (193574FUL)   

Clearance of the existing site with redevelopment to create Co-living accommodation comprising of 264 rooms (Sui Generis), 1,258 sqm of communal multi use space, 157sqm of external terrace areas, with building heights between 2 and 8 storeys; with associated blue badge parking and cycle parking, hard and soft landscaping and public realm enhancements. (Demolition of the existing building)

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We object to the proposed high level of south facing glazing which the applicants acknowledge would lead to overheating.  We consider this to be unsustainable due to the increasingly high summer temperatures in this part of the country.  In addition, we do not consider the proposed accommodation to be adequate for co-living tenancies.  If the Council is minded to approve the application, there should be a condition restricting its use to short-term student lets.  Finally, we raise concerns about the planned use of Corent weathered steel in this context which would leach iron oxide and cause pollution.

 Jupiter, Latham & Westland Courts Site, Seasprite Close, Northolt, UB5 6DZ (193610VAR) 

Application for a Minor Material Amendment (S73a) for the variation of condition 2 (Approved Plans) of planning permission ref: 173805FUL dated 26/02/2018 for: Redevelopment to provide 92 residential units comprising 24 x 1 bedroom flats, 44 x 2 bedroom flats, 1 x 3 bedroom flat, 4 x 3 bedroom maisonettes, 8 x 3 bedroom town houses and 11 x 1 bedroom older persons’ flats in buildings ranging in height from 3 to 8 storeys following the demolition of the existing buildings, with associated car parking, private and communal amenity space, cycle storage, refuse storage, hard and soft landscaping and boundary treatments. Amendment seeks approval for removal of Oriel windows, replaced with Feature Brickwork Surrounds; amended Front Main Communal Entrances to Feature Brickwork, with Polyester Powder Coated metal canopy to communal entrances; removal of tall slim windows to elevations; amended balcony widths and depths; omitted corner balconies; alterations to parapets and made continuous; omitted feature brickwork adjacent kitchen window to ground floor maisonettes; omit feature surrounds to rear communal stairwell entrances (Consultation ends – 26-09-19) (Weekly list – 02-09-19)

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  The reduction in the quality of the elevational treatment that would result from these planned changes would be unacceptable.  We note that this is the latest in a series of ‘minor’ amendments which have reduced the amenity of this development.  We object most strongly to developers using this mechanism to attempt to lower costs of a granted development (especially where it includes affordable accommodation) through lowering the quality of the materials used and reducing amenity space such as balconies.

 Land and buildings to the rear of the Red Lion Public House and 94 High Street, Southall, UB1 3DN (192888FUL)

Redevelopment of the site to provide 150 residential units and 1x ground floor flexible retail/professional services/café or restaurant unit (A1/A2/A3 use classes) accommodated within three residential buildings ranging in height from four to fifteen storeys (inclusive of plant), with associated landscaping and blue badge parking (following demolition of buildings and structures on site)

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  At 15 storeys high, the planned Blocks B and C would be far too high and out of character with the immediate neighbourhood.  They would also impact negatively on the setting of the adjacent Grade II listed Red Lion Public House and locally listed buildings in the locality and would dominate currently open views from Southall Park.  We also raise concerns about the high ratio of one and two bedroom flats planned for this development.  This would contribute to the considerable over supply of one and two bedroom units across the borough instead of increasing the provision of three bedroom units, for which there is much need.  Furthermore, we consider there to be less than sufficient amenity space planned to support the planned 150 residential units.

We object strongly to the proposed demolition of all of the rear building, which is included in the national listing.  Ealing Civic Society notes that the heritage consultant hired by the developer considers that the planned demolition and changes of this development would have less than substantial harm on the neighbouring listed buildings.  We disagree with this view and believe that an independent assessment should be carried out.  This would need to be done by someone with the specialist experience of the borough’s Conservation Area Officer, whose post has recently been made redundant.

 London Borough of Ealing Perceval House, 14-16 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, W5 2HL (193974SCO) 

Request for a Screening Opinion in accordance with Regulation 5 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 2017 in connection with the demolition of existing buildings and phased redevelopment of the site to provide a mixed-use development comprising replacement civic centre with community uses offices (Class B1) of up to 17,500 sqm, library (Class D1) of up to 2550 sqm, flexible office and commercial, non-residential floorspace (Class A1-A3, B1 and D1) of up to 1,600 sqm, below ground ancillary space (plant, car and cycle parking space, etc.), up to 510 dwellings to include 50% affordable homes (Class C3) including a residential tower of up to 28 storeys, replacement of existing electricity sub-station, associated landscape and public realm works and provision of new pedestrian and vehicle access.

