Tower Block Plan Goes Before Planning Inspectorate

After Council rejects North Acton plan on second application

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After plans submitted by Fairview, a developer, were rejected by Ealing Council for a second time this week, the company announced that the plans will be put before a planning inquiry on September 11 and 12.

The plans - for two tower blocks next to the polluted thoroughfare at Gypsy Corner - were thrown out by councillors for a second time. The planning committee said the blocks would provide "poor quality" housing. They also cited inadequate amenity space, overdevelopment and a lack of disabled parking.

Cllr Kate Crawford (East Acton) said the housing would be "poor quality" and Cllr John Popham (Cleveland) told the Committee that 16 of the flats would need to be glazed with obscured glass, and that the flats were totally unsuitable for disabled people. He also said that in Ealing Borough more two and three bedroom flats are needed whilst Fairview's plans show 73 of the flats as one-bedroom.

Fairview has already built blocks at Gypsy Corner. The proposals currently on the table are for 59 'affordable' flats with 36 set aside for social housing. The density for the scheme - 600 units per hectare - is more than twice the 275 capacity recommended by the Mayor's office.

Other concerns cited by this month's Planning Committee were: Non-opening windows, lack of community facilities, poor air quality, no car parking and overlooking between flats.

Managing Director of Fairview, Stephen Casey said that after the first application was rejected, the company worked hard "to address the local authority's concerns regarding amenity space." He said Ealing Council had raised more reasons for refusal on the second application than they had on the first.

Mr Casey said the Planning Inspector's decision on September 11/12 would determine the way forward. It will be interesting to see whether the Inspector overturns Ealing Council's ruling, which they recently did on a proposal for Churchfield Road.

August 29, 2008