More towers planned for the Majestic Wines site
On Thursday (13th July), another developer (Tide), unveiled revised plans for the Majestic Wines site in West Ealing. This follows a previous exhibition of their proposals (September 2022) after which they promised to listen to public feedback.
The weirdest thing about Thursday’s exhibition was that Tide didn’t appear to have taken on any of the comments from the previous exhibition – especially on the height. Worse they appear to have blatantly ignored the local plan and its site-specific guidance (or pretended it doesn’t exist).
Peter Mason, Ealing Council’s Leader, announced his shiny new local plan in November 2022. It had been a long time in the making. Years in fact. Not only does it have very clear site-specific guidance for every area vulnerable to development, but it also has a Tall Building Policy.
Time and money were put into meticulously assessing each area and a site-specific guidance (SSG) was allocated. The whole of the Waitrose carpark and superstore area has a site specific limit on height of 8-13 storeys and the site of Hastings Road Majestic Wine and Halfords is also 8-13 Storeys as does the area around West Ealing station with a very clear Tall Buildings Policy.
*So why are developers turning up to exhibitions to show us buildings up to 20 storeys high?*
Tide say they’ve been talking to Ealing Council planning dept for months, showing their plans and the council have asked them to justify why it needs to be so tall.
Justine Sullivan of STT asks, “How are they even allowed through the door? The SSG says 8-13. Surely Ealing Council should be saying ‘come back when you can understand what that means!’ Even entertaining the idea of building something 7 storeys higher is not only arrogant, it also makes a mockery out of the local plan.”
So will Peter Mason’s new local plan join the ranks of chocolate teapots, ash-trays on motorbikes, and other useless things? Is it also utterly pointless and not worth the paper it’s written on?
The failed mess of Manor Road (with it’s approval for a 21 storey building – as yet unbuilt) is haunting every resident. And four years on from their first attempt at an application, the Manor Road site is still an empty load of rubble. Yet another developer comes along and chances it arm and proudly shows the unbuilt tower on their boards as though this is what’s guiding them on height.
Manor Road is one of the most controversial planning applications in the history of Ealing. All our MPs voted against it, Ealing Planning Committee voted against it and the Mayor of London allowed that decision to stand. On appeal in 2021, the Planning Inspectorate decided to overrule that decision.
Why? Because Ealing Council failed to provide their housing figures.
That was TWO YEARS AGO. And those housing figures have still not been published which means a tilted balance in favour of development will always win, with the fear of being taken to appeal and having to fork out £millions again in court fees looming over the council, which means they are afraid to turn stuff down. The council and developers know this. Yet they still won’t publish them – it’s as though they don’t want to turn these tower blocks down and are welcoming tall towers with open arms.
Yet when Peter Mason wooed residents in the lead-up to the election he promised he would be clamping down on tall buildings. He also assured residents groups and members of STT that his new local plan will carry weight the second it has been published.
Cllr Mason told STT that he was banging a very loud drum and sending a very clear message to developers.
Well they don’t appear to be listening Peter. They are completely ignoring you. So what are you going to do about that?
Developers aren’t listening to you. And if you are listening to us, you will do what you said when you were voted in and not let developers run roughshod through our borough. People trusted you Peter.
But by not publishing these figures, you have very little chance to defend.
So does that mean you actually want these massive blocks?
That drum needs banging a bit louder Cllr Mason
Thank you for your support
Welcome to West Ealing Canary Wharf on a bridge
Waitrose development proposal in Green
Tide student proposal light pink
Existing developments terracotta
As yet unbuilt Manor Road disaster dark grey
PS You can see the updated exhibition boards for the Majestic Site on the Tide Construction website www.42hastingsroad.com
Tide proposal for 408 student bedsits 20 storeys high on Majestic Wine site