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John Lewis submitting plans to Ealing Council today for Waitrose development to include 428 homes and 19 storey building

Retail giant John Lewis Partnership is submitting its planning application to Ealing Council today which details how it intends to convert its existing Waitrose in West Ealing into a new store with 428 homes to be built and offered for rent.

Campaigners against high-rise builds had previously raised their concerns 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.

Following its public consultation last summer and earlier this year, John Lewis has said it has made a number of changes following feedback. A spokesperson told EALING.NEWS:

  • “We will make contributions through our section 106 Agreement. In Ealing this will allow for improvements to be made to the nearby ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ ladder railway footbridge and the Green Man Passage.
  • “We have included a cafe and new commercial space and further enhanced the public spaces and piazza after the majority of respondents welcomed these initial ideas last summer.
  • “We changed the design of the western apartments so they read as a separate development to the taller buildings This followed discussions with the Council.
  • “Amended the design of the building to introduce different coloured brick treatment on the front middle and rear of the taller buildings to break them up and make them appear more slender. This was in response to the GLA, the council’s independent Design Review Panel and Ealing. We did respond to the public’s comments in their desire to see the use of traditional materials.
  • “Increased the space for pedestrians between the service yard entrance and the car park entrance. This was a response to TFL.”

In a statement, John Lewis Partnership also said of the homes being built that “many of which would be affordable and targeted at key public sector workers such as nurses or teachers. Our ambition is that 35% of the properties are affordable housing with a focus on provision for key workers.”

Nina Bhatia, executive director for strategy and commercial development said: “We’ve worked closely with local communities to understand their needs and we’re now ready to submit planning applications. Working with our partner abrdn, we want to bring much needed new homes with a community feel to Bromley and West Ealing, which will include the full commitments to affordable housing.”

During the consultation process earlier this year, Ealing Council Leader Councillor Peter Mason took to Twitter and commented: “… at the moment it feels like a big institution are trying to twist arms & bully through a scheme, that could be far better, through a precarious planning process using the ever present threat of an appeal.”

Councillor Mason also criticised the height of the buildings. He added: “Our recently published new Local Plan sets out very clear guidance on a range of sites that we believe will be developed over the next decade. The guidance here was for a 7 – 13 storey development. I’m certain that this will still be too big for some.”

Ealing campaigning group, Stop The Towers (STT), had previously raised concerns over the John Lewis Partnership plans for the site which would be ready to move in 2027.

According to STT, they say John Lewis is:  “ignoring both public feedback to their initial consultation, and totally disregarding the site-specific guidance, by planning three tower blocks of up to 19 storeys. The site-specific guidance for that site in the Draft Local Plan is 9-13 storeys, which is still taller than the current cluster of up to 10 storeys in that area. The proposals will dwarf the neighbouring streets, and as STT suspected, will use the controversial (and as yet un-started) Manor Road tower to justify the height.”

Following its application, it is expected the plans will be available to view in detail in the next few weeks on the Ealing Council website.

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