Our planning work

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Architecture

Over the last few months our Environment Committee has considered and commented on a large number of planning applications in the Borough. This is a summary of some of their work.

Pitzhanger Manor House & Gallery, Mattock Lane, W5 5EQ (200735ADV)

Display of two external banners (3000mm x 750mm), and three railing mounted tray signs (Advertisement Consent)

ECS objected to this advertisement application at PMG in the Ealing Green Conservation Area.  Sadly, the objections of ourselves and the Conservation Area panel were ignored and the application has been approved.

Ealing Civic Society strongly objects to this application.  We consider the proposed external banners and railing mounted tray signs to be totally inappropriate on this site.  The banners would be far too large and dominant, of unsuitable design and they would obscure the stonework and windows of the restored Gallery.  The two tray signs attached to the railings to the front of the Grade I listed Manor House are also excessively large and of a design unsympathetic to the building.  There has always been a presumption against attachment of any signage to the railings which are an integral part of the Manor House setting.  The proposed signage to the railings in front of Soane’s Kitchen is similarly unacceptable by virtue of its size, appearance and position on railings again within the curtilage of the Manor House.  There is already internal signage to the restaurant.  If greater visibility is required, some adjustment to this to make it more apparent may be acceptable.

The Council should also note that the applicant claims in the application form to have consulted Ealing Civic Society prior to the application being submitted.  This was not the case.  While we were informed of the intention to submit this application, no details were made available and no discussions have taken place either before the application was submitted nor since.  This application should be refused.

178 Church Road W7 3BP (201141FUL)

Construction of a two storey building, with habitable loft space, to include 6 self-contained flats and construction of a single storey building, with habitable loft space, to include 2 self-contained flats (8 flats total); Provision associated communal garden area, parking, landscaping, refuse storage. (following demolition of existing building)

ECS objected to this application in the Hanwell Green Conservation Area.  We are particularly concerned about the potential loss of a significant Arts and Crafts property, purely for commercial gain and we submitted a longer than usual objection.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  Please note that, based on the developer’s submitted plans, the summary description of the proposal is incorrect. The plans show a pair of semi-detached houses at the rear (rather than two additional flats).

We object strongly to the proposed demolition of this highly unusual Voysey-style Arts and Crafts property dating from 1912 within the Hanwell Village Green Conservation Area.  In addition to being carefully designed and highly attractive, the building is characterised by a number of features that show it is a very rare transition between the Arts and Crafts and 1930s British Modern movements.  Furthermore it is in largely original and well preserved condition which makes it all the more valuable historically and architecturally with key features such as an inglenook fireplace in the main reception room, exposed beams in the reception room, dining room and hall, and original fireplaces elsewhere.

Existing house

The document submitted as a ‘Heritage Statement’ acknowledges that the house is a positive unlisted building, ‘that positively contributes to the conservation area’s special character and that demolition of this building may be considered to constitute substantial harm to the conservation area.’  However it then goes on to completely misrepresent the building in respect of its appearance, condition, complexity of design and significance to the extent that it seems the report bears no relation to the house itself.  This is an absurd contradiction, particularly given the Conservation Area appraisal document which makes it clear that the building is a positive contributor to the street scene and an undesignated heritage asset within the designated heritage asset of the conservation area.

This judgment, made by an unbiased and independent heritage consultancy (the Conservation Studio) which drew up the CA appraisal in 2008, has been endorsed by the Council, so it is a matter of record that the building does make an important contribution to the character and appearance of the street scene. Paradoxically, the detailed description of the house provided on pages 24-30 of the assessment makes extensive references to the unique character of the building but then concludes that it has no value or architectural merit.

Furthermore the Heritage Statement, despite its 70 pages, has no information regarding the history of the building.  Nor is there any mention or discussion of the interior and a complete absence of photographs of the interior, which has some very unusual and interesting features.  The only conclusion can be that it was prepared without even entering the building or undertaking any historical research directly related to it.  We regard this as being unprofessional and as a result it discredits the report as a whole.

It is clear that the Heritage Statement is neither professionally produced (and notable is the absence of any statement of credentials or qualifications for the author) nor impartial, but instead has been prepared with the apparent purpose of justifying the developer’s plans for demolition and redevelopment.  We suggest that no credence should therefore be given to its conclusions. Instead, the Council should be seeking its own independent advice on the merits of the existing building in the highly regrettable absence of a conservation officer.

