Tower Blocks For Friary Park Estate

Housing association plans to bulldoze and rebuild estate


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Catalyst Plans For Friary Park

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Major plans are underway to completely rebuild the Friary Park estate in Acton with proposals to include a new 'landmark' tower block which could be up to 29 storeys high.

Catalyst Housing (formerly Ealing Family Housing Association) bought the estate - close to Acton Main Line station - in 1987 and want to demolish the current housing stock and replace with between 500 and 650 new homes.

Most of the current estate will be bulldozed, this includes houses on Friary Road (3,5,7 & 9 Friary Road) but not Catalyst owned houses along Emmanuel Avenue.

A 'screening opinion notice' was published in relation to the scheme for "substantial existing residential development and construction of up to 650 dwellings forming buildings of 2 to 29 storeys high up to a maximum height of 90m above ground level"

The top end of this range would make the main tower West London's tallest building if it was completed before the skyscraper planned at the Carphone Warehouse site in Park Royal. The building would loom over much of Acton including some of the area's most expensive streets. Those backing on to Emanuel Avenue will be the lowest, with the tallest next to the railway and station.

Catalyst say they need to build more homes to sell privately to enable them to re-provide the same number of rented homes.

They say '' A landmark tall building allows us to build a greater number of homes on the site. We can pay for the provision of new high quality social rented homes by building additional homes for sale, rent and shared ownership.''

The final housing mix is yet to be agreed but the new development is expected to be roughly 50% affordable housing and 50% private housing.

The housing association says it is currently looking to sell units to overseas investors to help pay for the huge redevelopment.

Catalyst say: ''We understand that many people would prefer all homes to be sold to the London market, cutting off the overseas market would I’m afraid cripple our ability to achieve the replacement of poor, redundant, housing stock by high quality new homes, let to people on low incomes at the same rent type as they are currently paying.''

Consultations and workshops are currently underway with those who live on the estate - who are also in the process of establishing a new residents' association.

It's expected a planning application will be submitted in the summer.

4th March 2015