Council accused of deception in failing to publicise plans properly
CGI of scheme produced by Stop The Towers campaign
The massive development planned by Ealing Council at the Perceval House site will include a tower 26 storeys high. Opponents of the scheme fear that this could be the first step in turning the centre of Ealing into an area dominated by skyscrapers.
The CGI produced by the Stop The Towers campaign and shown in this article are based on the site plan published by the developers and assume 3 metre storey heights. The campaign says that this proposal would dwarf the Town Hall and Haven Green and create a precedent for similar skyscrapers in central Ealing turning it into a version of ‘Gotham City’.
Sara Parkinson, Head of Planning at Vistry Partnerships said, “The redevelopment of this important town centre site offers the opportunity to provide 477 high-quality and much-needed new homes, including 50% affordable housing, as well as a new, fit-for-purpose council office and modern library. The buildings range from three storeys to 26 storeys at the highest point."
Ealing Council and Vistry Partnerships (formerly known as Galliford Try Partnerships) are working in partnership to redevelop the site as a mixed use scheme.
The web site published as part of the community engagement on the project does not mention the likely height of the towers and the CGI included gives little indication of the scale.
( Artist images from council)
An exhibition of the plans is taking place in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre next to the post office this Thursday 6 February from 3.30pm to 7.30pm and again on Saturday 8 February from 10am to 2pm.
No attempt seems to have been made to publicise these events and EalingToday.co.uk was informed they were taking place by members of the Stop The Towers campaign. The scheme web site makes no mention of the exhibition dates for this month.
There will be brand new council offices fronting Uxbridge Road which will include a new customer service facilities and a library.
Another opponent of the scheme told us, “The way Ealing Council are handling these developments makes them totally complicit in a deception of local residents. This is just the latest example of how developers have been allowed to subrvert the intention of the relevant legislation in an attempt to minimise the awareness of schemes that will have a huge impact on people’s lives. Section 18 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires developers of major projects to produce a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), details how they will engage local communities in determining planning applications. Holding these public exhibitions is part of the way that their statutory obligations under the Act are fulfilled. In the first instance whether or not they have complied with the Act is determined by the local authority.
"Ealing Council are well aware that developers give minimal publicity to their community engagement events, hold them at awkward times and use a whole host of other tricks to minimise the amount of people that get to hear about what is being planned. They could put a stop to this immediately by issuing proper guidelines to developers on what a Statement of Community Involvement should contain but, as they are now playing the same game themselves, they choose not to. It’s scandalous.”
There has been previous criticism of the Council and developers in the way in which publicity for community engagement events have been handle for recent major schemes in West Ealing and Acton both of which contain structures which are more than 25 storeys high in areas which have previous been predominantly low rise.
We have asked the Council for comment on the way that community engagement for these developments is being handled.
It's expected a full planning application will be submitted in March.
February 6 2020