The accompanying Planning Statement prepared by Savills states (para 4.4, p10):

‘The existing building on the site comprises a small two storey detached property … sits on its own within an area that is predominantly occupied by small groups of houses mostly consisting of semi-detached pairs or detached properties. In our view, the demolition of the existing two storey dwelling is considered to be acceptable. Whilst the building does provide some charm to the street, arguably, the site represents a clear beginning in the streetscene, and is at odds with the established buildings located on Church Road.’

This is again at odds with the assessment within the Conservation Area Appraisal document which acknowledges the property makes a positive contribution to the character of the conservation area (see page 16).  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 Society considers, given the complete unacceptability of the loss of the existing building, that there is no merit in discussing its replacement.  However the proposed rear buildings would be unacceptable in principle, even if they did not necessitate the demolition of a highly important contributor to the Conservation Area, since they would impinge on the open aspect to the rear of the property which is an important contributor to the open character of the Hanwell Village Green Conservation Area.

Trees

The planned removal of all trees and hedging on the site, including some category A and B trees, on the stated (but unlikely) basis that these trees are immature and of poor quality is also unacceptable, and contravenes para 5.4(4) (page 11) of the Management Plan which states:

‘The removal of mature trees, unless dead, should not be permitted in order to create hardstandings.’

Furthermore, the encroachment on the Root Protection Area (RPA) of significant mature trees on the adjacent plot potentially endangers these trees. The Arboriculture Report states (para 10.2) that ‘there will be encroachment within the RPA of three offsite trees in order to create the new access and patio area.’ It is proposed to cover greater than 20% of currently unsurfaced RPA with hard surfaces (using a ‘no dig’ cellular confinement system), contrary to BS5837 (para 10.3). The statements in para 10.3.1 that ‘healthy trees usually (our bold) remain in good condition’ and ‘this method of construction rarely (our bold) results in a deterioration of the condition of the affected tree’ offer no assurance that the trees will be unaffected by this excessive encroachment.

New build

In relation to the proposed development, the applicant’s agents fail to cite which part of the Conservation Area Management Plan is being followed in order to justify the design. In the absence of any other explanation, we assume that the applicant is relying upon the provision in paragraph 4.1 (5) (page 6) of the Management Plan which states:

‘5) The Council will not dictate on the choice of architectural styles of any proposed new buildings, extensions or alterations but the position may be simply put as follows:

OR

  • Contemporary and Modernist styles are entirely acceptable if they are high in quality and provided that they remain sympathetic in the context and towards the host building and/or other neighbouring buildings
  • Replicas of good, older buildings may be preferred provided that they are properly researched and high in quality. The design, scale, massing and detailing of such Traditionalist schemes should accurately replicate the contextual, local materials.’

The provision within the first bullet point is not relevant and the condition in the second bullet point is clearly not met by the Victorian pastiche design envisaged for the front flatted property nor by the more modern appearance of the semi-detached dwellings proposed in the rear tandem development.

By way of detail, we strongly object to the planned design of the front building.  In particular, we object to the inappropriate rooflight planned for the front roof slope which, even if of conservation style, would be unsightly.  In addition, we object to the proposed front balcony which would not be in keeping with the character of properties in the area.  Furthermore, we object to the planned use of aluminium window frames, the excessive expanses of glass to the rear fenestration and the four dormer windows in the proposed rear buildings.  In summary, the proposed buildings would neither preserve nor enhance the Conservation Area with the alleged benefits not outweighing the substantial harm that would result from the proposals, if implemented.

Garden spaces

The stretch of Church Road which includes no 178, according to the CA Appraisal (page 13, paragraph 3) “is included in the CA for its fine landscaped setting adjoining the open spaces to the north and west”.  The proposed plans show the whole of the front garden to be laid out as a car park, with no green landscaping, for the proposed flats, and we consider this entirely inappropriate for the character of this Conservation area.

