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Council approves 18-storey residential and commercial block in Ealing

Ealing Council has approved the construction of an 18-storey residential and commercial block in South Acton. The site will provide 124 homes but has faced strong opposition from some neighbours, especially those living in two-storey Victorian homes on Temple and Weston Road.

The height of the development is 3 stories higher than the council’s new masterplan for the South Acton area causing major concern for residents. Simon Harris of Temple Road said the building is a “significant over-development of the site,” adding: “It enormously affects the area that we live in.”

The building will stand just across some railway lines from the much smaller homes on the other side, something that Mr Harris says will ‘financially damage’ people living there as the effects on light and privacy could hit property values. He continued, telling the council’s planning committee that Temple Road and his counterparts are not ‘wealthy streets’ and that most of the people there have put all their money into their houses.

Council approves 18-storey residential and commercial block in Ealing Harrow Online
Masterplan South Acton (with key), Ealing. Permission for use by all LDRS partners. Credit: Ealing Council

Mr Harris said that his neighbours of 30 years are planning to move away from the area if the plans are approved. He stated: “They feel it will completely destroy the whole reason why they lived there in the first place.”

The Ealing resident said he wasn’t opposed to a development in the area, in fact, he welcomed it but pleaded with the council to limit the building to 11 or 12 stories.

A big reason why the plan wasn’t rejected outright despite breaking the height restrictions was because the developer agreed to enhance, repair and improve Greenock Road, a council officer told the committee. He said: “There is a significant public benefit to the proposal that justifies a marginal increase of three stories above the identified height in the masterplan.”

The officer added that the proposal was a ‘one-off development’ which was only put before the committee due to the agreement to upgrade Greenock Road. As a major plan, it would see the demolition of the current buildings standing on the site.

The construction will see not only a main 18-storey housing block but two ‘shoulder’ blocks 15 and 12 stories on either side. As a mixed-use site, there is also going to be over 2,100 square metres of commercial space for offices and other business operations.

Council approves 18-storey residential and commercial block in Ealing Harrow Online
CGI Greenock Road Development, Ealing. Permission for use by all LDRS partners. Credit: Ealing Council

Of the 124 homes, 36 per cent are set to be affordable housing (broken down into 60 per cent London affordable housing and 40 per cent shared ownership). The council has also secured almost £1m from section 106 agreements that will go towards a local healthcare provision (£260,000), education (£230,000), leisure facilities (£70,000), open space (£35,000) and children’s play spaces (£55,000) amongst other places.

Some councillors on the committee were vocal in their opposition to the plan echoing residents’ concerns about the buildings’ height. Cllr Jon Ball was the first to voice this concern adding that although revamping Greenock Road was good it would not benefit residents on the other side of the railway tracks such as those living on Weston or Temple Road.

Cllr Gregory Stafford sided with this assessment saying that ’12 stories would be more appropriate.’ However, Cllr Gareth Shaw said that he had been “reassured that this is a one-off to improve Greenock Road” and cited the proposal’s design quality.

Cllr Yoel Gordon also voiced his approval saying that although it would have been better if the structure had been 15 stories overall he was happy with the plan. The council approved the plan 9-2.