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EXCLUSIVE: North Acton residents protest against Barratt London tall towers application

Acton residents are up in arms over plans by Barratt London, part of Barratt Developments, to build a housing development called Cloister Corner (located by Horn Lane and the A40 Western Avenue), that will contain buildings up to 17 storeys tall. They are calling on Ealing Council’s planning committee to refuse the application.

Residents held a public protest on Sunday (2 April 2023) to highlight their concerns in advance of Ealing Council making a decision on Wednesday (5 April 2023) on whether to allow it to be built.

During the planning committee meeting at Ealing Town Hall, residents including the chair of West Acton Residents’ Association, Sheela Selvajothy will be presenting their objections.

Local North Acton Councillor Daniel Crawford will also be speaking at the meeting.


Planning officers from Ealing Council have recommended that the application should be approved.

They said: “It is considered the proposal will result in the effective and efficient use of this long neglected brownfield site bringing forward a wide range of high-quality residential dwellings included a high proportion of affordable homes. The scheme will result in a different scale of development but has been carefully designed to respond positively to the existing neighbourhood whilst providing an appropriate transition between the scale of development within the Opportunity Area and that within the surrounding roads to the south and west.

“The proposals have been subject of rigorous pre-application discussions and the design has evolved following feedback from the GLA and the Council’s Design and Community Review Panels. The proposals will cause some impact, but these are negligible given the urban setting of the application site and will not lead to any significant harm to existing living conditions. The proposed development includes a range of housing types all of which are to be built to a high standard meeting and exceeding policy requirements.

“The report concludes that the proposals would be acceptable and would accord with relevant National, Strategic and Local Planning policies and guidance and planning permission could reasonably be granted in this case.”

But residents fear that should the development be approved it will impact their lives negatively.

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Melisa who lives in Cloister Road said her quiet residential cul-de-sac will be ruined: “I am next to the wall where they’re going to build a whole site. I mean, that’s my house next to it. I’m going to be losing between 25 and 30% of my light in the kitchen, in my bathrooms and in my area. This is a residential area. This is not designed for tall buildings. And if you can see Ealing Council talking about the green corridor, what does it mean the green corridor? All you see around this is a concrete jungle.

“Cloister Road is a really narrow road and we already have a specific problem with the parking spaces. This is currently a dead end and they want to open it. It is a safe place for children. There is no need for another road to be open. We want our cul de sac to be safe. So children can play. We have a little community and this will be lost.”

Melisa said she is not against new homes, but is against homes which do not suit the area and the impact they will cause. “I am not against building new homes. They have to be built according to what is in the surroundings. This is a residential area.  They can build housing here which can include houses and low rise flats. There is a development on the other side which is respectful of the area. We are quite happy with that we are not against it. It’s the height that Barratt London are proposing that we are against. This is just like another concrete jungle.”

On Wednesday (5 April 2023) the planning application, to build on land that was previously a second hand car dealer, will be heard by 10 councillors who site on the planning committee.

Another resident, Ron, expressed his concerns that there isn’t the community infrastructure to support it. He told EALING.NEWS: “It’s been a mission creep situation slowly getting surrounded by massive mega ghetto towers. And it’s got to stop. It’s already impossible to get a GP appointment. There are no improvements to the improvement to infrastructure and it’s overcrowding. This is not appropriate for this location.”

In its application Barratt London says it plans to build 300 homes on six buildings ranging in size from two storeys through to 17 storeys.

Local resident Ryan also raised his concerns. He told EALING.NEWS: “We live in an area where we will have a tall towert literally peering into pretty much our garden. We also need infrastructure facilities for people to be able to do go about their day to day life, and there isn’t the infrastructure here for this.”

Protest banners against Cloister Close
Protest banners against Cloister Close

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Ealing Green Party chair Neil Reynolds said: “There is a housing crisis, and the Green Party supports the use of brownfield sites in particular to deal with this. Councillor Crawford is right to share his residents concerns however, 17 stories seems excessive.”

A spokesperson for Cap The Towers which has been raising awareness regarding a large development in nearby Friary Park said: “Cap the Towers has been appalled to see what is being planned at so-called Cloister Corner.  Ealing Council is incapable of understanding the elementary planning argument that tall buildings should not be placed in the heart of a suburb of two or three storey houses.  The residents in the streets surrounding North Acton Playing Fields already have the most grotesque heights bearing down on them from the north and in the south the great cluster of 7 ugly towers that is Friary Park have begun to emerge.”

They added: “Now to add insult to massive injury, they are to have towers even closer.  This part of Acton will be hideously overpopulated and that will be just as miserable for all those who find new homes here as it will be for all of us.  Well done Ealing Council.”

A previous application by another development company was approved in January 2018 to build 149 homes in buildings ranging from three to nine storeys. At the time there were only a handful of comments raised but now with the new application from Barratt London which bought the land in 2021, 54 members of the public have raised objections.

These include:

“In keeping with the local development and houses on Cloister Road, the proposed constructions should not go beyond 4 storeys. Anymore and it is not in keeping with local residential developments on this side of the A40 and will impact local residents in terms of garden and property privacy. The new proposal of building from 3 to 17 stories is excessive and overdeveloped. This area is not suitable for tall buildings. The proposal does not meet policies in Ealing’s Local Plan or the London Plan.”

“This site is not suitable for a 17 storey building! This is surrounded by 1920s two storey houses, this will block light into surrounding homes and will look completely our of place. The site is not one that is identified as suitable for tall buildings, there are clear reasons for that.
Overdevelopment in the area has put a severe strain on electricity provision, sewage system, and local services. There is not enough green space for the development and the local ‘park’ (actually sports fields), North Acton Playing fields, is crowded over weekends as it is.”

“The proposal for the buildings will impact the residents in cloister road greatly. The majority of the housing is two storey and these buildings are not in keeping with the suburban area. The privacy of the local residents has not been considered and these tall buildings overlook many of their gardens and homes.”

“This development as proposed is completely out of character with the surrounding streets, mainly on the grounds of excessive height, which will be a jarring contrast with the surrounding streets which are mainly of 2 storey houses. It will also put an unfair stress on the local G.P. surgery in Cloister road. The plans do not appear to have enough access for multiple fire engines and the other emergency vehicles that would be necessary in the event of a fire.”

In July 2022, Barratt London held a webinar with residents in the area to explain more as well as answer questions

EALING.NEWS has approached Barratt London for a comment.

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