|Decision Looms on Two North Acton Skyscrapers|
Plans for 55 and 45 storey towers meet with significant opposition
Plans for two joined skyscrapers of 45 and 55-storeys tall in North Acton are to go before the Ealing Council planning committee this week.
The scheme has met with significant opposition with 119 public objections online and no comments in support.
With Ealing Council set to approve or deny the plans one residents association said they would consider legal action if the plans are approved. Local residents complained the towers will lead to overcrowding and too much pressure on utilities.
The developers, Gypsy Corner Portal Co. Ltd, declined to comment for this article, and denied the BBC Local Democracy Service permission to use the CGI designs of the buildings, which will sit on the old Holiday Inn site at 4 Portal Way in North Acton.
However, images shared on Twitter show the two proposed structures overlooking North Acton Playing Fields.
Of the 120 public comments on the council’s planning portal, 119 were objections. The other one was a consultee comment.
Sheela Selvajothy, speaking as chair of the West Acton Residents Association, said there was no adequate provision for green space in the design and criticised the build for supplying no new amenities to existing residents.
The skyscrapers will have a similar footprint to the Holiday Inn, which will be demolished if the plans are approved. The application proposes that of the 702 new apartments, 196 will be affordable units, broken down into 16 Affordable rent, 76 London Living Rent, and 104 London Shared Ownership.
The new design will also incorporate a new hotel, a flexible workspace, restaurant, retail space, and a two level basement, access, car and cycle parking, refuse and service areas. Despite offering a large number of new homes in an expensive market, Mrs Selvajothy said many would be purchased by foreigners, who would leave them empty for large stretches.
In her objection she wrote: “It will cause an immense strain on existing community facilities, e.g. no new schools, no additional funding for GPs whose patient registers are already too full with no room for new patients.”
She said there were no clear plans for upgrading sewage, electrical, or gas utilities to help bare the extra demand, and the local North Acton station would be overcrowded. Mrs Selvajothy also pointed to the development providing no community facilities, and said Section 106 money (money paid to the council from the developer intended to be used for social and community projects) would not mitigates these issues and was generally used elsewhere in the borough.
She said locals in North Acton had approached WARA because they didn’t have a residents association of their own to represent them. WARA were now sending out a call for locals with legal experience to help prepare action to stop the development.
A spokesman for the council said the planning application was received on the April 23 and the statutory consultation was initiated on May 13.
He said: “If the planning application is successful, more details about the timeframe of the project will be known.”
“Like all planning applications, any impacts will be thoroughly assessed as part [of] the application process. Should the application be approved recommendations will be made based on these assessments.”
Many of the public comments on the council’s planning portal said the proposal was too big and out of step with the area plan.
Ged Cann – Local Democracy Reporter
June 20, 2019