Development set to proceed despite determined local opposition
A visualisation of the scheme from Cap The Towers
A packed meeting of the Ealing Borough planning committee this Wednesday (19 October) saw councillors back a planning application for latest plan for a massive development at Friary Park.
All but one of the committee members voted in favour of the application after receiving a report from council planners in recommending approval of the scheme.
Sean Fletcher of the Cap The Towers group, which is opposed to scheme, addressed the committee as did Cllr Steve Donnelly, a Labour councillor who represents East Acton.
The meeting was full to capacity with two other controversial planning decisions due to be taken, at the Steyne Estate and Twyford Abbey. Both of these were also given the green light.
An earlier application (193424HYBRID) had already begun the comprehensive phased redevelopment of the site from November 2020. Construction on this phase began in March 2021 and is approaching completion.
Catalyst, in partnership with developer Mount Anvil submitted the latest application for a significant increase in the scale of the development. The number of housing units in the development was boosted from 990 to 1,228 by raising the height of some of the blocks in the development to as high as 17 storeys. The tallest towers in the scheme, which are 24 storeys high, have already gained approval in the previous application.
The estate was originally built for private sale by Laing Homes in the late 1980s but a downturn in the housing market meant that the company was unable to sell the units. The site was acquired by Catalyst Housing which occupied them with social rent tenures. Council planners described the existing 226 flats on the site as not up to the required standard and inadequately insulated. They also concluded that the large amount of parking space on the estate meant that the location was not being used efficiently and therefore allowed demolition to proceed.
A visualisation of the scheme from the developers
Cap The Towers tried to put a stop to the application proceeding by claiming that pre-application meetings between the developer and council planning staff were not minuted which they contended was a breach of regulations.
The group produced a series of videos outlining its objections to the way the application was handled.
The reference for the scheme on the Ealing Council planning portal is 221747HYBRID.
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October 20, 2022