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Brent River & Canal Society chair says Ealing Council local plan is “short on detail” and “vague and unspecific”

The Brent River & Canal Society (BRCS) has challenged Ealing Council over its new 15 year local plan saying the plan “is short on detail about how the council plans to deliver its climate and ecological emergency strategy” and is “vague and unspecific”

The 1,200 page plan sets out what the council seeks to do for the next 15 years covering a range of issues across Ealing including housing, environment, leisure, jobs and more.

consultation on the draft local plan took place from November 30 2022 until 8 February 2023.  Residents and opposition parties opposed the draft local plan while organisations and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan raised concerns over what they saw in the draft.  On the initial draft plan, concerns were raised across a wide range of areas including tall buildings and open land.

Chair of BRCS, Phil Belman said: “This version of the Local Plan is an improvement on the previous one. It shows that the council has been listening to comments from residents and other stakeholders. We are pleased that much of the metropolitan open land de-designation has been dropped and that some proposed developments close to the River Brent have been removed from the plan.”

He added: “We note that the impact report acknowledges Warren Farm as a nature reserve and warns that development of the site could result in the loss of existing areas of high ecological value and habitat connectivity. It also flags the ecological and flood risks from development at Gurnell. We have been highlighting these risks in our discussions with Ealing Council for many years.”

Mr Belman said that while they welcome biodiversity net gain, there are still many issues not covered of clear in the local plan.

He said: “The council’s commitment to 20% biodiversity net gain on developments is also welcome but we are still concerned that the plan fails adequately to consider Ealing’s wider green environment and biodiversity. The plan is short on detail about how the council plans to deliver its climate and ecological emergency strategy and it still fails to consider the Government’s commitment to protect 30% of land for nature by 2030. The comments on the proposed 10 new parks and regional park are vague and unspecific.”

“The most glaring omission is the review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation. This was due in 2018 and has still not been published. Some of the sites earmarked for development are on or close to SINCs. Councillors will therefore be voting on this plan without fully up-to-date information. Ealing Council said that it would consult on the new SINC review in the Autumn of 2023. We are still waiting for their call.”

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