Business as Usual?
It’s a been a while since Stop The Towers were last in touch, we hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe during these uncertain times.
It may appear quiet on the West Ealing Towers front, but let’s not be complacent. This is the calm before the storm.
Business As Usual?
The government has made major changes to how planning works under the Coronavirus Act which potentially gives Ealing Council the opportunity to bypass many of the current checks and balances for perhaps a year or more.
The message from Ealing is that it’s ‘business as usual in the planning department’. They said they want to be inclusive and consultative, but all past evidence implies they prefer to consult with developers, not residents. Applications are being submitted at the usual rate, but nobody has worked out how the new process of consultation and evaluation works.
On Wednesday night (20th May) a 16-storey tower behind the iconic Art Deco Hoover Building, was voted through during a ‘virtual planning committee meeting’. For many, the meeting was a challenge to get onto and it was a challenge to hear what was going on. But despite the huge level of local opposition, inexplicably the London Borough of Ealing voted (8-5) in favour of the application. According to one attendee: “It was a complete shambles. Whether everyone was actually present for the whole meeting we’ll never know. At least one Cllr dropped out at some point and they were asking what they missed!”
Check out this toe-curling film to see the extent of the over-development in Ealing. This was put together by Ealing Matters and Red Block Rebels in response to our growing concerns about the impending revisions of the Local Plan and concerns about the Council’s emergency planning arrangements:
For more info on all local developments click here
Design Review Panel?
Stop Towers met with MPs Rupa Huq and James Murray back in February, and along with Harbinder Birdi, (local architect and Head of Infrastructure and Transport Sector from Hawkins Brown) presented the idea of Ealing having an Independent Design Review panel.
Both James and Rupa were really encouraged by the idea and wrote to Cllr Peter Mason (Labour Cabinet lead on Planning) and Cllr Julian Bell (Labour Council Leader) asking them to consider it. Ealing is the third largest borough in London and considering how much development is already taking place and how much more there is to come, the fact one isn’t already in place is baffling
The Benefits of having a design review panel that comprises of a core group of interdisciplinary architects and designers, typically practicing and designing in London Boroughs will be to provide impartial guidance and experience that has been evidenced across London.
According to Harbinder, who currently sits on both Croydon’s and HS2’s Design Review Panel:
“The advantage of having a specific design review panel for Ealing is that we send out a clear message to the community that design quality is a key consideration for any developments within our borough.”
If ever a Design Review Panel was needed – now is that time.
Please feel free to email Peter Mason, here or Julian Bell here to send the signal that as a constituent you believe Ealing needs a Design Review Panel.
Two Towers West Ealing update
It’s been a whole year since A2Dominion first announced their plans for 183 flats on the Majestic Wine site, Hastings Road, opposite West Ealing station. If things had gone their way, plans would have been submitted last July and the application would have been approved and building work underway.
The massive community response has caused the London Borough of Ealing and A2Dominion to consider what changes could be made to the plans via pre-application discussions.
A2Dominion have confirmed they “are currently looking at some design amendments but this is still in progress so we’re not ready to share any detail just yet. We will arrange further public consultation in due course.”
We are in close contact with them and will share as soon as we have news.
Equally so for Southern Grove on the other side of the road, next to the station.
On the 10th June 2019, developers met with a few local residents’ groups hoping to wow us with their ridiculously out of proportion development on Manor Road. Confident they had the full support of Ealing Council and backing from the London Mayor, they were convinced their building work would commence in spring 2020.
It’s 22nd May 2020 and despite the news on Capital West London’s website saying plans have been submitted, Stop the Towers can confirm that this is not the case and the latest update from their reps is their ‘technical team are still working on the scheme following consultation comments’ and they will be in touch with us in due course.
Protest – thank you
A huge thank you to everyone who came to the protest outside Ealing Town Hall in February. Nearly 500 people turned up on a cold-wintery-night making it one of the largest protests seen in Ealing for years. Click here for pics.
We know our campaign is working but we need to keep the pressure on.
Lets get more posters and sign boards up!
Please tell if you would like a brand new brightly coloured Stop The Towers poster for your windows, or download one here: And email is and we can drop off a outside estate agent type sign board.
Email Cllr Peter Mason and let him know your thoughts on the way Ealing Council is handling planning applications during lockdown or your thoughts on Ealing having a Design Review Panel by emailing HERE
Thanks again for your time
Stop The Towers
Other links to help our campaign directly:
Download posters HERE