Councillors to decide whether to approve controversial student flats in West Ealing

By Cesar Medina

23rd Apr 2024 | Local News

An artist impression (left) of what the proposed student accommodation block in West Ealing could look like (credit: Planning application).
An artist impression (left) of what the proposed student accommodation block in West Ealing could look like (credit: Planning application).

Ealing Council's Planning Committee is set to decide whether to approve the development of a 16-storey student accommodation in West Ealing. 

In tomorrow's (24 April) planning meeting, councillors will consider whether to grant a full application for the removal of shops on Hastings Road and Drayton Green Road to make way for 412 student homes. 

Following a pre-application back in August 2023, the scheme's size has been reduced from 448 to 412 student rooms and reduced from 21 to 16 storeys. 

If approved, the plans would see The Majestic Wine retail store on Hastings Road and two of the five retail units on Drayton Green Road flats be demolished and replaced by flats and shops.  

Developers want to build student flats on Hastings and Drayton Green Road (credit: Planning application).

In the pre-application, developers Tide Construction say the development is part of a wider regeneration around West Ealing Station.  

It says: "There is an emerging cluster forming around the key transport node.  

"The new building will repair the street frontages and bring life and activity on this corner and improve the public realm."  

Of the 412 flats, 350 will be student rooms, 44 will be accessible rooms, 14 will be cluster rooms and four will be premium studios. 

Plans will also see 35% of the units consist of affordable student spaces.  

An artist impression of the 412 room student accomdation block proposed in West Ealing (credit: Planning application).

Despite the size of the residential block being reduced, some local residents and groups have opposed the plans. 

Ealing Civic Society (ECS) say: "Recent revisions do not overcome fundamental reasons why it should be refused.  

"Simply too tall, ignore Ealing draft local plan for the site that states heights should be 7-13 storeys maximum.  

"This alone is adequate reason to refuse." 

Similarly, St Stephens CA Panel say: "(The plans offer) no realistic assessment of the damage to our largely low rise Edwardian and Victorian built environment by disorganised cluster of over scaled, ugly, characterless and ultimately cheaply constructed buildings." 

Other complaints mention a lack of affordable housing and the plans make a 'mockery' of the Local Plan and Ealing Council's commitment to 'clamp down' on towers. 

However, in their recommendation, planning officers say: "The application will assist in delivering national and strategic development plan objectives to make optimal use of suitable, allocated, urban land.  

"It positively contributes to requirements to ensure a significant increase in the number of new, high quality, purpose-built student housing including 35% affordable student accommodation, which entitles it to the fast-track process.  

They continue: "In addition, the application demonstrates it can be delivered without prejudicing delivery of the remainder of the Site Allocation." 

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