Planners overrule Ealing tower objections

Planning authorities have approved a controversial 20-storey tower by DMWR Architects, after Ealing Council rejected the scheme last year.
West Ealing station

Planning authorities have approved a controversial 20-storey tower with affordable homes by DMWR Architects, after Ealing Council initially rejected the scheme last year.

The brick-clad building, for Southern Grove and Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association, will be built on a site next to West Ealing Crossrail station. It will comprise 144 affordable homes of which 50 are London Living Rent and 94 are shared ownership.

Ealing Council had argued that the tower would have a ‘detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding area’ and that the building did not ‘propose an adequate provision of affordable housing’, given the absence of London affordable rent tenures. The narrow vote to reject the scheme came after 2,627 people and a range of local groups objected to the plans. The groups included the Ealing Civic Society, the Drayton’s Community Association and Central Ealing Residents Association.

But planning inspector Paul Griffiths has now approved what he called the ‘tall building of exemplary design’, saying it ‘would have no harmful impact on the character or appearance of the area, or the setting and thereby the significance of heritage assets’.

Griffiths dismissed Ealing’s concerns about the lack of London affordable rent tenures, saying that “there are tens of thousands of Ealing households in need of intermediate tenure affordable housing” and that there is no policy basis for “ranking one form of affordable housing need over another”.

He also pointed out that Ealing Council could not demonstrate enough housing was being delivered in the borough.

Work is expected to start on the scheme next year.

Southern Grove chief executive Tom Slingsby said: “In a world where developments often look identical, 55 West has character, texture and personality in abundance. It really raises the bar for affordable housing everywhere and just shows that it can be accessible and aspirational all at the same time, with no compromise.”

Ealing Council’s cabinet member for good growth, Shital Manro, said: ‘”We’re disappointed that the planning inspector has decided to rule in favour of the developer and overruled the council planning committee’s decision to refuse planning permission. We stand by the decision the committee reached, that the proposed tall building is not appropriate or suitable in this location and the development did not provide any London affordable rent housing.”

Image: West Ealing Station, courtesy Turini2/Wikimedia Commons.

Related Posts