ECS responded

Ealing Civic Society considers an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be essential for this development.  This is because the height, density, massing and proposed uses of the planned development would have a very significant impact on all aspects of its local environment.

 Crystal House, 54 The Broadway, Ealing, W5 5JN EALING TOWN CENTRE CA   (193434FUL)   

Changes to the existing glazing, cladding and entrance on the front elevation and replacement windows and new door on the rear at Crystal House.

ECS commented on this application

While Ealing Civic Society regrets the loss of the faceted glass, which was typical of the 1980s elevations, and its replacement with plain glazing; we welcome the retention of the basic structure of the building and its continued use as offices.  We also welcome removal of the ugly front glazed canopy feature which has aged badly.

 38-39 The Broadway, Ealing, W5 2NP (193521FUL)     EALING TOWN CENTRE CA  

Change of use from an estate agents (Use Class A2) into a restaurant/drinking establishment (Mixed Use Class A3/A4) and associated external alterations and creation of an outdoor seating terrace.

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to the proposed change of use of this unit from A2 to A3/A4.  We oppose the expansion of licensed premises in Central Ealing, in line with policies set out in the Central Ealing Neighbourhood Plan.  Contrary to the assertion made by the applicants, there are already three licensed premises within 100 metres of this location – two pubs, the Shanakee to the north and North Star to the south, and Cavalieri cocktail bar to the south east.  A further premises would create an unacceptable concentration.  Furthermore, the proposal, with outdoor pavement seating, would affect the amenity of the recently-developed residential accommodation opposite the site (above Metro bank) through disturbance.  This proposed pavement seating is also unacceptable in this very busy stretch of the footway with high footfall, and is contrary to the Council’s promotion of pedestrian use of this area.  We also wish to ensure that both the clock and curved Crittall windows and door behind the plate glass at first floor level, both characteristic Art Deco features of this building, should be retained in any conversion of the premises.

Should, however, the Council be minded to grant this application, then it should be with these conditions: The clock to be restored to working order; retention of the curved Crittall window/door; no use of the footway as part of the premises or, if this cannot be prevented (eg because it is in private ownership), then any use of the space should cease no later than 10.30 pm on any night for the amenity of neighbouring residential properties.

12 Warple Mews, Acton, W3 0RF (193410FUL)   

Construction of 3 extra floors and mansard roof; conversion of the building into 9 self contained flats

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application, which would result in overdevelopment.  Since we do not consider that the area occupied by the chimney could be considered to be usable space, all of the planned flats would be below the minimum required areas in the London Plan’s space standards.  Nevertheless, we commend the retention of this heritage chimney and suggest redesignation of the flats as studios/single occupancy to overcome the space shortfalls.

Furthermore, the proposed additional 3 storeys would render this building considerably higher than its immediate neighbours, making it disproportionate in height and appearance.  In addition, the outlook from the ground floor flat would be unacceptable because of the planned lack of external windows.

Friary Park Estate, The Drive, Joseph Avenue, Sparks Close & Friary Road, Acton, W3 6NL (193424HYBRID)   

Hybrid planning application for phased demolition of all existing buildings and structures and all site preparation works mixed-use phased development ranging from 3 – 24 storeys above ground level and associated basements comprising up to 990 residential units and up to 1,459 sqm (GIA) of non-residential floorspace, including 1,019 sqm (GIA) of flexible commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1-A5, B1 and D1-D2), and up to 440 sqm (GIA) of community floorspace (Use Class D1); landscaping; removal and replacement of trees; public realm improvements; access alterations; car & cycle parking; and other highway works incidental to the development.

Outline planning permission for phased demolition of all existing buildings and structures, all site preparation works and redevelopment to provide new buildings ranging in height from 40.60m AOD to 106.47m AOD with up to 54,906 sqm (GIA) of total floorspace; up to 490 homes (Use Class C3); up to 440 sqm (GIA) of community (Use Class D1) floorspace; cycle and vehicle parking; highway and access improvements; and landscape and public realm improvements associated with those blocks.

