Private Eye, in their “Rotton Boroughs” section revealed some interesting facts about the Crossrail/local development plans!
CROSSRAIL, when it is eventually finished, will have five stations in the London borough of Ealing. The Labour council and developers are beside themselves with excitement about the opportunities for urbanising “the queen of the suburbs”. Residents of the leafy borough, less so.
One sign of things to come may be a plan by “not for profit housing provider” A2Dominion (A2D) to build a 25-storey block of flats, accompanied by towers of 11 and eight storeys, on the site of a single-storey former Majestic Wine warehouse near West Ealing station, which will provide 183 flats. Only 35 percent will be “affordable”, the rest being aimed at wealthy private investors. Residents are alarmed by two things — the height of the principal tower, which is completely out of scale with anything else in the vicinity — and the apparent closeness of A2D to the Labour council. Council leader Julian Bell rents a “social” home from A2D, despite owning a five-bedroom home nearby, while Ealing’s cabinet member for finance, Bassam Mahfouz, works for A2D as “community investment manager (social inclusion)”. Meanwhile project management will be undertaken by Rutherford Projects, a company recently set up by Noel Rutherford, Ealing’s former “director of built environment.
A spokesperson for Cllr Bell’s office tells the Eye: “Both councillors have been completely transparent [about their A2D connections] and have declared this to the council. Neither are members of the planning committee, and have not had any discussions with A2Dominion or anyone in the council about this application, which is at the pre-planning stage. Neither councillor would participate in any decisions about A2Dominion and should an item arise they would recuse themselves.” So that’s all right then.
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