Our recent planning responses

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In this report, we cover our responses to new planning applications considered over the past four months and our responses to yet more pre-application ‘consultations’, together with some updates on ‘old favourites’.  Readers will note that the volume of applications does not reduce and reviewing and responding to these is a major part of the Society’s work, undertaken by just the seven members forming the environment committee.  On the positive side, some of the applications to which we objected have been modified, withdrawn or refused, but this is the outcome for too few and many in our view damaging proposals are granted planning approval.  We must continue to keep up the pressure in support of our strapline ‘Working to preserve and improve our borough’.

Application responses

The Transport Yard Wood End Gardens, UB5 4QH

Outline planning application for the erection of three residential blocks ranging in height from 4 to 9 storeys to provide 149 homes; alterations to existing vehicular access and new pedestrian access from Wood End Gardens with basement level car parking, car club, cycle parking, refuse storage, service areas and associated communal amenity space and landscaping (All details of access, appearance, layout, scale considered and landscaping matters reserved)

We objected to this outline application for an increase to the consented residential scheme in this location and advised the local residents’ association on matters they could raise in objection.  The revised scheme has attracted 90 objections; the application was referred to the planning committee for determination with a recommendation to approve.  The committee approved the application.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We consider that the proposed increase in height of the previously consented blocks would render the development significantly out of keeping with the character of the surrounding area, which comprises predominantly low-rise traditional housing.  In addition, because the site has poor connectivity in terms of public transport (PTAL rating 2), there would likely be a reliance of residents on cars.  The proposed increase in the number of units would exacerbate the car impact, especially for those already living on the residential road, Wood End Gardens, which would provide the only access road to the development.  Furthermore, increasing the residential units in the scheme would place further strain on local amenities (e.g. doctors’ surgeries and schools) the provision for which was already minimal for the consented application for the site.

Spruce Court/ Bay Court Popes Lane W5 4AZ/W5 4NE

Construction of third and fourth floors to accommodate 21 self-contained residential units 21 Self-Contained Flats. (Prior Approval Application, under Part 20, Class A

We objected to this application to add two storeys to each of two three-storey blocks of flats under permitted development rules.  The application attracted a very high level of objection and have been refused on the grounds that the proposals do not meet the criteria for approval under the regulations used.  A full application for the proposed works could now be made but given the several detailed reasons for refusal, we would expect this to have to be in a significantly modified form.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We consider the proposed design of the roofs to be insensitive and unsympathetic to the architecture of the existing buildings, adjacent Gunnersbury Park Conservation Area and wider surrounding area.  The proposed removal of the pitched roofs and replacement with a more block like appearance would be out of character with the roofs of neighbouring properties.  The proposed zinc cladding would also be out of keeping and should not be used, despite its quality of being lighter than more traditional materials.  In addition, although we welcome provision for bicycles, not currently present, we consider that the planned 120 bicycle racks would be excessive and not justify the loss of garden space outlined in the application.  Furthermore, we suggest that an application for an additional 21 units should be treated as any new-build application and require the provision of an appropriate number of affordable units, which do not appear to be proposed here.

Land Comprising Public Car Park, Business Premises, Roads And Adjacent Land Lying To The North West And Rear Of The Green And Adjoining Featherstone Terrace, Dominion Road And Dilloway Yard, UB2

Demolition and mixed-use redevelopment (phased) to provide 3 urban blocks comprising residential units (Use Class C3), flexible commercial, employment and community floorspace (Use Classes E, F1 and F2), private and public car parking, servicing bays, public realm and associated landscaping, play and amenity space, plant and refuse areas, and access arrangements (Regulation 3 Application by Peabody Developments Limited and the London Borough of Ealing).

The proposals comprise a Major Development that may be likely to affect the character or setting of a listed building or a Conservation Area.

We objected to this proposed major development of tall towers in Southall that attracted over 100 objections.  The application has, however, been approved.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds of overdevelopment, poor design and insufficient recognition of local heritage assets.

The proposed towers of up to 19 storeys would appear overbearing and out-of-scale with the immediately local environment and their closely packed formation would impose a sense of enclosure within the site.  The designs of the blocks are unimaginative and unattractive, with the mix of materials contributing to a lack of coherence rather than attractive variation.

As noted in the planning statement (paragraph 2.9), the site includes the local heritage asset of a former stable/coach station used as a substation.  Demolition of this building is proposed and justified by suggesting that the building has some alterations, is not readily accessible and its demolition is necessary for the redevelopment.  No consideration appears to have been given to an alternative design incorporating a sensitive renovation and re-use of the building.  The fate of the locally listed cattle trough at 55 The Green is unclear and this should be retained and incorporated into the landscape as a feature.

32 Madeley Road, W5 2LH

Construction of a two-storey residential building, excavation of a basement and accommodation in the roofspace, comprising of eight self-contained residential units, with associated private amenity space, cycle parking and refuse/recycling provision; installation of hard and soft landscaping to front and rear of property; alteration to boundary wall, following demolition of existing property

We objected to this entirely unjustified proposal to demolish (rather than renovate) a Victorian house adjacent to the Ealing Cricket Ground Conservation Area.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects most strongly to the proposed demolition of this late Victorian house dating from around 1900 for a number of reasons. First, despite the disparaging comments in the D&A statement: “Whilst there are elements of architectural interest in the existing building, no in-principle constraints prevent its demolition and replacement with a high quality modern alternative” the property has many distinctive surviving features and is one of many similar high-quality Victorian houses in the road constructed as part of a coherent whole when the original Hanger Hill estate was built. Indeed, its quality has been recognised to the extent that the independent reviewer of conservation areas in the Borough has recommended that the whole of Madeley and Westbury Roads should be included in an enlarged Cricket Ground CA (see p7-9 (unnumbered pages) in his report to the Local Development Plan Advisory Committee on 22 July 2020.  We are therefore most surprised and dismayed to see in pre-application discussions that officers were endorsing/ encouraging wholesale demolition of the property, particularly since no reason has been given by the applicant for its justification, apart from increasing the number of proposed units from the existing 5 to 8 allegedly to help the Council meet its housing targets which in fact have already been amply met.