Full planning permission for phased demolition of all existing buildings and structures and all site preparation works and Blocks A, B, G, and H which range from 3 to 24 storeys in height and comprise 500 homes (Use Class C3); 1,019 sqm (GIA) of flexible commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1-A5, B1 and D1-D2); energy centre; cycle and vehicle parking; highway and access improvements; and landscape and public realm improvements associated with those blocks.

An Environmental Statement has been submitted with the application under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, as amended..

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  While we note that much thought and discussion with the Council has gone into this application, we consider the proposal to be overdevelopment for this site.  The considerable bulk, scale and massing planned would be an inappropriate replacement for the existing low-level residential accommodation.  If the Council is minded to approve a development of this type in this location, we consider that significant reduction is needed from the planned 24 storeys In height.  Much more readily available green amenity space for future residents would also be needed.

 48 Mount Park Road, Ealing, W5 2RU (190853HH)     MONTPELIER PARK CA

Single storey rear extension, rear extension at basement level; single storey side extension; rebuild the front boundary wall, new gate to the driveway and pedestrian gate to the side, with associated landscaping; adjustments to some existing windows to side and rear elevations (following demolition of existing rear conservatory and covered side stairway access)

A revised drawing was published on the Council website on 7th August.

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society notes the changes made to this application, but still has concerns about the extent of the proposed works adjacent to the Grade II listed number 46.  The planned replacement roof light should be of conservation area standard and also positioned so that it is centrally aligned with the window and door of the main house below.  We note that the revised drawings for this application indicate a reduction in height of the rear extension, which we welcome.  However, the planned ground floor fenestration, to which we object, still remains out of keeping with the original house.  We reiterate our previous comments about the need for a detailed construction method statement that would be required to be submitted and agreed before any work begins.  This would be to reduce the risk of damage to 46 Mount Park Road during any basement excavation works.

 Site of A J Spares, Derwent Road, Ealing, W5 4TN (193159FUL)    

Construction of 4 storey, part 2 storey, building to include 9 self-contained flats (Use Class C3) and a roof winter garden; Excavation to provide basement level to be use as office/storage ( Mixed Use Class B1/B8). (Following demolition of existing building)

Since our initial objection to this application, we heard and read in ‘Ealing Today’ that the  building has been reduced to 3 storeys in height.  No revised plans were available, so we have been unable to comment furtherThe application has now been withdrawn.

 42 Madeley Road, Ealing, W5 2LH (193374FUL)

Construction of three, two storey three-bedroom dwellinghouses; and provision of associated pedestrian access, cycle and refuse storage, amenity space, landscaping and boundary treatment

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application, which would result in overdevelopment of what is effectively a greenfield site of significant amenity value.  The site also includes a number of protected trees, some of which would need to be removed, to which we object.  Although by making the development car free the developer has overcome previous objections to the restricted vehicular access to the site, this would pose considerable practical problems for residents, especially when moving furniture and other large items in and out of their properties.  In addition, the proposed design would be out of keeping with the neighbouring Victorian houses and the Grade II listed Art Deco Ealing Village.

 Kenmure Mansions, 111-153 Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, W5 1RJ (193235FUL)  

The retention of the existing parade and construction of two additional floors of residential accommodation to provide 44 x residential units comprising 13 x 1 beds; 18 x 2 beds and 13 x 3 and also improvements to the existing building, its front and rear accesses and immediate adjacent land.

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  The planned development would be too high and would result in an imbalance between the two sides of the street.  We note that in pre-application discussions, the Council commented that the proposal had the potential to harm the streetscape of Pitshanger Lane due to its increase in height and bulk and the unbalancing of the two sides of the street – the addition of a further floor to the existing building ‘would elevate it even higher above the terrace on the northern side of Pitshanger Lane, further unbalancing the relationship of the street’.  This has not been addressed.  At the rear, it was considered that two additional floors were excessive and would be out of keeping with the character of the building. The applicant’s response has been to revise the rear elevation to provide for the second additional floor within a mansard-type roof profile, which is an improvement in terms of design but barely reduces the bulk and massing which will dominate the houses to the south.  Overlooking issues to the properties in Glencairn Drive would remain despite the removal of earlier proposed balconies.

It is acknowledged in the planning statement that the surrounding area is predominantly suburban, yet the applicant goes on to justify the excessive density of the proposals by stating that this particular site, being located on a primary shopping frontage, could be considered as urban.  We disagree – the nature and scale of the area is comprehensively suburban and the proposals represent over-densification.

