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Opinion: Ealing LibDems want to hear from residents and groups who have concerns at Ealing Council’s plans for building in the borough

Ealing Liberal Democrats leader Councillor Gary Malcolm says he and his party want to hear from all Ealing residents and groups who have concerns about Ealing Council’s plans for building in the borough. 

“As the Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition, I recently was invited to speak at the AGM of Central Acton Forum (CAN Forum) about the Council’s proposals for the Local Plan which have big implications for how Ealing’s seven town centres will look if the plans are agreed.

“At the meeting we heard of a building being allowed when safety concerns were ignored and that the need for Council supported cooperative housing has also been ignored.

“For many years residents have felt ignored by what the Council does especially on planning where there has been anger when the Council has allowed too many buildings or those seen as too tall without an acceptable share of social or truly affordable housing.

“Also, the related infrastructure (schools, doctors, dentists, transport etc) were either not improved or not near where the developments took place.

“People often signed petitions, but they felt the Council’s officers or Planning committee voted through developments regardless.

  • “The Liberal Democrats over the past three years have pushed the Council to update its local planning guidelines so that it can where needed restrict tall towers and dictate more where developments are built with the related infrastructure. We now have the first stage of the new ‘local plan’ and there is much wrong with it.
  • Many sites in the borough like Acton Park lose its MOL (Metropolitan Open Land) status which means that the Council / developers have more opportunity to build on these open spaces.
  • The Liberal Democrats want to see these plans removed from the Local Plan as MOL should be protected.
  • There are reduced limits to building heights which is welcomed but until the Local Plan is agreed it appears many developers are looking to rush through as many tall proposals as possible.
  • Due to the scale of the proposed sites more coordination is needed than in a piecemeal manner.
  • Even the Labour Mayor of London is super critical of Labour-run Ealing’s definition and descriptions of tall buildings and plans to potentially build on metropolitan open spaces (MOL) when he said: “…it is clear that LBE have not established the necessary exceptional circumstances required to justify the release of these sites.”

“So, before the Planning Inspectorate examines the new plan in Summer 2024 there is much that residents and groups around Ealing can do.

“Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Ball, Opposition Spokesperson on Planning, Licensing and Housing adds:

“We recently uncovered that the Labour administration has wasted £3m of council tax money on a white elephant hotel scheme for the old town hall. Surely it is time to review the approach and look anew at what can be done.

“The longer this drags on the more the costs will spiral out of control. It shows Labour’s maladministration and their inability to steer and govern the council tax payers assets. This comes at a critical time when a draft Local Plan is being developed which outlines a development framework for the next 15 years and looks across all of the borough’s land and building assets.”

“Do contact us at so we can listen to your concerns.

“Also, the Liberal Democrats have set up a petition to stop some of these bad elements of the Local Plan. The link to the petition is here.

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