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Friary Park - Cap the Towers

To  Peter Mason, Leader Ealing Council       Shital Manro, Cabinet member for Good Growth       Steve Barton, Strategic Planning Manager       Chris Maltby, Consultant Planner and Case Officer Cap the Towers is calling, publicly, for the Friary Park Planning Application of Mt Anvil and Catalyst (221747HYBRID) to be removed from the agenda of the Planning Committee meeting on 19 October, 2022, if it has not been already removed by yourselves.  There are at least 4 reasons for this request: this application is nowhere near ready to be presented to the planning committee, as we shall show. 1.  Only a fortnight out from this meeting at which a crucial planning decision could be made, the Case Officer - at our request - finally uploaded onto the planning portal some 37 documents in support of the application.   These documents consist of submissions which the developer has made to the GLA in response to their Stage 1 report.  The 37 documents vary in size between 1 page and 514 pages but amount to a total of 1306 pages, full of detail requiring us to consult financial, legal, building, and energy experts for us to achieve some kind of understanding of many of these abstruse and esoteric documents.  Residents of Acton should not be  expected, in their spare time and unpaid, to digest all this material in a period of 12 to 13 days.  2.  In spite of the Case Officer’s assertion that the 37 documents contain  ‘essentially technical matters’, there are shocking examples here of entirely new proposals which go well beyond that description.  e.g. the proposal to change the whole character of St Dunstan’s Gardens some way down the road from the Friary Park site to provide additional  green space/amenity space which the developer so desperately needs if they are to fulfil London Plan requirements.  The residents of Acton will never agree to this - it can never happen.  But crucially not a word has been spoken to residents of Acton about this proposal.  Entirely speculative on the part of the developer and Ealing planners - just made up, to give the impression to the Planning Committee or the GLA that they have a plan for finding community space. This leads on to our third point. 3.  It has been a noticeable feature of the way this developer, assisted by Ealing’s planners, has operated in that they ‘float’ ideas for how they hope to acquire amenity space or community space (which we recognise is a very real concern for the GLA) without taking sufficient account of the very real possibility that these speculative proposals may, in the end, prove unattainable.  They (developers and the Council) have already had their fingers burnt once when they had to withdraw their plans for Friars Place Green last year.  The Borough could end up with a massively overcrowded and unhealthy site at Friary Park that should never have obtained planning permission because the necessary open space or community space was not guaranteed.   First, the necessary community space should be firmly secured and approved, and only then should the planning application follow.At the moment, it’s all the wrong way round. 4.  Such has been the efficiency with which the Labour Party whip has compelled Labour councillors to tow the line that this development must be supported, that Acton residents now find themselves in the position where they will have no councillor at the planning committee meeting supporting their case in opposition to the development.  The only one of our three councillors who has supported residents all along in this matter has sustained a serious injury and is unable to speak on our behalf on the 19th; the other two councillors are in favour of the development and therefore have disqualified themselves from being our advocate.  What price democracy in the current Ealing Council?  The idea that councillors are there to represent the interests of their constituents is being ignored.For this reason alone, may we respectfully suggest that the application be considered at a subsequent Committee meeting when our supportive councillor is restored to health? Just 4 reasons then for 221747HYBRID to be deferred till a later date.  Thank you. David TennantCAP THE TOWERS: ACTON

Chris Hurley ● 417d3 Comments

Dear Supporter Most of you will know there is the meeting next Wednesday at which the Friary Park application will be considered by the Planning Committee.  The venue is: Planning Committee MeetingEaling Town Hall19 October 2022, 7.00pm To see the Agenda etc, Google CMIS Ealing, then press Committees Ealing, then press Planning Committees, then press 19 October Agenda, then scroll down to Friary Park.  Nearer the time of the meeting, a box will appear at the top of the agenda which will enable you to watch the meeting on line. (If it stays the same, the link is shown below:) A good number of people have said they would like to turn up at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, between 6.30pm and 7.00pm, not least in order to be able to lobby members of the Planning Committee as they enter the building. The Council say there is limited space for people to observe the proceedings due to Covid restrictions within the Chamber but probably about 30 people will be admitted.  At least one of the Cap the Towers leaders will be present on the steps of the Town Hall from 6.30pm whether a few dozen people turn up or a hundred turn up.  The Police have been notified.  Plenty of information and guidance will be available. If a very large number of you occupy the steps of the Town Hall, that would undoubtedly send a very powerful signal to the councillors that there is strong opposition to this application from the Acton community. Sean Fletcher from Cap the Towers will speak to the Committee  on behalf of residents, as will Councillor Steve Donnelly, one of the East Acton councillors. Latest attempt by developer to colonise the neighbourhood Incidentally, there has been an upsurge of objections in the “Comments” section about the plans to take over St Dunstan’s Gardens to make it into a children’s playground when it is already used constantly for meetings of locals and as an area for exercising dogs. The developers’ mean to call it a part of their open space as they try to colonise other valued open spaces which the community already use and value. You might want to add your own comment using this link below. St Dunstan’s Gardens is this one. Best wishesCap the Towers

Maire Lowe ● 412d