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A group of concerned residents has started a legal battle with Ealing Council over the controversial Oaks planning decision.

The Oaks Action Group (OAG) says lawyers have sent notices to both the Acton Regeneration Company and Ealing Council that a Judicial Review was being sought.

The controversial plan to build 142 homes (nine storey building) a multi-storey car park and new retail space in the town centre has already been approved and despite opposition and appeals neither the Mayor or Department for Communities and Local Government called the application in - work was expected to start on the site later this year.

However, it seems all avenues haven't yet been exhausted for opponents.

The group have instructed solicitors to look into the planning decision to find evidence of 'failure of process' and believe they have a good case.

Doug Carnegie from OAG says:

'' The main two claims are, 1: that the composition of the Planning Committee which voted 7-6 in favour of the plan was deliberately engineered by the ruling Labour group to ensure that marginal result. We claim this broke Ealing Council's own Planning Code rules. As did public and Council chamber comments by leader Julian Bell, extolling the virtues of the plan just prior to the vote.

'' 2: that the Planning Officer's report, which recommended Committee approval, excluded important evidence from English Heritage -and from its own Conservation Officer. Both were fundamentally critical of the ARC plan.''.

The Ealing Central and Acton Conservative MP, Angie Bray, says this latest move shows that many local people are still very angry:

'' "I am not sure how the judicial review would be funded but it is a big step to take.  It certainly demonstrates the strength of feeling in the community against the development and how angry they are about the way it was driven through by the Labour-led council."

A spokesperson from Ealing Council said:

'' "Ealing Council is disappointed to hear that parties acting on behalf of the Oaks Action Group are seeking a judicial review of the council's decision to grant planning permission for the Oaks development.

"Before granting planning permission, detailed consideration was given to the potential impact upon local residents and the immediate area. We have every confidence that the planning decision was made properly and are disappointed that a small group of residents are trying to prevent the transformation of the very poor quality Oaks shopping centre into a Waitrose and much needed new homes."


22nd April 2014