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96% of residents oppose John Lewis housing development on West Ealing Waitrose site

A public consultation over retail giant John Lewis Partnership (JLP) plans to redevelop its Waitrose West Ealing store with towers has seen 96% of those responding to it object to the plans.

The consultation, which closed on 6 October 2023, had 653 responses to it of which 630 objected and only 16 were in favour.

To view the John Lewis application, click here and enter the reference number 233076FUL.

Campaigners and locals against high-rise builds had previously voiced their anger over the development which includes four buildings – 19 storey, 17 storey, 15 story and 10 storey as well as a number of mews homes built around them.

They also called on Ealing Council and its leader Councillor Peter Mason “not be entertaining any application for the West Ealing Waitrose site which exceeds the draft local plan height limits of 7-13 storeys”.

Ealing campaigning group, Stop The Towers (STT), raised concerns over the John Lewis Partnership plans for the site which would be ready to move into during 2027 if it gets approval.

Justine Sullivan and Denise Colliver, co-chairs of Stop the Towers said: “The tallest of the planned towers would be similar in height to Big Ben. West Ealing is not inner London. What’s more, neither development will deliver the type of housing that Ealing desperately needs. We urge Ealing Council’s planning department to listen to residents’ concerns and reject both applications.”

They added: “Residents of West Ealing support appropriate and proportionate development that will genuinely benefit the local community but the plans proposed by John Lewis will not deliver this in any way, shape or form.”


Campaigners from STT say that the application “fails to resolve any of the concerns about the development raised by local residents and Ealing Council during the public consultation phase.”

Among the concerns is John Lewis not following guidance from Ealing Council’s Local Plan which indicates the site is suitable for buildings to a maximum height of 13 storeys – John Lewis proposal is for 19 storeys.

In a letter to Ealing Council and to its leader Councillor Peter Mason, STT highlighted a number of concerns about the proposal and also timescales with it.

It says:

“You were very clear (tweet dated 27th February 2023) that Ealing Council would not be bullied by JLP into accepting buildings higher than stipulated in the local plan. You also made a pre-election promise to clamp down on towers in the borough.

“JLP’s planning application includes buildings considerably taller than Ealing Council’s site-specific guidance of 7-13 storeys. JLP’s plans exceed this guidance by over a third.

“Can you now reassure the many concerned local residents and supporters of Stop the Towers that Ealing Council will not be entertaining any application for the West Ealing Waitrose site.

“The JLP application includes the demolition of the current Waitrose building, which is less than 18 years old. This is contrary to Ealing Council’s recently announced policy on sustainability, which favours refurbishing existing buildings over redevelopment. Please reassure us that you are going to stand up for this policy also.

Residents also raised concern over the timing of the application.

STT said: “JLP has also behaved evasively by submitting its application on 4th August during the summer holiday period and then delaying the wider communication of the submission, with the public only advised through a leaflet drop on 19th August. This has left residents with a mere 13 days until the closure of the consultation period on 31st August to review and respond to the application comprising 190 documents.

In its letter to Councillor Mason, STT added: “We are disappointed that JLP has chosen the height of the summer holiday period to quietly submit this application. Will you support our request that the deadline for public comments on this application be extended to allow the many people otherwise engaged during this holiday time to comment?”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS previously, Ealing Green Party chair Neil Reynolds voiced his concerns: “Although the site is well positioned for much needed homes the plans propose blocks that are far too high. The council should firmly oppose the scale of this development.”

A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “As we’ve seen from last week’s Rightmove data, the demand for rental housing continues to rise – the number of people asking to view each rental property that becomes available in Britain has more than tripled in the last four years.”

They added: “We’re proposing to bring much-needed rental homes on a brownfield site, which can help tackle the shortage, and are continuing to work through the comments received as part of the planning process.”

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