The proposals include insufficient affordable accommodation.  The accommodation schedule identifies the mix of units as 13 x 1 bed, 18 x 2 beds, 13 x 3 bed, total 44.  The affordable provision is just 9 units (20%) comprising 4 x 1 bed, 2 x 2 bed and 3 x 3 bed.  This provision is below the acceptable thresholds of 35/50% deemed to be required by the London Plan/LBE.  Additionally, the planning statement confirms that the Council has identified a shortage of 3 bedroom affordable housing units and generally requires 50% of all affordable housing to consist of 1/2 bedroom units and 50% to be three or more bed units.  This requirement is not met.

In addition, there is no new amenity space planned and arrangements for the storage and collection of rubbish and recycling are insufficient.  Finally, we note that no on-site parking provision is proposed.  Facilities for resident and shopper parking are under pressure in this area, where no CPZ currently exists, and additional residents would exacerbate this.  Significant cycle parking is proposed, the requirement being met by suggesting 48 of the necessary spaces be provided through on-street cycle stands/racks.  These will create street clutter, appear to take up some of the very necessary shopper parking provision on this vibrant high street and would also impede servicing of the retail units, which is largely carried out from the street.

This application should be refused in its current form.

 Clergy House, 27 The Grove, Ealing, W5 5DX (181499LBC and 181284FUL)    EALING TOWN CENTRE CA

Reconfiguration of existing building to accommodate three additional residential units and associated internal and external alterations)

The applicants have lodged an appeal against the Council’s non-determination of this application with the Planning Inspectorate.  We submitted further comments to the inspectorate in support of our earlier objection.

We have long taken an interest in the Clergy House which was listed Grade II (entry number 1417370) following an approach from us to the then English Heritage to assess the building for listing not only due to its external appearance but also for the almost unaltered interior, and in particular the unique Oratory on the second floor which was still in regular use by the then incumbent. We were therefore gratified that it was listed for its historical interest, interior fixtures and fittings and intactness of these arts and crafts features.

Our original comments on this planning application were submitted to Ealing Council in April 2017. These are set out below. This followed an earlier application (subsequently withdrawn) submitted by the applicant following unauthorised changes to the interior of the listed building. Revised documents were subsequently submitted by the applicant (but regrettably not notified to us by the Council) and placed on the website on January 2019. These documents record by means of annotation in blue type on the plans that amendments were made to the application following a site meeting with the conservation and planning officers on an undisclosed date. There has been no further consultation with the Society nor, as far as we are aware, the Ealing Town Centre conservation area advisory panel. We note that the Council has failed to determine the application in the meantime. We understand that informal advice was submitted to the planning officer by the conservation officer (presumably before the highly regrettable cancellation by the Council of her post from the middle of 2018) but, despite our recent request to see it in the light of the appeal notification, this advice has not been made publicly available. We consider that the inspector should insist upon seeing this advice before reaching a decision on this case and if necessary seek additional specialist advice from Historic England.

It is very difficult given the limited information available to us on the revised plans, and not having had access to the site in the meantime, to be able to give meaningful comments on them. Therefore, our earlier comments stand.

“Ealing Civic Society notes that a much more detailed listed building assessment has been provided in this revised application in contrast to the earlier withdrawn application. This suggests that far greater attention has been given to the historic elements of this important designated heritage asset. However, we regret the loss of the Oratory on the 2nd floor which the alterations would entail. We request that the Council Conservation Officer pays particular attention to this area of the building to ensure that its special features are preserved. In addition, we recommend that public access is made available to the former men’s social club within the building. Overall, we consider that a written opinion of the proposals should be obtained from the Conservation Officer following discussion about the application with representatives from Ealing Civic Society and the Ealing Green Conservation Panel.”

 Perceval House community engagement exercise

ECS responded

“Ealing Civic Society endorses the views already passed to you by SEC following the recent meetings at which your team provided outline proposals for the Perceval House redevelopment project.  We would like to highlight briefly some areas of particular concern to the Society:

  • The quantum of development planned for the site and, in particular, the proposed 26 storey tower block which will be completely overbearing on the low rise traditional housing to the north of the site and the nearby Grade II listed Ealing Town Hall
  • We strongly recommend serious consideration is given to relocation of the library and customer services areas to the ground floor of the proposed office block, given the current difficulties in letting commercial and retail space
  • We would like to see the Uxbridge Road frontage of the block set back to continue the ‘boulevard’ feature of the office quarter
  • We will also be particularly interested to see detailed designs, plans, elevations and materials when these are available”