Forum Topic

HAVE YOUR SAY! DEVELOPER INCREASES UNITS FROM 990 TO 1,228 AT FRIARY PARK

The developers Mount Anvil/ Catalyst are launching their latest planning application for Friary Park on 1 June - yellow notices are still to be posted, but it is live on the LBE planning portal and there are 24 objections, no supporting remarks so far. Residents have until 22 June to comment. The application is a hybrid one, which means some parts will be fixed and other parts ‘outline’. The outline plans will continue to evolve in future applications, so it is important keep commenting.INCREASED FOOTPRINT, MASS AND HEIGHTIn the current plan, it is proposed Block B2 be increased in height to 17 storeys whilst ‘increased footprint and massing’ be applied to Blocks B3, C1 and C2. If the outline plans are adopted, a total of seven buildings will be in excess of 14 storeys (two of which will be 24 storeys).FRIARS PLACE GREENIn addition, the proposal includes two drawings where a MUGA (multi-use games area) spills over into Friars Place Green. This triangular green is common land. It has already been the subject of a much-criticised planning application that was withdrawn by the developer.HOW TO COMMENTTo comment, go to https://pam.ealing.gov.uk/online-applications and enter 221747HYBRID. In addition, email the case officer [not yet announced on the LBE portal] and cc leader of Ealing Council Peter Mason MasonPe@ealing.gov.uk. Also write to the East Acton councillors whose jurisdiction includes Friary Park. Kate Crawford: crawfordK@ealing.gov.uk. Steven Donnelly: donnellyS@ealing.gov.uk. Hitesh Tailor:  TailorHi@ealing.gov.uk

Juliet McDonald ● 83d10 Comments

CommentI write to object this proposals as a former councillor for the recently abolished Acton Central ward, where Friary Park was sited, and one of the councillors returned in the new North Acton ward. I believe this is another missed opportunity to deliver community-led regeneration as Catalyst and Mount Anvil have belligerently blazed ahead with their proposals to add extra height to the towers and provide housing for private sale - ignoring the legitimate concerns of Acton residents.I have been against the proposals to redevelop Friary Park since before I was selected as a Labour Party local election candidate in 2009. As someone who grew up in the immediate vicinity of the estate, this is not because I am against regenerate or do not recognise the need to regenerate the estate. It is precisely because the plans have always been so unimaginative and geared towards private profit rather than innovatively addressing the needs of the local community.It is glaringly obvious that these plans are an attempt to cram in more private housing onto a cramped footprint and in an area that cannot sustain it. There is not enough amenity space in North Acton already - which is why the newly-elected Labour administration has pledged to deliver additional green spaces - but the gall of the developer to try and grab Friar's Place Green for a second time is extraordinary. The Green is common open land and should not be up for discussion - its inclusion in these proposals merits their refusal on its own - and attempts to make it 'integral' to a development by constructing a new road are laughable. Catalyst and Mount Anvil should reflect on the fact that they should be providing additional amenity space for local residents rather than trying to colonise a cherished community asset.This is not the only sleight of hand attempted by the applicants. They try to suggest the impending arrival of Crossrail to the Elizabeth Line necessitates a change of approach, expecting the local community to have forgotten that Crossrail has been planned since 2006 and that the area is well-served for local transport links. This development, with excessive amounts of private housing will not only do nothing to deliver the genuinely affordable housing that Acton residents lead, but will only intensify the gridlock on Horn Lane. Many other elements of the documents and contentions within this application are either misleading or outright falsehoods, but to list them all would deny me the opportunity to draw attention to the other local issues worthy of mention.I am extremely concerned about the financial viability of the scheme. It is striking the Council's Cabinet member for finance has drawn attention to the greed of the developer and the underlying business case for this entire development is collapsing before our very eyes. Catalyst have failed to deliver on their word following the 2019 application that they would successfully decant the existing residents and offer them opportunities to return - many of my former constituents have been left to fend for themselves during the building phase of the previous development - and this doesn't breed much confidence. It is abundantly clear that then costs association with the construction of the new estate have skyrocketed and that is why these new homes, for private sale, are necessary.But Acton residents deserve better than having a visual monstrosity inflicted on them because of the incompetence of a developer. There are legitimate concerns about overlooking and noise nuisance from those residents of Emanuel Avenue, and I firmly believe that this development sets a bad precedent for Acton as we are about to reshape our communities through the Shaping Ealing process.In summary, this is a textbook case of overdevelopment by a developer and a planning agency who are not interested in Acton's future. The Planning Committee should throw it out.

Maire Lowe ● 41d

Comment submitted date: Tue 21 Jun 2022I write as one of the local councillors for East Acton to object to Mount Anvil and Catalyst's latest attempts to impose overdevelopment upon the residents of Acton at Friary Park. Whilst the developers might have outline planning permission on this site based on their successful 2019 application, I believe it is important to state that this application differs markedly from those that have preceded it.The developers claim to have listened to the distaste amongst the local community for imposing developments, but have responded to universal disapproval of their proposals from earlier this year with the introduction of a seventeen storey tower designed to cater for the luxury property market. Such largesse is clearly out of keeping with the immediate surroundings. Any suggestion that the vast majority of the houses to be provided via this application will do anything to solve the local housing shortage is wide of the mark - these 238 properties are intended to be sold to try and make the entire scheme viable. As my predecessors in the ward have suggested, this is sadly a serious opportunity missed to work with the local community to deliver genuinely affordable and social housing that adds to the character of a residential Acton region as the developers seek to balance the books.It is for this reason that I raise serious concerns surrounding the financial viability of the whole project. The numbers supplied with the application suggest that this important regeneration of an estate that has been unfit for purpose for some time is in serious jeopardy. The ability of the developers to deliver this project must be called into question - and the accuracy of their viability figures is open for debate. This is no time for speculation, but a sober assessment of how the developer can cater for the existing residents who have been decanted off the estate but promised an opportunity to return.There are a number of misleading statements in the application that should be corrected by the planning department. The developer should also be held to account for another attempt to procure public open space. A grassroots local campaign saw off an outrageous effort to develop Friars Place Green as part of the previous proposals and now the developer is trying to offset their lack of amenity provision by getting rid of a local access road. The arrogant assertion that such deception 'integrates' Friars Place Green into the development deserves only the contempt of Acton residents. It is breathtaking that having failed to provide adequate amenity space for 990 homes in their previous proposals, Mount Anvil and Catalyst are seeking to build 1,228 without offering any new green space at all.I would urge the planning department to reject this wholly unsuitable application and invite the developers to discuss a more palatable way forward in partnership with the local community,

Maire Lowe ● 41d