Planned Flats for Domestic Abuse Victims Meet Opposition

Three tower blocks proposed near Acton Town station

CGI of the looking toward Acton Town station on Gunnersbury Lane. Picture: GRID Architects

January 12, 2023

Three tower blocks containing over 100 flats that would be used by women who have been victims of domestic abuse are being proposed near Acton Town tube station.

The development on Gunnersbury Lane designed by GRID Architects would include three buildings with a 15-storey tower at the centre with two towers on the side rising to 11 and 13 storeys.

Women’s Pioneer Housing (WPH) in partnership with housing association London & Quadrant Trust (L&Q) want to build the units for Ealing Women’s Refuge to be provided on a social rent basis.

WPH is an organisation founded over a hundred years ago by suffragists. It recently gained permission for a similar scheme in the White City area.

The plan is to knock down three buildings on the site which contain 39 flats built in the thirties and which are almost all below current set standards for living space. The site is owned by WPH which has provided housing there since the 1920s.

The submission argues that the need for such accommodation has increased during and since the Covid-19 panic and women who are victims of domestic violence can be challenging to place in other kinds of affordable accommodation.

The planning application has already received 46 objections with 9 people supporting. Those not in favour are mainly concerned about the height of the buildings rather than the planned use.

A visualisation of the planned towers. Picture: Grid Architects
A visualisation of the planned towers. Picture: Grid Architects

Some are worried that the towers would dominate the nearby Acton Town underground station which is a listed building designed by Charles Holden. Others point out that a considerable amount of building is already taking place in the area including in the South Acton Estate and that local infrastructure is struggling.

WPH chief executive Tracy Downie said, “Providing more good-quality, affordable homes for women is critically important, particularly during this cost-of-living and energy crisis.

“While we acknowledge some residents’ concerns over height, we have also been encouraged by the number of positive comments which welcome the need for more social and affordable housing for women in the area.”

Visualisation of the scheme looking north up Gunnersbury Lane
Visualisation of the scheme looking north up Gunnersbury Lane. Picture: HTVIA

If the scheme (224773FUL) is approved by Ealing Council, it is hoped to begin construction later this year with a view to completion by the end of 2025.

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