Further characterisation in the CA Appraisal states (page 13) that “The green and leafy character of this part of the CA is reinforced by the planted frontages, comprising hedges and specimen trees; the open green spaces; the street trees (albeit sporadic); and the spacious plots and rear gardens of the residential properties;”.  The proposed plans show the replacement of the spacious rear garden with a pair of semi-detached houses with minimum assigned gardens.  Again this would diminish the character of the CA.

Should officers be minded to recommend approval, despite the substantial harm that would be done to the Conservation Area and the many objections, given the significance of the application it should be referred to a Planning Committee for determination rather than being decided under delegated powers.

Fern Bank, 2A Golden Manor, W7 3EE (200106VAR)

Application for a Minor Material Amendment (S73a) to vary condition 2 (Approved Plans) of planning permission ref: 193811VAR dated 11/11/2019 for: Minor material amendment (S.73) to vary conditions no.2 (Approved Plans), no.3 (Parking Spaces), no.4 (Refuse Storage), no.5 (Cycle Storage) and no.8 (Scheme of Landscaping) pursuant to planning permission reference 185210VAR dated 04/01/2019 for’ Application for Minor Material Amendment (S.73 Application) for the variation of Condition 2 (Approved Drawings), Condition 3 (Car Parking), Condition 4 (Refuse) and Condition 5 (Cycle storage) of Planning Permission ref: 172082VAR, granted on appeal Ref: APP/A5270/W/17/3191628 dated 25/04/2018, for ‘Application for Minor Material Amendment (S73) / Variation of condition 2 (approved drawings) of planning permission ref. PP/2014/6371, granted on appeal ref. APP/A5270/W/16/3162325 dated 31/01/2017 for Replacement of a two storey, with habitable loft, detached dwelling house with associated access, refuse storage, cycle storage and landscaping including formation of hard standing; basement with rear and front light’. Amendment includes the addition of two lightwells to the side elevations, increase in size of rear lightwells, repositioning of the building in respect of boundary with 2 Golden Manor by 41cm and changed to wording of conditions 3, 4 ,5 and 8. Variation seeks approval for changes to a position of bay windows; an increase in a height of the dwelling; and addition of dome shaped rooflight at roof level

ECS objected to this application in the Hanwell Village Green Conservation Area, which has been the subject of repeated retrospective applications

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  The bay windows outlined in the application would be considerably wider and deeper than those of properties across the road.  This would render the building out of keeping with its neighbours which would be inappropriate in the Hanwell Green Conservation Area in which it sits.  In addition, these larger bay windows would impact negatively on the privacy of 2 Golden Manor.  The as-built roof dome is not only a retrospective addition, but is not as shown in the submitted plans, which indicate a conventional roof light.  The high visibility of the planned roof dome from the street and surrounding properties (including the Grade I listed Wharncliffe Viaduct) would also contribute to the resulting building being out of keeping within the Conservation Area.  If a roof light is required for building regulations compliance, which we cannot confirm, then this should be of a flush horizontal conservation type.

Overall, we object most strongly to the applicant’s approach of making a number of retrospective variation applications following unapproved incremental development of the site.  We would remind the Council that the original application and the first such amendment were initially refused and only granted on appeal.  It is clearly the case that had the full extent of the development been disclosed at the start, this would have been found unacceptable and refused.  The Council should not endorse this abuse of planning regulations.  For these reasons, this latest application should be refused and the applicant required to return the building to the approved dimensions and layout.

Land To The Rear Of Tesco Superstore, The Hoover Building, Western Avenue, UB6 8DW (200534FUL)

Construction of a part 16-storey, part 15-storey and part 10-storey residential building to accommodate 278 residential units with additional ancillary communal multi-use space, basement vehicle parking, refuse and cycles stores, landscaping and associated works including alterations to existing car park and access (following demolition of petrol filling station) and installation of substation

ECS objected to this revised application for this sensitive location

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We applaud the reduction in height of the building since the previous application, which addresses the development’s impact on the view from directly in front of the Hoover building. .  However, the proposed blocks in this application would still be highly visible from other viewpoints, such as the surrounding low level streets and several open spaces.  They would also adversely affect the neighbourhood roofscape and skyline.  Overall, the proposals would have an unacceptable impact on their suburban scale surroundings.  We note the slight uplift in the number of dual aspect flats, but consider that the proportion with single aspect (now 48%) remains too low.

