Members of the public have until 22 November 2023 to respond to an Ealing Council planning application from the developers behind The Green Quarter, Berkeley Group in which it reveals plans to have 8,100 homes built on the site. Among the eight new buildings is one planned to be 27 storeys high and two others 18 and 19 storeys high.
The application can be viewed online at https://pam.ealing.gov.uk/online-applications/ by entering the reference 234110OUT.
It states: “Outline planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings and structures on the site, comprehensive phased redevelopment to provide new buildings to accommodate new homes (Use Class C3), flexible commercial uses (Use Classes E and F1 and Sui Generis drinking establishment), education uses (Use Class F1(a), new sports hall (Class E), basement, energy centre, associated cycle and vehicle parking, landscaping, public realm open space and children’s play space and site preparation works”
The application, which was submitted to Ealing Council on 10 October 2023, follows a local consultation Berkeley Group held over the summer in which it was proposing an additional 5,000 homes being created on top of the existing 2,538 that have been built or are still being built in phases 1-3. But now the developer wants to increase that by nearly an extra 600 homes which could eventually see 8,100 homes on the site.
Locals have already started to voice their opinions saying the infrastructure cannot sustain such a development.
One person said: “Although the plan includes a primary school, I know of one local secondary school which is over subscribed which is Featherstone High School, so it is very likely with the projected population growth in Southall, there will be insufficient secondary school places.
One local GP surgery, the nearest to the Green Quarter closed down, after construction commenced. There aren’t enough GPs to meet the needs of a growing population and the current GPs will be placed under increased pressure with the projected population growth in Southall.”
Locals also raised concerns over the height of the buildings: “The plan to increase the height of buildings to accommodate 8,100 homes is unacceptable. In the Tall Building Strategy November 2022, the Green Quarter isn’t identified as suitable for tall buildings. In the local plan, indicative heights range between 6 – 18 storeys (21 – 63 metres) for the Green Quarter. 8 of the proposed developments, parcels 1 to 8 are over 63 metres.”
A disabled resident commented: “I live in a care home and on the opposite side of Beaconsfield road behind the row of houses, is the Green Quarter and noise, dust and odour pollution from this site has badly affected the quality of my life. I am concerned that the noticeable odour indicates that there is still contaminated soil on the site. I am unable to leave home frequently to get away from this monstrosity of a development as I am wheelchair bound and reliant on a carer to assist me.”
Another resident added: “To add maybe 60,000 residents from all the new housing developments, including 24,300, from the Green Quarter to the current 80,000, leading to a projected population of at least 140,000 cannot be supported by inadequate infrastructure in Southall. Longer waiting times at GPs and Ealing Hospital for appointments, children travelling an hour and 30 mins to undersubscribed schools in other towns in the borough, will cause more mental and physical ill health. It seems like the council hasn’t learned anything from the large high rise housing estates built in the 1960s and deemed a social disaster in the 1980s.”
During the summer, the property developer revealed that the original plans for the site are more than 15 years old and now is an opportunity to revisit and update the plans following housing requirements and changes in London.
In inviting people to take part in the consultation, it said at the time: “The original design work for the masterplan for The Green Quarter started over 15 years ago. Since that time, much has changed. The Mayor of London’s new London Plan in 2021 set a new direction for planning policy in London. This, along with Ealing’s current Local Plan review, which is out for consultation, means that it is time to look again at The Green Quarter and see if the opportunity exists to revisit future phases.”
It added: “We are reviewing the original permission to ensure that we make the best use of the site. The Green Quarter can support many more homes, and – at the same time – deliver wider community benefits for Southall.”
Berkeley Group also added it wants to leave a lasting legacy to Southall: “Phases 4-9 are yet to be delivered and this gives an opportunity to re-imagine and adapt our plans for the future. Our emerging plans for future development will help deliver those aspirations, grow The Green Quarter’s legacy, and mean that more people have a place they can call home, a place they can visit, a place they can enjoy with friends and family, and a place where they can escape to nature.”
The Green Quarter development has been built on land that was once known as Southall Gasworks. Locals living near the area, previously marketed as Southall Waterside, have raised health concerns about the development of the brownfield land but has said the land has been remediated.
Prior to being developed as The Green Quarter, the land was used as a car park for Heathrow Airport.
Nature and the environment are an important part of the development and Berkeley Group says it has been working with London Wildlife Trust.
A Berkeley Group spokesperson previously told EALING.NEWS: “Berkeley is committed to delivering 13 acres of wetlands, parkland and meadows. This includes new park Central Gardens, part of which is already open to the public, and a substantial wetlands being developed in partnership with London Wildlife Trust.”
The spokesperson added at the time: “If approved, these draft plans would bring the total number of homes in The Green Quarter to approximately 7,500, including additional affordable homes. By simply building future phases at a similar density to those already built at The Green Quarter to date, phases 4-9 could deliver the additional homes.”
But following the initial consultation, Berkeley Group has increased the number of homes it wishes to build so that by completion of the development 8,100 homes will be on the former Southall Gasworks site.
Another resident said: “I’m very concerned about how Southall will fare with the proposed new builds. Southall does not have the infrastructure to support more buildings. The traffic in Southall is appalling and new builds will only exacerbate this. Southall residents have had to put up with extremely poor air quality and fumes during the redevelopment on the former gas tower site and will be subject to yet more air pollution. Ealing Hospital does not have a children’s ward anymore and residents are redirected to West Middlesex or Hillingdon which are over 40 minutes away by public transport. I am further concerned when I read about the local GP closures and waiting time for GPs/local schools and wonder how or even whether any new residents will be able to have secure access to health services or schooling.”
While another commented on having 8,100 homes on the site. “8,100 homes could mean more than 30,000 new residents. If we won’t have enough community facilities and infrastructure for 15,000 people in 3,750 new homes, then we certainly don’t have enough for more than 30,000 in 8,100 new homes.”
They also added: “This new proposal to more than double the number of new homes includes no new homes that will be affordable to the average resident in Southall, where average incomes, as Council Leader and Southall councillor Peter Mason keeps reminding us, are less than half those in the most affluent parts of the borough. No one earning £18,000 per year can afford to pay £1,500 a month on rent!”