Proposal To Increase Height of Friary Park Scheme Ditched

Campaigners praise community response as high towers abandoned

CGI from the developer of the bigger towers planned at Friary Place
CGI from the developer of the new bigger towers planned at Friary Place

Local campaigners are celebrating after developers building the major development around Friary Park in Acton announced they were not proceeding with a plan to significantly raise the height of the project.

The scheme, which is a joint venture between Mount Anvil and Catalyst, already has approval for part of the development but they wanted to increase the height of two of the towers to 37 and 29 storeys. The argument was made that the extension was needed to ensure the profitability of the scheme.

Over a thousand objections were made to the proposal during the consultation, with locally based TV presenter Sean Fletcher prominent among the opponents of the scheme.

Cap The Towers: Acton, a group that was campaigning against the proposal responded to the news by saying, “This is a massive victory for our community, and a time to celebrate. Catalyst and Mount Anvil thought they could increase their greedy development at Friary Park to boost their profits, firstly by attempting to raise the tower heights without consulting local people, and secondly through the official consultation process which is weighted heavily in their favour. But you, the people of Acton, stood up to the greed and said enough is enough. It's a great example of how people working together can stand up to big corporations. Well done everyone. Together we are stronger.”

Towards the end of last year the group had predicted that the scheme was doomed to fail because the extra height of the towers required common land to be used as amenity space for residents of the development.

Sean Fletcher stands on Friars Place Green
Sean Fletcher stands on Friars Place Green

The original plan which had a maximum height of 24 storeys has already been granted planning permission and Cap The Towers are warning that the developers may seek new ways to increase the density of the scheme.

It says, “It’s not over yet. The greedy developers remain determined to make more money at the expense of our community, by working on new proposals to cram in over a hundred further flats at Friary Park, none of which are social housing. We think they plan to do this by raising the height of comparatively smaller buildings e.g. 10 storey blocks going to 14 storeys etc. Cap The Towers is attempting to get clarification from the developers of their plans. We will keep you posted.”

The development near Acton Mainline Station could provide over 900 flats in the area when complete.

Marcus Bate, Partnerships and Communities Director at Mount Anvil, said “Our business is built on collaboration and listening. We’ve listened to concerns about the proposed increase in height to the four tallest buildings at Friary Park and we are collaborating closely with Ealing’s planners to find a better solution which achieves the same community benefits. We will ensure the revised design will retain all of the outside space and amenity improvements which we’d promised to residents, whilst maximising affordable housing delivery and not compromising on the design quality of the new buildings. Our new proposals will help deliver an outstanding healthy working community at Friary Park.”

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January 27, 2022