covers the area between
Ealing Broadway station and the refurbished block on Springbridge Road, now containg
Morrisons, TK Max and McDonalds.
The saga goes
right back to 2009 when Irish deveolopers Glenkerrin wanted to
redevelop the whole area between Springbridge Road and the Carphone
Warehouse and right back to the railway, including a huge 26 or more story tower block built over the railway.
overthrew Ealing Council's planning approval because the bulk, massing
and design of the scheme would fail to preserve or enhance the
character of the area.
subsequently went bust and new developers, Benson Elliot (BE) acquired the
After refurbishing half of it BE submitted plans by architects Allied
Morrison to redevelop the other half. While less ambitious overall than
2009 plans, Benson Elliott’s scheme is still more
comprehensive in that it
would clear the entire site while Glenkerrin would at least have retained the
Carphone Warehouse site.
plans were criticised by both local and national objectors because
demolition included 8 buildings the Council’s Conservation
Area appraisal says
make a positive contribution to the character of the area. In their place an 18
tower was proposed and other buildings rising up to 9 storeys in a part
centre where no buildings rise above 4 storeys.
forward to summer 2015 when plans were unveiled for complete demolition
commercial buildings in a major part of the Conservation Area (CA) and
inappropriate redevelopment for new flats with scant regard to the
the CA. Historic
Government’s advisors on the nation’s heritage were
highly critical of this
destruction of Ealing’s Victorian and Edwardian heritage.
strongly still, Historic England told the Council that if it approved
scheme the loss of so many buildings that contribute to the special
and architectural character of the town centre would justify
the conservation area.
assets are irreplaceable and any harm or loss requires clear and
justification. Nothing the developers have said to promote their scheme
justifies the loss of the remaining heart of one of London’s
December BE responded by saying it would retain one building and the
two others. They tweaked the application by retaining one of
Edwardian building and the facades of two others. These were to stay
incongruously plonked in front of high rise glass and steel, city
high-rise “modern” replacement blocks. Historic
England (HE) was not
impressed: In its 5th
February letter to the Council it said the scheme would still cause
harm to the conservation area and the Council should either seek
amendments or else refuse planning permission outright.
and Historic England were still not convinced.
HE wrote to Ealing Council to tell them
that if the plans were not
amended significantly it should refuse the application entirely. It
went on to
warn that should consent be granted and the development take place, the
Town Centre Conservation Area ‘would no longer merit its
status’ and it would
recommend its de-designation.
amenity groups Ealing Civic Society, Save Ealing’s Centre,
conservation panels are now urging the Council to take on board
England’s advice and secure some improvements from BE or else
say HE’s advice is
very firmly rooted in Government planning policy which demands great
given to conservation of a heritage asset like Ealing Town Centre.
Ealing's Centre has now apealed to The Secretary of State who has now
'called-in' the planning application and there will be a public inquiry
in May 2017. Historic England will appear along with SEC to
object to the numerous ways the proposed scheme conflicts with
national, regional and local planning policies.
is now appealing for funds to pay a barrister to fight their case,
whilst Ealing Council intends to spend an enormous amount of taxpayers'
money on hiring a top QC to justify why they have ignored local opinion
and their own policies in approving the scheme.
There has now just been a pre-inquiry meeting and details of that can be found at the link above.
We will update this page as things progress.
5th May 2017
|Impression of the scheme as
viewed from near the Station approach and The Broadway junction.
|Impression of the scheme as
viewed from the west.