You can submit comments on Imperial’s application for One Portal Way online via the OPDC’s online planning register. The application, with its 280 documents and copies of objections submitted to date, are at this link (slow to load sometimes). The documents are in alphabetical order, so objections appear under N for ‘neighbour’ at page 23 onwards.
Be warned that the OPDC planning register uses different software than IDOX (as used by LB Ealing) and is a slow and outdated system. If navigating through it, the reference for the Imperial application is 21/0181/OUTOPDC.
For many people, a simpler way to submit comments is via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need to include your name and address in your email, as otherwise OPDC will ignore it, along with the reference 21/0181/OUTOPDC for Imperial’s application.
Below are a set of points which you may want to make in your response. These have been drawn up between the local community groups active in this campaign (as on the opening page to this website).
Best not to simply ‘cut and paste’ as less heed is given to such representations. Adding comments on how the development will impact on you is also helpful.
The ‘North Acton cluster’ is fast becoming London’s latest urban renewal disaster – unplanned, traffic-ridden, windswept, sunless and with empty ground floor shop units and poor public spaces. Views across West London will continue to be destroyed by developments that are of the wrong kind and in the wrong place.
- Development of this scale will impact across a very wide area. It should be based on a master plan that has been consulted on locally and approved by the planning authority.
- Including co-living units, the scheme will cram 1709 new homes into a 1.85 ha site, making it one of the densest residential developments in Britain. This is a gross overdevelopment.
- The scheme would add more than 3,000 new residents to an area with almost no facilities. No health and education services are proposed to serve such numbers, and there are few nearby retail or leisure facilities.
- There is little green space around the site. The nearest public park is at North Acton Playing Fields across the heavily trafficked A40 and which are already heavily used by local residents and other large developments.
- Just 35% of the new homes are described as affordable. The London Plan target is for 50% of homes to be affordable. Far more affordable homes should be provided given the planned density and building heights.
- Only 53 of the ‘affordable’ homes (4% of the total) would be provided as ‘London Affordable Rent’, which the Mayor considers to be affordable for low income families. Those designed for discounted market rent assume a gross household rent of at least £45,000 which is above the median household income in Ealing.
- The 53 London Affordable Rent units will be in a single development (Building D2) and not distributed across the scheme. Social segregation of this kind is not acceptable.
- The scheme would involve three new 50+ storey towers. The London Plan requires sites for tall buildings to be identified in local plans. Last minute ‘modifications’ to the OPDC Local Plan (submitted to the Planning Inspector in January 2022) say it is expected that tall buildings south of the Central Line will predominantly be in the range of 20 to 55 storeys…..This is an extreme example of retr-fitting a local plan around developer ambitions. These late changes were not consulted on before the Inspector finalised his Examination report.
- OPDC claims the development can be ‘car-free’ because the site has ‘the best possible rating in London of 6a for access to public transport’. This is not true. TfL’s Webcat online tool gives the site a PTAL score of 4 or 5. Incoming tenants will still want cars and will crowd out available parking.
- It is not environmentally sustainable. Towers use more embedded carbon to build, and more energy in their use.
The detailed objection to the application from the Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum can be found at this link One Portal Way objection No.1. The Forum submitted in mid February 2022 an OONF Objection 2.V4 which covers 7 grounds for refusal or withdrawal of the proposals including fire safety and evacuation measures for a 56 storey building.
An OONF Objection 2 Annex A to this second objection raises comments and questions on the many supporting documents on environmental issues, submitted as part of the application. A third objection responds to comments made by LB Ealing and LB Hammersmith & Fulham..
The Grand Union Alliance has submitted an objection which focuses on the inadequate affordable housing offer, and insufficient planning obligations delivered from the scheme, taking account of its scale. This can be downloaded here GUA comments on Imperial1 Portal Way.
The objection from Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith can be downloaded here Andy Slaughter objection One Portal Way.
Up until November 2021 it has been assumed by the applicants, Ealing, and the OPDC that it would be Ealing’s Planning Committee which decided the application. All other developments at North Acton have been decided by Ealing, since the OPDC was established in April 2015, under a ‘scheme of delegation’.
A late decision by OPDC to ‘retain’ the application for its own decision was made at the time the proposals were finalised. This is the first occasion on which a North Acton scheme has not been delegated, and Ealing Council were not happy with this change of direction. The Council has since submitted a detailed representation on the scheme, giving it Ealing’s support.
Elaing residents have become accustomed to conflictinbg messages from their Council on planning matters. On January 19th 2022 the Council published a press release and video by Leader Peter Mason. This covered ‘new guidance issued today by Ealing Council to help stop the spread of speculative developments featuring tall buildings’. North Acton remains a location where the Council seems to feel that a ‘cluster’ of tall buildings can be added to – despite the strong views of its own residents.