Worse still, the proposed replacement would be a very poor pastiche of the original with no attempt to reproduce the fine detailing of the existing property such as the arched porch, elaborate detailing to the barge boards and careful chimney detail. Furthermore, the front elevation design would be completely changed with square rather than angled bays and the inclusion of an oversized dormer and out of keeping front gable window, and the rear elevations with large areas of glazing not normally found in the area. Finally, the flatted accommodation would provide poor living conditions for the basement units and limited amenity provision for other flats where only balconies would be provided.

In summary, we consider that, given the independent consultant’s recommendation to include the property in the nearby conservation area, the application should be rejected in its entirety. Instead, the applicant should be required to completely reconsider the proposals and, if appropriate, requested to put forward more modest ones entailing sensitive renovation and possible extension of the existing property as has been done in many other houses in Madeley Road without destroying their character.

93 Bollo Lane, W4 5LU

Redevelopment to provide a mixed use scheme comprising a building upto eleven storeys with basement for 96 self contained residential units ; 1618sqm light industrial floorspace (Use Class E(g); associated landscaping, access and cycle parking (Following the demolition of existing buildings)

As previously reported, we responded to the consultation on this proposal for a mixed residential/industrial space scheme.  Some changes were made to the proposals before the planning application was submitted, addressing some but not all of the points we had raised.  We submitted an objection to the residential proposals.  The application has now been approved.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  While our earlier concerns regarding the commercial areas have been addressed by revisions to the proposals, we do not consider this site to be appropriate for residential development, especially of the scale that is proposed.  The site’s location between two railway lines would result in it having limited accessibility, exacerbated by the frequent lowering of level crossing barriers over the railways.  The proposed quantum of development for such a small, enclosed space would lead to an overwhelming sense of overcrowding.  The very close proximity to the railways would also deliver very poor residential amenity.

Furthermore, we object to the lack of dedicated on-site play space for older children (5-11 years).  While we acknowledge that the roof top terraces might provide suitable space for outdoor relaxation, they are impractical for the activities and needs of such children.  The suggested contribution towards off-site play space for older children would be undeliverable since there would be nowhere available where such play space could be provided, particularly in the light of other competing developments.

1 Stirling Road/1-9 Colville Road and 67-81 Stirling Road W3 8DJ

Demolition of existing buildings and construction of a mixed use development comprising commercial floorspace (Use Class E(g)) and 237 residential units (Use Class C3) within two buildings, comprising 19 and 11 storeys, landscaping, and associated ancillary and enabling works.

3-15 Stirling Road, W3 8DJ

Construction of an industrial-led mixed used development comprising circa 2,000 sqm (GIA) commercial floorspace (Use Class E(g) / B2 / B8) at ground and first floor and 88no. residential units (Class C3) on upper floors within 2no. blocks (up to 10 and 14 storeys) with associated basement; landscaping; parking and servicing; cycle and refuse storage (Following demolition of existing building)

We had a number of concerns about both these proposals and considered raising objections on grounds of excessive height and poor design as well as concerns about amenity space provision and other details.  We were unable to submit these before the applications were presented to the planning committee for determination, where both were approved.

Railway Yard, East Churchfield Road, W3 7LL

Construction of a five storey building to accommodate 26 self-contained residential units and provision of associated parking space, cycle storage and refuse storage

We submitted an objection to this application, a revision to and extension of a previous proposal, on the grounds of overdevelopment that would harm the Acton Park Conservation Area.  The application attracted an unprecedented number of objections but was referred to the planning committee for determination with a recommendation to approve.  The committee approved the application.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds that the change to the unit mix and reduction in size of many units leads to significant over-density and does nothing to contribute to the Borough shortage of family-sized housing units identified by planning officers. We also note that no on-site affordable housing is proposed and suggest that rather than a proposed but unquantified commuted sum for off-site provision, the scheme should incorporate affordable units on-site. Whilst the proposed use of recycled building materials might appear to be commendable, in practice the proposed changes actually end up simplifying the underlying building and making it much cruder and less attractive. The proposed ‘green walls’ appear to be a very superficial form of window dressing. In practice, unless maintained to a high standard meaning very high service charges for residents, they will rapidly deteriorate and become an eyesore. The building then exposed will fail to either preserve or enhance the Acton Park Conservation Area in which it is located.

Garages, Park Place, W5 5NQ

Construction of four residential dwellings with associated parking, refuse storage, cycle storage and landscaping (following demolition of existing garages)

We again objected to proposals for this site in the Ealing Green Conservation Area which, despite some modification, remain unacceptable.  The application has attracted a large number of objections and remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society maintains its objections to this application.  The reduction to four units proposed in this latest revision does not address the concerns we previously raised, in particular the overbearing nature of the two-storey buildings, inappropriate design and materials and access issues.  In addition, the proposed internal courtyards do not offer sufficient or suitable garden space for the houses.  The Council’s Development Management DPD, in Table 7.D2, notes that the minimum requirements in the Mayor’s Housing SPG ‘in most cases will need to be supplemented by additional private garden space … respecting the established local character and pattern of building …Typically this would amount to an area of 50 sq. m of private garden space per house.’  This omission further emphasises the inappropriate nature of the proposals.

