Controversial plans for towers up to 20 storeys high have been formally submitted to Ealing Council. The plans for the Waitrose site in West Ealing, from the development arm of John Lewis Partnership (JLP), include towers completely ignoring the local plan height limits. JLP plan blocks up to 20 storeys – even though on the council’s local plan states a maximum height 7-13 storeys on that site.
JLPs guidance breaching plans were submitted to the council on 4th August. The window for public comments closes at the end of August – peak summer holiday period. Despite JLP announcing to the media they had submitted their plans on 30th June, nothing was listed on the council’s website for another 40 days and JLPs oblique brochure only reaching residents on 19th August, leaving just over ten days to object. Priority now is to get the deadline for objections extended.
We know many local residents will be on holiday so won’t know the plans have even been submitted until the closing date has passed, so STT has to ask: Is this a deliberate attempt by JLP to avoid public objections?
We expect that kind of behaviour from the likes of the developers behind the controversial, and still unbuilt, Manor Road tower, who submitted their plans during the height of lockdown. But this kind of behaviour was not expected from seemingly family-friendly JLP whilst half of Ealing is on their summer break.
Worse, earlier this year JLP held a public consultation on the proposals, with the overwhelming feedback being concern over tower height. However despite this, the plans now submitted ignore both the feedback from the public about the height of the towers as well as blatantly ignoring the democratically implemented site-specific guidance on height.
Peter Mason, Ealing Council’s Leader has previously condemned the plans stating in a tweet dated 27th February this year that Ealing won’t be bullied into accepting these plans. He has also previously promised to clamp down on tall towers. STT has written to him, asking him to hold firm on these positions and ensure these plans are scrapped. [Link to open letter]
Co-Chairs of STT Denise Colliver and Justine Sullivan stated, “The arrogance of JLPs development team is breath-taking. They’ve ignored both the weight of public opinion and also the Local Plan site-specific guidance. Peter Mason previously agreed this was wrong too – so we trust him to stick to his word and ensure these plans are sent away to be reworked. No one objects to appropriate, proportionate development that will genuinely benefit local communities. But yet again we are seeing developers trying to ride roughshod over local people’s wishes and needs, ignoring democratically implemented local plans, just to make a fast buck.”
Help us to get the deadline for objections extended.
Please do email the case manager, stating you want the deadline extended to allow those away on holiday to have their say. Click below for pre addressed suggested email (please re-phrase as you’d like and don’t forget to add your name and address at the bottom).Suggested email
Request to extend the submission deadline for 233076FULM
Dear Mr Gray and Cllr Manro,
The Waitrose application – 233076FUL- with its vast associated documentation has been submitted during the middle of the summer holidays.
I have not had a chance as yet to consider these proposals. This is a major development which will undoubtedly raise a lot of issues of concern to residents across West Ealing, including me.
I am strongly against the timing of this submission and consider the given consultation deadline of 31st August as extraordinarily mean . It is wholly unrealistic to expect the public to make a reasoned response within such a short time during the summer holidays. Equally, the many local residents’ associations require much more time to digest the dense documentation and respond appropriately, both to advise their members and to submit a response to you. I think, in conjunction with Stop The Towers, that the response period is unreasonably short and are requesting an appropriate extension, not just to early September but by at least six weeks as was the practice during the previous three years since Lockdown. This six week period should only commence once the public yellow Notices actually get displayed around Waitrose West Ealing for all of their customers to view.
I hope that you will consider this request favourably and I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s worth noting that the JLP application includes demolishing a building less than 18 years old. This is strongly against the Council’s recently announced policy on sustainability, which favours refurbishing existing buildings over redevelopment. Another reason for Peter Mason to stand firm and not allow JLPs developers to ride roughshod over Ealing Council’s policies
With thanks for all your support,
Stop The Towers
The STT team need help
Stop The Towers needs people to read through the Waitrose planning documents. We want to put together a group of people to prepare the STT official response to the proposals but the number of documents is too vast for so we need new volunteers. Ideally you’d have some understanding of planning, but it is not essential as others can advise. But if you could read through one document and summarise the key issues, please get in touch to firstname.lastname@example.org