|Anger As North Acton Skyscraper Gets Go Ahead|
42-storey 'monstrosity' on Portal Way approved by a majority of Councillors
Ealing Council's planning committee voted by a majority of 8 to 3 last night (20 July) for plans to build a 42-storey tower in North Acton. The project has been described as a 'monstrosity' by local MP Rupa Huq who said that this is Acton not Manhattan.
The tower is part of a larger complex being developed by City and Docklands Property Development Group at 6 Portal Way in Park Royal and is among a cluster of skyscrapers currently being planned for that area including the redevelopment of the Carphone Warehouse site and the Perfume Factory. The main structure at 6 Portal Way will be the highest in West London with the current plan for the Carphone Warehouse site only including buildings of a maximum of 32 storeys. It may be superceded by a plan to build a 45 storey tower in the Old Oak area.
The project include around 660 new homes of which up to 28% will be affordable (available at up to 30% discount from the market price). There will also be about 25,000 square feet of non-residential space including shops and restaurants.
In a letter to the chair of the planning committee objecting to the plan Rupa Huq MP said that it was an overbearing, over development of a suburb and she urged Ealing Council not to 'roll over' for commercial developers and make another mistake like they did with the project in Ealing Broadway which has recently been called in by the Secretary of State.
Conservative Planning Lead Cllr Joanna Dabrowska recused herself from the decision on this application to be able to openly criticise Labour’s record of allowing extremely high-density developments. She said
"The approval of this development sets a dangerous precedent for outer London residents. The highest 42-floor tower will be c.145m high, that’s higher than the London Eye at 120m. Labour is flouting its own plan-led planning policy. It seems they rewrite their housing planning policy to suit the developer’s wish list! Does Labour really want future residents to live like sardines?”
However, there was support for the development from other Councillors. Liberal Democrat Gary Busuttil said:
"Not only does this application provide good quality, well designed housing, it provides commercial space, parking, jobs, and new amenities such as a health centre, shops, restaurants, and improved public realm."
If the three major plans for area proceed they will create nearly 2,000 new homes.
The same planning meeting also unanimously approved a 133 bedroom hotel at Monarch House in the Victoria Road industrial estate.
Gary Busuttil said, "This planning application concerns an office building that has been vacant for a number of years, which hasn't attracted any occupiers, as the office space doesn't meet modern office tenants demands.
"It's considered an innocuous application will therefore renovate an existing building for better use, and its new purpose will create jobs whereas its existing purpose creates none."
The Conservative Planning Lead is considering a call in of the approved planning application.
July 21, 2016 (updated)