Corfton Road Surgery, 10 Corfton Road, W5 2HS

Construction of a 3 storey medical centre extension (Use Class E(e)), following the part demolition of the existing building and the retention of the existing façade

We submitted two objections to this application to demolish all but the façade of a Victorian house in the Ealing Cricket Ground Conservation Area and construct a large extension to accommodate a medical centre, which would cover much of the previous garden area.  The application has some support for the provision of enhanced modern medical facilities but this is outweighed by the inappropriate nature of the proposals in the conservation area.  The application remains undetermined and we believe it will shortly be remitted to the planning committee for determination.

First objection

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We fully endorse the views of the Ealing Cricket Ground Conservation Area Panel and hope that, further to these views, a design that is more in keeping with the character of the Conservation Area will be put forward.  As it stands, we object most strongly to the proposed loss of the existing Victorian House with its distinctive detailing and roofline, which is a local heritage asset, and its replacement with a building that would be hugely out of keeping with the surrounding streets in terms of design and materials.  In particular, the part-retained front elevation would be dwarfed by the proposed extension.  In addition, we object to the proposed loss of the existing long back garden which is an important contributor to the open character of the conservation area.

Second objection

Ealing Civic Society notes the revised drawings for this application.  However, we re-iterate our previous objections as we consider that these recent changes do not overcome our concerns on the design which, despite the change in colour, still has the feel of an industrial building.  The proposed design and materials remain considerably out of keeping with the character of the Ealing Cricket Ground Conservation Area in which this building sits.  Instead, we consider that materials sympathetic to the Conservation Area, such as brick and clay tiles, should be employed for any extension. We would prefer to see dormer rather than the roof windows proposed particularly if this could be associated with a reduction in height. We also maintain our objection to the proposed loss of the existing long back garden which we reaffirm is an important contributor to the open character of the Conservation Area.

In summary, the loss of much of the existing heritage asset by the demolition of the building, apart from its façade, would amount to substantial harm which would not be outweighed by the public benefit created by the enlarged surgery. As it stands, if approved, this application would breach Council principles and policies with respect to maintaining the integrity of a Conservation Area.  Were the application to be for the conversion of a residential property, it would be refused.  The same principles and policies must apply for this type of conversion within a Conservation Area.  This application should, therefore, be refused.

114 Broadway, W13 0SY

Construction of a part 4, 7, and 8 storey building comprising a flexible Class E use on the ground floor; 9 self-contained residential flats (Use Class C3) on the upper floors; and associated refuse storage and cycle parking (following demolition of existing building)

We objected to this application on the grounds of excessive height.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds of height and overdevelopment.  We do not accept that the height of this development should be guided by the proposed height of the yet to be consented Chignell Place development.  Instead, the height of this building should match both the height and step backs of its immediate neighbour, 112 Broadway, requiring a reduction in height and some rearrangement.

Acton Medical Centre, 122 Gunnersbury Lane, W3 9BA

Construction of a part three, part five storey residential development with commercial ground floor space, comprising of nine residential units (6 x 2-bedroom, 2 x 1-bedroom, 1 x 4-bedroom), with associated private and communal amenity space, cycle parking and refuse/recycling provision (following demolition of the existing building)

We prepared an objection to this application for an overlarge residential development in a sensitive location opposite the listed Acton Town Station.  Before this was submitted, the application has been withdrawn.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds of overdevelopment.  We consider that this site needs to be developed with sensitivity since it is directly opposite the Grade II listed Acton Town Station, designed by the celebrated architect Charles Holden.  However, this proposal would result in a building which would be far too large and out of keeping not only with the Acton Town Station building, but with the predominantly 2 storey Edwardian houses on the side of Gunnersbury Lane in which it sits.  The Design & Access Statement cites the 3 storey building, 79 Gunnersbury Lane, as a local precedent for this development and we concur that 3 storeys would be a much more appropriate height.  In addition, we consider that, as it stands, the proposed building would have a very negative impact on the amenity of its neighbours, in particular their gardens.  Finally, we object to the mix of units in the application which comprises only one family unit – insufficient for the high need of family units in the area.

Fern Bank, 2A Golden Manor, W7 3EE HANWELL VILLAGE GREEN CA

Construction of two storey building to provide seven self-contained units, with associated off-street parking, refuse and cycle storage; excavation to provide habitable space to basement and habitable loft space (following demolition of existing dwelling and outbuilding)

We objected to this latest in a long line of applications for this property, now proposing its subdivision into flats.  Since our original objection, the application has been modified to allegedly reduce the number of proposed flats to 5 from 7.  We reiterated our objection, particularly given the history of applications for this site that offers no confidence that the applicant will not revert to their previous proposals.  The application remains undetermined.

Original objection

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds of overdevelopment.  We object strongly to the proposed division of the property into 7 one-bedroom flats in an area that provides predominantly family accommodation.  In particular, we object to 2 proposed basement flats without windows to the bedrooms, which would be unacceptable.  Furthermore, we object to the lack of amenity space proposed for this extended development.

Finally, we maintain our firm objection to the applicant’s approach of making several applications, some retrospective, which obscure the original intention for the site and are an abuse of the planning process that should not be supported by the Council.

Revised objection

Ealing Civic Society has by chance become aware that the submitted plans for this application have been amended and the description now refers to conversion to 5 (rather than 7) flats.  Comparison with the original proposals is not possible since the original drawings have been removed from the website but it appears that it is now suggested that the basement will not be used for two residential units.  We maintain our objection to conversion to flats since this represents overdevelopment of the site with insufficient amenity space and is contrary to the granted permission of development of a single family home. This site has a long history of manipulation of the planning process and consequently there is no confidence that notwithstanding any permission granted the developer will not still go ahead and convert the property into 7 flats.  This application must be refused and the original permission for a single family home only upheld.