59 Eaton Rise, W5 2HE (200472VAR)

Application for a Minor Material Amendment (S73a) to vary condition 2 (Approved Drawings) of planning permission ref: 184748FUL dated 01/10/2019 for: Conversion of building from two self-contained flats into seven self-contained flats; three storey rear extension with basement level excavation, single storey rear extension and three storey side infill extension; two dormer windows to the front facing roofslope and two dormer windows to the rear facing roofslope; three rooflights to the front facing roofslope; single storey outbuilding to the rear garden for cycle and refuse storage, rear side access, and associated external elevation works and boundary treatment. Amendment seeks internal modifications to Apartments 2 and 7 to increase number of bedrooms from 2 to 3; additional basement and private terrace to Apartment 1 to increase number of bedrooms from 1 to 3

ECS objected to this application in the Mount Park Conservation Area, where an alleged minor amendment was proposed to an already over-developed site.  The application has since been refused

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We do not deem the application for a basement to be a minor amendment.  Excavation of the additional basement would risk impacting upon the stability of both the property at number 59 and also neighbouring number 57.  As we commented in our response to the original application, we consider the consented scheme to already constitute overdevelopment that would result in a building that is overbearing upon existing properties.  While the Design & Access Statement of this application is technically correct in that no new extensions have been created beyond those already approved, in practice, the new private terrace to apartment 1 would result in a decrease in useable communal area in the garden.  This would result in more than half of the total plot having been developed, which is not permitted.  The proposed terrace would also be overlooked by the balcony of apartment 2, presenting unacceptable privacy issues.  For these reasons, this application should be refused.

R/O 17 Mount Park Road, W5 2RP (201021FUL)

Construction of single storey detached dwellinghouse with basement level and associated car parking, cycle parking, landscaping and refuse storage (following demolition of existing garage)

ECS objected to this application for back garden development

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We note that this is the latest in numerous applications attempting to develop to this small back garden site which go back to 2003.  Although not all the earlier documents are available to view online, it is clear that all the applications envisage demolition of the existing garage on the site which has been carved out of the rear garden of 17 Mount Park Road and its replacement with a very small dwelling with or without a basement.  We note that a refused application in 2012 was dismissed on appeal.  We also note that a similar application last year to the existing was withdrawn, presumably on the advice of officers who had indicated that it was likely to be refused.

The latest application differs from the earlier ones in respect of the size and style of the proposed dwelling but would essentially deliver much the same very limited accommodation on a highly restricted site.

Dawley House, 91-95 Uxbridge Road, W5 5TH (201022FUL)

Construction of a 12 storey, part 11 storey, part 10 storey and part 5 storey, Hotel (Use Class C1) and provision of associated facilities and landscaping works. (Following the demolition of existing building)

ECS objected to this application for another large but bland hotel along Uxbridge Road

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We regret that the previously consented art deco style of design has been superseded by a much less imaginative design of considerably greater volume.  We object strongly to the proposed bulk and massing which, again, is less acceptable to that of the consented scheme and would appear very intrusive in the streetscape. It would also appear unacceptably intrusive from the rear gardens of Mattock Lane which are in the Ealing Green CA.

First Floor Offices, 10-12 South Road, UB1 1RT (200297FUL)

Conversion of existing offices at first floor level into six self-contained residential units; construction of a second floor over main building incorporating six dormer windows in a front elevation; first and second floor rear extension; associated internal and external alterations; provision of amenity space, parking and cycle spaces, and refuse/recycling storage

ECS objected to this application, which proposed unsafe and substandard housing

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  The plans would result in a development that would not be compliant with building regulations.  The proposed access to bedrooms and bathrooms via kitchens and dining areas is not permitted.  In addition, the planned lack of suitable fire escapes would result in an unsafe building.   We also consider that, in the absence of a design & access statement, there is insufficient detail on the design.  In conclusion, this application should be refused.

