Campaign group 'Save Ealing's Centre' had quite a bit more
Last week 'Leaf' developers Glenkerrin told EalingToday they welcomed comments from government architecture watchdog CABE's comments. 'Save Ealing's Centre', SEC, welcomed it too, but for rather different reasons...
A Glenkerrin spokesperson told EalingToday that they don't consider the CABE comments to be all negative and that rather than withdrawing their drawings, they plan to take the findings into consideration in their response.
But however positively this is treated by the Glenkerrin camp this is undoubtably a thorn in their side, with SEC making the most of the report's negative stance.
SEC says that its concerns that the scale and design of the site are not in keeping with the rest of Ealing are mirrored by CABE’s comments on urban design and the principle of the tall buildings included in the proposals, citing an excerpt from the report: “We are not yet convinced that their impact has been assessed in relation to the broader townscape. If constructed, a tall building in this location would be a radical departure from the predominantly suburban character of Ealing.”
The alliance also points to a reflection in its concerns that there does not seem to be any joined up thinking about the overall scheme, how it fits into other plans for Ealing or how it will affect the existing infrastructure: “We are aware that Ealing is a town on the verge of significant development pressure but there seems to be no vision in place for the nature of this transformation. ”The report goes on to say: “we are not yet convinced that the scheme works together as a whole ... thinking needs to be applied to the whole project as a totality and until then we would not be able to give the scheme our support.”
SEC is also alarmed at Ealing Council’s lack of a tall buildings policy, something that it says the report warns about if Ealing is to avoid being transformed into an area full of high rise properties in the future: “Development of the nature of this scheme may set a precedent for further developments of similar intensity and height in the area. We urge the local authority to develop a tall buildings policy now, which should include ‘mid height’ blocks as these have every bit as much impact as individual towers, to ensure that developments of this scale conform to a specific vision for the future of Ealing rather than driving the agenda.”
Welcoming the comments, Nick Woolven, Chairman of the SEC, said “We are urging Ealing Council to take CABE’s report on board. We agree with CABE that a “fundamental rethink” is required to deliver a more balanced quality of buildings on the site, with more thought given to transport problems and with a design more sympathetic to the character of Ealing. We are in favour of regeneration but we want to ensure that we get what’s right for Ealing. In the view of the residents we represent, that is not what the current plans offer.”
What are your thoughts on the development. We at EalingToday are very keen to hear opinions both for and against. Send them in to Editor@EalingToday.co.uk.
November 22, 2007