Land at Chiswick Roundabout, W4 5QJ

Erection of a 24 storey building containing 255 dwellings and flexible office and retail space with associated access, basement car and cycle parking, landscaping and refuse and recycling storage, with all necessary ancillary and enabling works

This site, a small currently vacant triangular plot between the A4 slip road and North Circular Road at Chiswick Roundabout, lies in Hounslow borough.  We objected to a proposal for a24 storey tower block on this very constrained and unsuitable site for residential development.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  As with previous applications for development of this site, the proposed 24 storey building remains far too tall.  It would be very intrusive in views from a number of important locations, such as Gunnersbury Park, Kew Bridge and Strand on the Green.  The proposed building would also present a significant negative impact on many listed buildings in surrounding conservation areas and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the setting of which must be protected at all costs to ensure its status is protected.

In addition, we consider the proposal to be overdevelopment.  The residential units in the application would have insufficient amenity space for families likely to occupy affordable housing.  No external amenity space is proposed and while mostly internal balconies have been planned, in most of the units these would be created by reducing the space within the residential living area.  This lack of outdoor amenity space is of particular concern for this cramped site since it is surrounded on all sides by very busy arterial roads making other locations difficult and dangerous to access.

The Bungalow, Crusaders Memorial House, Blandford Road, W5 5RL

Construction of a two storey dwelling house with habitable loft space, following the demolition of existing bungalow

We again objected to this second application for redevelopment of this site, the previous application having been withdrawn.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  As with the previous application for this site, we consider that the proposed dwelling house would be too tall for its location.  Given the position of the proposed top floor windows, the dwelling house would effectively comprise three storeys, not the two storeys asserted in the application.

All the properties in the enclave within which this site sits are one- or two-storey in height.  So, with its three floors, the proposed dwelling house would be out of scale with, and not fit in the grain of, its immediate neighbours, which would be unacceptable.  In addition, at the proposed height, the building would impact very negatively on the setting of the adjacent locally-listed Vestry Hall.

In summary, we re-iterate that any replacement dwelling on this site should be only two storeys maximum in height.

Library for Iranian Studies, The Woodlands Hall, Crown Street, W3 8SA

Construction of a part nine, part eight and part three storey building containing a 935sqm cultural centre and library, a 36sqm cafe with outside seating, and a 105 room student housing development with top floor communal facilities, along with a basement for cycle stores, plant and refuse stores (Following the demolition of the existing buildings on the site)

We carefully considered this proposed new cultural centre/student housing block within the Acton Town Centre Conservation Area, which would replace an existing low-rise building with an up to 9-storey building.  We objected to the application on the grounds that the height would be out-of-keeping with the local context.  Although the design of the building had interesting features, we also suggested it could be improved.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We consider the proposed building to be far too tall for its local context.  Its height must be considered in relation to other buildings on Crown Street which are generally 2-4 storeys in height and a building of 8/9-storeys would be out of keeping with its neighbours in the nearby Acton Town Centre CA. We consider that the maximum height permissible in this area should be no more than 4-5 storeys. Even at this height, the distinctive Islamic style detailing on the top storey would not be visible from the ground at close quarters and therefore it might be helpful to include elements of style to be carried through to the lower storeys.

134-136 Broadway, W13 0TL

Construction of a sixth floor to accommodate three additional self-contained residential units to previously approved scheme ref: 183569FUL granted on appeal Ref: APP/A5270/W/19/3227828 dated 23/03/ 2020 for: ‘Construction of a part five-storey and part six-storey building comprising 19 flats, 17 x one bedroom, 1 x two bedroom and 1 x studio; A1 shop unit on ground floor’ – Resubmission

We objected to this application that appeared to be a resubmission of a previously refused application and reiterated our objections to what would be an over-tall overdevelopment.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society object to this application.  It appears to be a copy of application 211573FUL which was refused.  Consequently, we re-iterate our comments in relation to application 211573FUL.  We consider that the approved (on appeal) development is already too high and far too dominant on to the Broadway in West Ealing.  The proposed additional floor would exacerbate this overbearing appearance and further contribute to already unacceptable overdevelopment of the site.

The impact of the proposal on several neighbouring locally listed assets, particularly the Halfway House pub just two properties to the west, which we consider to be a key character contributor on the Broadway, has not been properly considered in this application.  The consented development already detracts from these properties and the additional storey would compound this.

To approve this application, having previously refused application 211573FUL, would make a mockery of the borough’s planning system.  We urge the Council to refuse this application too.

19 St Mary’s Road, W5 5RA

Single storey rear extension (following demolition of existing) Proposed internal and external alterations to a listed building,proposed works to the rear boundary wall and a new rear bin enclosure,excavation to provide basement, including lightwell to rear

We objected to these applications for alterations to this listed building in the Ealing Green Conservation Area on the grounds that they were unsympathetic to the original and would detrimentally alter it.  The applications remain undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We consider that the proposed rear extension would obscure a large section of this Grade II listed building.  The current bathroom and scullery are subordinate to the main building.  If these were to be elevated in status, as proposed in this application, the way in which the main building would be read would be altered detrimentally.  In particular, the nature of the existing closet wing would be completely lost due to the high-status accommodation that would be added.  Therefore, we consider that the design of such an extension needs to be far more sympathetic to the listed building, for example by reducing its bulk and employing traditional designs for windows and doors.  As it stands, this application should be refused.

