Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Planning News

This is the first of regular updates that I’ll be giving on planning issues in East Acton ward.

First some good news – following objections from myself and a number of local residents, the Council have refused permission for an over-the-top development at 96 Western Avenue. This is a site with what lawyers might politely call a ‘troubled history’ of planning problems and enforcement, which would have been exacerbated by the now refused proposals.

Another property with big planning enforcement issues is 26 and 28 East Acton Lane, where the Council has been forced to the unusual step of imposing a ‘stop notice’. This is designed to prevent illegal development work being carried out until a planning application has been considered by the Planning Committee. There has been a great deal of concern locally about an apparently enormous and unneighbourly redevelopment, and the developes have now finally submitted a planning application on which consultation can be undertaken.

In Acton Vale, the Council have agreed permission for the former ‘Curtain Mill’ store at 2 The Vale to be converted into a wine bar. This is the sort of proposal that normally generates opposition, but the local Oakvale Residents Association wrote to support it - in order to provide more local facilities for the growing population of the area.

New proposals could create a further residential expansion in local housing in and around The Vale. The developers of Bromyard House (the former pensions building) want to add another 60 odd flats within it, rather than the office space that is planned to provide a mixed development. They are also consulting locally on their planned redevelopment of the neighbouring site, that they euphemistically call ‘Home Office land’ – the houses and flats owned for the use of prison warders at the nearby Wormwood Scrubs prison – with a net increase of hundreds of ‘housing units’. However, even larger than these proposals are plans that are said to be about to be submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham Council. These are at the former Prestolite factory in Larden Road, which literally borders onto East Acton ward, with some five hundred flats being talked about being provided on this large site.

For all these Acton Vale developments, there is one key question – is this all too much for the local social, transport and environmental infrastructure to bear ? And if it is, what might be the alternative acceptable levels of total housing ; what is the proportion that needs to be genuinely affordable to create mixed communities ; and what is the contribution required from the developers to provide the new facilities required to make the infrastructure match the current and new populations ?

If you want any information on planning issues, proposals or developments in East Acton ward, please feel free to contact me at phil@east-acton.com.

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