Land South of 80-92 High Street, UB1 3DG (200471FUL)

Redevelopment of the site to provide 125 residential units (100% affordable housing) accommodated within two residential buildings ranging in height from four to twelve storeys with shared first floor podium, associated landscaping and amenity spaces and the provision of public parking for 76 car spaces (following demolition of buildings and structures on site)

ECS objected to this application to develop the site of the historic Southall Horse Market

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  While we do not object in principle to the development of this site, we consider that the planned twelve storeys would be too high.  This would result in a building that would be out of keeping with its surrounding area.  We applaud the proposal for 100% affordable housing.  However, we remind the Council that this was previously the site of the Southall Horse Market.  As such, it is of historic interest and should be recorded and remembered.  Therefore, if the Council is minded to approve this application, we request that Section 106 funding be set aside to commission a civic art work/interpretation panel in commemoration.

19-23 Berrymede Road, W4 5JE (200549FUL)

Construction of a three storey residential building with lower ground floor level comprising 17 residential units (4 x studio, 10 x 1 bed and 3 x 2 bed); and provision of associated landscaping and amenity space, car parking space, refuse and cycle storage

ECS objected to this application

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds of overdevelopment. There are far too many units planned for this site, a significant number of which would barely meet the nationally described space standards.  In addition, in contravention to Ealing Council policy, 16 of the 17 units would be single aspect with 8 of these facing north.  Furthermore, we object to the planned mix of units which, as predominantly studio and one-bedroom flats, would not satisfy the urgent need for more family homes in Ealing.  We also object most strongly to there being no planned affordable contribution to this scheme – contrary to the applicant’s claim, selling properties on the open market would not render them ‘affordable’.

Natwest Bank PLC, 1 The Mall, W5 2QF (201237FUL)

Shopfront alterations

ECS made no comment on this application proposing reinstatement of fenestration and stonework on this listed building on removal of an ATM, seen as an improvement.

Land To The North of Central Middlesex Hospital, NW10 7NS (201538OPDCOB)

Redevelopment of the site to provide 158 affordable residential units (Class C3) in buildings up to 15 storeys in height and flexible B1/D1/D2 use in the Old Refectory Building, with associated cycle parking, playspace, landscaping and public realm improvements

ECS objected to this application in the OPDC area

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We can accept the principle for residential development on this site and we welcome the planned allocation of affordable accommodation.  However, we share the concerns of the Community Review Panel and the Design Review Panel about the proposed 15-storey block.  The Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) highlights that the proximity of this tall block would impact a number of Ealing Conservation Areas.  While the HIA considers, for example, that the impact on the Hanger Hill (Haymills Estate) Conservation Area and Grade II listed Park Royal Station would not be significant, we take the view that the proposed 15-storey block would potentially have a negative impact on both.  We consider that this impact would be ameliorated if the height of the proposed block A were reduced – the height should not exceed the nearby existing 10-storey Luma block.

We applaud the planned retention, restoration and repurposing of the soon-to-be locally listed refectory.  Nevertheless, the overall design of the scheme would result in surrounding buildings that would create a sense of oppression in relation to the low-rise refectory. We have noted the proposed landscaped central courtyard, helping to address the acknowledged open space deficiency in the area.  However, given the significant numbers of residents in the proposed new scheme, this would only be a small contribution and the deficiency would remain.  The submitted daylight and shadowing report acknowledges that there will be notable adverse shadowing effects compared with the existing, and that the effects on in particular the existing Aurora House would exceed BRE guidelines.  As well as the impact on existing accommodation, the proposed central courtyard would also be overshadowed particularly during the mid- to late afternoon. It is therefore evident that the height of block A is unacceptable and should be reduced to address these issues.

Bollo Lane development

We provided comments on these pre-application proposals for a mixed use residential led development alongside the Piccadilly Line to the south of Acton Town station.  We will review the planning application when submitted

As we indicated at the first exhibition for this development, this scheme must respect the height of its surroundings, in particular, the Grade II listed Acton Town Station and the adjacent Victorian sub-station.  No block should be taller than those opposite it on Bollo Lane or on adjacent sites.  The detailed proposals now put forward do not do this.  The blocks adjacent to the station and sub-station buildings should be slightly reduced and we have particular concerns about the planned southernmost blocks of 18 and 25 storeys, which would far exceed the height of any of the surrounding buildings, including those in Chiswick Business Park.  These blocks are likely to be visible from points within Bedford Park Conservation Area, which would be unacceptable.