63 & 63A The Grove, W5 5LL EALING TOWN CENTRE CA

Three storey rear infill, single storey rear extensions, basement enlargement incorporating a rear lightwell to existing clinic; conversion of the upper floors from a flat (Use class C3) into a Large House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class Sui Generis); replacement timber windows to all elevations; alterations to ground floor side elevation, formation of entrance doorways x 2, extend window opening

We objected to this application proposing extension of a commercial unit in the Ealing Town Centre Conservation Area and conversion of an existing flat above to 6 studio units.  We pointed out that the application was misleading, since to legitimise the creation of 6 units of very limited size, it was claimed that this would be a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).  In fact, the proposal is for 6 independent studio flats and as such the units are undersized, have no amenity space and must be refused.  While not a reason for planning objection, we suggested that a proposal to create two 2-bedroom flats could be acceptable, provided the proposed ground floor extension of the commercial unit was reduced to allow the provision of outdoor amenity space.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds that the proposed housing would be substandard.  We consider that the application is for studio flats rather than a house in multiple occupation because the residential units in the application are each planned to contain both a kitchenette and a bathroom, characteristic of studio flats, and there is no communal space.  As such, a studio flat should cover an area of at least 35 sq m which, at only 13.5 to 18 sq m, the proposed units would not.  A house in multiple occupation with units of this size would, instead, be expected to contain communal kitchens and bathrooms rather than individual kitchenettes and bathrooms.  In addition, without a balcony, each unit would have insufficient amenity space.

Therefore, in our view, this application should be refused.  However, if the Council is minded to approve development on this site, we would suggest creating two 2-bedroom flats with a reduction in the size of the extension on the ground floor to provide for the inclusion of the necessary amenity space.

Rear Of Brent & Glebe Court, Church Road, W7 3BZ

Construction of a three-storey building comprising 6 flats and associated car parking, amenity space and refuse and cycle storage (following demolition of existing garages)

We objected to this second application for development of a block of 6 flats behind St Mary’s Church in the Churchfields Conservation Area.  Although there has been some change to the proposed design and layout, this did not overcome our objections to the original (and refused) application and we reiterated these.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We reiterate our comments to the previously refused application 202873FUL, and elaborate further, as follows:

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application on the grounds of overdevelopment, inappropriate design and materials, failure to preserve or enhance the Conservation Area and inadequate parking provision.  The proposed six flats on the site would have greater density and occupancy than the previously proposed three family houses advised by the Council at the pre-application stage.  If there is to be any development on this site, three family houses of appropriate design would be a preferable alternative that would also better meet housing need.

In addition, the contemporary design, and in particular the mansard roof and fenestration, would be incongruous in this conservation area location.  The proposed red brick, roof tiles and aluminium window frames would be unsympathetic to neighbouring buildings, especially the neighbouring grade II* listed St Mary’s Church with its slate roof and flint knap walls.  Finally, we maintain that without adequate on-site car parking, existing parking pressure for visitors to the church, local green spaces and zoo would be exacerbated.  As a result, we consider that this application should be refused.

178 Church Road, W7 3BP

Conversion of the existing single dwelling house to two self-contained units, with associated cycle storage, off street parking and refuse storage facilities; single storey rear/side extension (following demolition of garage); construction of two single storey semi-detached houses to the rear of the site with associated landscaping, refuse and cycle storage

Following an extended campaign of objection, the previous application for this address, for demolition of the existing property and replacement with flats, together with a pair of semi-detached houses to the rear, was refused on heritage grounds.  A second application was submitted proposing retention of the original house but some significant alterations to facilitate its conversion into two flats.  We again objected to these proposals as the alterations would mean that several key features of the property would be altered or obscured, and recommended that the property should be sympathetically upgraded as a single dwelling.  In terms of the semi-detached new houses, we objected to these on grounds of damage to the open character of the Hanwell Village Green Conservation Area and the overdevelopment caused by the addition of a further bedroom over the previous proposals.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We strongly object to the proposal to convert the existing single dwelling house to two self-contained units.  We would far prefer this existing property to be restored and remain as a sympathetically upgraded single family dwelling.  As a highly unusual, Voysey-style Arts and Crafts property dating back from c1912, this house is an important heritage asset that contains many original features that should be preserved.  Conversion to two self-contained units would necessarily mean that key features, such as the Inglenook fireplace and existing hall/landing, would not be able to be preserved in their current form.  We particularly object to the planned extensions to the rear of the property which we consider would obscure the original catslide roof feature and interesting fenestration of the building.

In addition, we object to the construction of the proposed pair of semi-detached houses to the rear of the site, which would detract from the open character of the Hanwell Village Green Conservation Area.  We also note that the number of bedrooms in these houses has increased from 3 to 4 since the previous application, while the number of bathrooms has decreased.  We consider this to be overdevelopment and to offer poor residential amenity.  Should planners be minded to allow these properties, they should be approved only in the former configuration.

Gold’s Gym, 54-62 Uxbridge Road, W7 3SU

Redevelopment of the existing site, including extensions to create a 9 storey building with part 4 and part 5 storey outrigger and alterations to the front elevation; Retention of the existing gym use (in a modified form), the creation of 43 residential flats and retention and alteration of the ground floor retail unit, with associated private and communal amenity spaces, cycle storage, car parking and refuse storage

We objected to this application to construct a 9-storey building on this prominent site at the eastern end of Hanwell Town Centre on a number of grounds including inappropriate height and design.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We consider that a 9 storey building on this site to be overdevelopment which would impact very negatively on the settings of the neighbouring grade II listed St Mellitus Church and the locally listed Our Lady & St Joseph Church.  In addition, at 9 storeys, the proposed building would tower over the 2 storey houses to the south, including those of Montague Avenue and Deans Road.  The adjacent church hall, which relies on roof lights for lighting of its interior, would also be overshadowed.  Furthermore, we consider that the proposed design of the development would be out of keeping with the character of the nearby Hanwell Town Conservation Area.  The proposed dark bricks/cladding material for the tower podium would be particularly incongruous.

Finally, at only 30%, the proposed affordable provision would be far too low.  We also consider that the planned lack of 3-bedroom units would be unacceptable in an area so in need of larger family units.

Land Opposite Ravenswood Court, Stanley Road, W3 8GQ

Demolition of existing building and structures, and construction of a ground plus part 9 and part 16 storey mixed-use development comprising industrial space (Use Class E(g)(iii)) on ground, first and second floor levels; with residential units; rooftop amenity space, rooftop plant and lift overruns, landscaping, access, car and cycle parking, plant rooms and all associated ancillary and enabling works (Revised Plans)

We objected to these revised proposals, which still leave unresolved many concerns about the scheme.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We maintain that the proposals are an unsuitable response to the location.  We consider the proposed tower block to be very bland with none of the interest or variety of the architectural styles in the nearby Acton Gardens Estate.  In addition, the unit mix, with few 3-bedroom units, does not respond to the local housing need, where there is a huge demand for larger units. We note that many of the proposed units continue to appear to be single aspect, creating unacceptable living conditions. Furthermore, there would be a significant shortfall in amenity space since we consider the rooftop provision to be inadequate, particularly for small children, and no on-site play space is available for the over-5s.  We also have concerns that, notwithstanding the proximity of transport at South Acton, there is a lack of surrounding community infrastructure.  Finally, we raise concerns about the proposed green screen at ground level abutting the allotments which, unless conditioned to be maintained, would present a potential liability.

Consultations

Hanger Lane Gyratory, Hanger Lane, Ealing, W5 1DL

Proposals were put forward for public ‘consultation’ to add a further two/three storeys to this consented scheme.  We provided feedback:

Ealing Civic Society is commenting on the latest proposals to increase the height of the existing consented scheme.  We share the concerns of neighbouring CA panels about the greatly increased and negative impacts the proposed additional height would have in views of the scheme from viewpoints in those CAs.  As a Civic Society particularly concerned with the preservation of the setting of heritage assets, we also consider that this scheme, particularly with the proposed additional storeys, would entirely dominate the locally-listed Hanger Lane Underground Station, recognised as a classic London Underground design, destroying the openness of its existing setting.  We oppose this proposed expansion to the scheme.

No planning application has yet been submitted.

20 Merrick Road, Southall, UB2 4AU

We provided extensive feedback to the public ‘consultation’ on these proposals for demolition of a building used as a banqueting hall and development of a residential tower block:

As a Civic Society, our main concern is regarding the proposed demolition of the existing building on the site, a heritage asset.  The presenters were at pains to suggest that despite extensive consideration, no viable options could be found to retain or convert the building.  Viability is of course subjective and we are disappointed that alternative options that retain the asset were not further considered.  They claimed that the heritage value of the building is now diminished since it is closely linked with that of the margarine factory (for which this building was originally built as a community facility), claiming that development of that site means that this link is lost.  We note that it is claimed that the Council has fully accepted the view that the building can be demolished.  Sadly, the Council no longer employs a conservation officer who could have commented on this aspect and we suggest that the building retains significant heritage value in its own right.

Setting aside the question of demolition of the heritage asset, if indeed this is to take place, we are also concerned at the lack of banqueting hall provision within the proposed development.  We understand a banqueting hall to be a valued local use.  It was suggested that this use is not feasible owing to the reduction in local evening and weekend parking resulting from the redevelopment of industrial sites in the immediate area.  Suggestions were made by attendees at the presentations that an underground, or intermediate level above the commercial space, car park could have been provided to overcome this.  These suggestions were dismissed on the grounds that it would be too expensive and the ramp take up too much of the available space.  We do not accept these arguments as insurmountable.

Several questions were asked at the presentation about the proposed scheme height and why earlier feedback that this was excessive had been ignored.  A scheme of this height is clearly unpopular; however, we agree with the developers that the height is acceptable in the context of the emerging local developments.

Other issues of possible concern include the light pollution caused by a large residential building of this nature; appropriate measures to limit this would be needed.  Details of an appropriate commercial use to be included are yet to be provided.  The proposed amenity space for all residents including children is claimed to meet required levels of provision.  While they may technically meet space standards, roof terraces do not compensate for the open space provision for active play provided by ground level parks and green spaces, which ideally we would like to see improved.

No planning application has yet been submitted.

Updates

15 Blakesley Avenue, W5 2DN

Retention of existing basement; completion of rear single storey extension to align with the depth of the existing rear outrigger; insertion of window to first floor rear elevation and two glazed, raised lightwells to the front elevation (part-retrospective)

We objected to this application, a resubmission of a previous application to which we objected and which had not been determined.  This application has been refused on grounds that the proposals would cause detrimental harm to the host dwelling and to the Conservation Area.  The undetermined application has gone to appeal.  A hearing was commenced six months ago and remains uncompleted.

Beaufoy House, Equity Mews, W5 5NT

First floor extension, involving alteration of roof to raise ridge height

We objected to this revised application for alteration to one of a semi-detached pair of houses of architectural interest, submitted following withdrawal of the previous proposal to which we also objected.

Ealing Civic Society maintains its objection to this application.  We reiterate our earlier comments and do not consider that the proposed changes address our previous objections – in particular, with respect to the loss of symmetry and increased height, which remain unacceptable.

Orion Park, Northfield Avenue, W13 9SJ

Minor Material Amendment (S73a) to vary conditions 2 (Approved Plans and Documents), 3 (Demolition and Site Clearance), 6 (Travel Plan), 7 (Cycle Parking Spaces), 9 (Site Wide Car and Cycle Parking Management Strategy), 22 (passenger lifts), 27 (Commercial Units Use Class), 28 (Bat Survey Report), 30 (Sustainability Measures), 32 (Dwelling Energy Performance Certificates) and 33 (Commercial Spaces Energy Performance Certificates) of planning permission 171721FUL dated 02.02.2018 for the phased construction of buildings comprising residential units (Use Class C3), flexible retail space (Use Class E), office space (Use Class E) (at ground and lower ground of the building fronting Northfield Avenue), landscaping, access and servicing, car parking and associated works (following demolition of existing buildings).

Variation seeks to enable amendments to the approved scheme, including additional height and massing, adjustments to the site layout and landscaping and repositioning of buildings in order to increase the number of homes to be constructed, as well as reducing the amount of non-residential floorspace, increasing the car parking and cycle parking provision, adjusting the energy strategy and varying the legal obligation to deliver a 100% affordable housing

We objected to this variation application to increase the height and density of this scheme, originally consented despite considerable local opposition.  We also pointed out that the changes should have been submitted as a full application and that the Society had not been involved in any consultation on these changes.  The application again attracted significant objections to the even greater height.  Despite these objections, the variation has been accepted and approved.

Notting Hill And Ealing High School, 2 Cleveland Road, W13 8AX

Construction of a new Junior School Building (with Sixth Form Class Rooms), including associated play spaces, landscaping and cycle parking, following the demolition of the existing junior school buildings, and the erection of a temporary school building for use during the construction period

We objected to this application to demolish a Victorian building and replace it with an overbearing and larger school building, located adjacent to a Conservation Area.  Again, no attempt was made to involve the Society in pre-application consultation.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  It is disappointing that no attempt was made to involve us in the public consultations which we understand to have taken place so that we could have contributed comments earlier.  We object to the demolition of the Victorian house at number 26 St Stephen’s Road and cannot agree with the applicant’s assertions that adaptation is not feasible.  We would suggest that an alternative approach is considered that retains this Victorian building.  The height of the proposed 3-storey replacement with a high-pitched roof would, in any case, be unacceptable as it would be out of keeping with and overbearing on the surrounding residential properties.  It would also be out of keeping with the properties of the Grange and White Ledges Conservation Area, which the current Victorian building abuts.

98 Gordon Road, W13 8PJ

Conversion of existing house into 8no. self-contained flats; part single, part two storey rear and side (wraparound) extension (following demolition of existing additions); conversion of roof space into habitable space including installation of rooflights and dormer windows; provision of amenity space, cycle storage, refuse storage and 2no. car parking spaces; and alterations to boundary treatment including installation of 2no. pedestrian gates

This application was a revised scheme for conversion of this large house into flats.  We objected to the previous application but considered this scheme an improvement, so submitted a neutral comment.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society is neutral about this application and provides comments.  We are pleased to note the retention of most of the façade of the existing building although we regret the substantial loss of the side elevation and incorporated chimney stack.  However, due to its close proximity to the Haven Green Conservation Area, we recommend that metal framed conservation roof lights be used.  We also recommend the adjustment of the position of the roof lights behind the turret roof.   Furthermore, we recommend the use of matching materials throughout, including clay roof tiles.  Finally, in the absence of a cross-section through the building, the planning officer will wish to be satisfied that the proposed 2nd floor ceiling heights would be sufficient as much of the space is under the roof slopes.

64 Clovelly Road, W5 5HE

Conversion of existing building into 5 self-contained flats; incorporating basement extension; single storey rear extension; part single, part two and part three-storey side extension (following demolition of existing side annexe and garage); rear roof extension; conversion of loft space into habitable space; creation of terraces/balconies at first and second floor levels; installation of five rooflights to front roofslopes; internal and external alterations; and provision of associated private amenity space, landscaping, and refuse storage

This application (to which we objected) for extension and redevelopment of this property into a number of flats remains undetermined.

Harlequin Court, Craven Avenue, W5 2TU

  1. Conversion of an additional storey to provide three residential units and provision of refuse and cycle storage
  2. Construction of third and fourth floor to accommodate 5 self-contained residential units and provision of associated cycle storage (Prior Approval Application, under Part 20, Class A New Dwellinghouses on detached blocks of flats)

We objected to these two applications, for either one or two additional floors on these flats.  Both have now been approved.

  1. i) Ealing Civic Society objects to this application. The proposed additional floor would have a negative impact in terms of overlooking of the adjacent Victorian properties in Craven Avenue and, also, the recently consented flats above the garages to the south.
  2. ii) Ealing Civic Society objects to this application. We note that this application has been submitted as PD, but we would highlight that the proposed third and fourth floors would have a negative impact in terms of overlooking of the adjacent Victorian properties in Craven Avenue and, also, to the recently consented flats above the garages to the south.

51 The Mall, W5 3TA

Demolition and redevelopment of existing site to provide a 6 storey mixed use development comprising commercial use on the ground and part first floor (Use Class E(g)(i) and 9 residential units above (Use Class C3), provision of associated amenity spaces, refuse/recycling and cycle storage and associated works

We objected to this proposed development in the Town Centre Conservation Area on grounds of loss of a building contributing to the heritage of the area, various design issues and also the piecemeal development of the site which did not address its worst aspects.  The application has now been approved.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We regret the loss of the existing Victorian/Edwardian building on this site, which is dismissed in the Heritage Statement provided by the applicant in a comment attributed to the Council during pre-application discussions: “The proposed demolition within the site would see the loss of a building which has been described as being of ‘weak architectural quality and or poor townscape quality’ that does not reflect the site’s position as the eastern gateway to the town centre (LPA comments as part of pre-application enquiry response, March 2021)”. In the absence of a conservation officer, there is no evidence that this assessment is based on the advice of an independent heritage expert.  Although not noted specifically in the Town Centre CA appraisal and management plan, the significant contribution of this building dating back to the 1850s is now apparent.  The original development site proposal [Ealing Gateway: EAL1], extensively quoted by the applicants to justify their proposals, clearly intended that the entire site should be brought forward for redevelopment rather than in a piecemeal manner, the unsightly 1960s Saunders House and public houses below, which occupy much of the site, being particularly unattractive.  We suggest that the proposed partial development of the site fails to deliver the landmark building and intended benefits to the public realm in the Town Centre; indeed makes these impossible to deliver in the future should the remainder of the site come forward for redevelopment, and would represent a non-policy complaint development.

Should planners be minded to consider this application, then various design issues need to be addressed.  The greatest concern is the height of the building, which should be reduced by at least one and ideally two storeys, to be more in keeping with the surroundings.  The lift overrun of Saunders House does not offer a suitable marker for overall height.  A greater setback of the upper storeys adjacent to the neighbouring flats along Northcote Avenue should also be incorporated to avoid over dominating them.  The verticals on the Northcote Avenue elevation appear over-fussy and mismatched.  We consider that use of a darker brick finish to the lower levels with lighter upper levels would be better than the proposed approach.

In summary, this application should be refused but if minded to approve, planners should first seek revisions to address the concerns raised.

130-132 Broadway, W13 0TL

Construction of building between 2 and 6 storeys accommodating commercial space (Use Class E(a)) and 17 self-contained residential units (following demolition of existing building)

We objected to this application for a proposal for a 5/6 storey block of flats on West Ealing Broadway on grounds of overdevelopment, impact on the surroundings, lack of amenity space and design issues.  We also suggested that should the development be approved, certain artefacts related to the area’s history should be retained and passed to Gunnersbury House Museum.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  Firstly, the applicants suggest that they have engaged local groups in consultation before submitting this application.  It should be noted that Ealing Civic Society was not at any time contacted or consulted.

We consider the proposal to be overdevelopment.  The height of the planned building is excessive, with the inclusion of a 6th storey to the front, albeit slightly set back, exceeding the height of the under construction neighbouring building.  This could be overcome by omission of this storey or possibly by moving it to the rear part of the building although this could create unacceptable overshadowing to neighbours at the rear.  The front of the building at the upper storeys should also be slightly set back to align with the main frontage, rather than balconies, of its neighbour.

Although reference is made to nearby heritage assets and the impact of the proposals on these not considered problematic, no reference has been made to the Old Hat public house to the immediate east, which would be disproportionately dominated by the proposed 6 storey front element of the building.  In addition, we consider that the materials planned for the building (dark and light grey brick) would render it out of keeping with its surrounding area and should be replaced by London stock.  We also have considerable concerns about the proposed amenity space.  The planned recessed balconies, especially those which would be north facing, would significantly compromise the daylight of the living areas from which they would extend.  Furthermore, their sizes appear inadequate to meet requirements for some 2/3 bedroom units.  No external shared amenity space for residents is proposed; the planned green area to the north of the proposed building, currently and to remain public realm, does not meet that need and its northerly aspect in any case renders it unwelcoming.

The application is for 17 new residential units and is thus required to include an affordable housing element; the Council has indicated a requirement for 50%.  None is proposed, nor is any S106 financial contribution in lieu of affordable units offered.  The applicant has submitted viability assessments arguing that 47% affordable would render the scheme completely unviable and that even at 0% as proposed, it is loss-making, but at a level the applicant accepts.  This is completely unacceptable and any scheme must deliver at least 35% affordable units, preferably onsite.

For these many reasons, this application should be refused.  However, if the Council is minded to approve this application in an amended form, the original Edwin Bros jewellers and watches sign to the existing building frontage, that we believe is listed, together with the pawnbrokers ‘balls’ device to the roof, should be preserved and donated to Gunnersbury House museum as important local history.  This should be secured by condition.

The Castle Hotel, Victoria Road, Acton, W3 6UL

The demolition of the existing public house and the redevelopment of the site to provide a part 32 storey, part 27 storey comprising 462 co-living rooms with associated communal amenity spaces (Sui Generis), a public house (Sui Generis) and associated access, cycle parking, blue badge parking, bin storage and landscaping

We objected to this major application for demolition of a large public house and development of an up to 32 storey tower block of co-living units in North Acton, incorporating a ‘new’ public house.  We had previously submitted comments to the public ‘consultation’, but received no response nor had any changes been made to the proposals.  The application remains undetermined.

Ealing Civic Society objects to this application.  We reiterate our comments in response to the public consultation, to which there was unfortunately no response by the applicant.  We strongly object to the proposed demolition of the Castle Hotel, which is locally listed.  Demolition of the building would be a clear breach of policy HC7 of the London Plan 2021, which protects pubs as a “unique and intrinsic part of British culture”.  We continue to urge the developer to consider alternatives which would preserve the existing building.  As we suggested at the consultation, one such alternative would be to acquire the neighbouring site, which we note is unsightly and would be further isolated if this development goes ahead, and dismantle and rebuild the pub in identical form.  We note and welcome that a Level 2 Historic Building Record has been carried out but request in addition that should the pub not be preserved, its most interesting internal features and contents should be preserved and placed in a suitable museum.  This should be secured by condition.