Green Light for Massive Bollo Lane Development

Ten towers including one of 25-storeys will dominate local skyline

How Bollo Lane would look on completion of developmentVisualisation of how Bollo Lane would look on completion of development

The huge development on Bollo Lane has been approved by a virtual meeting of Ealing Council’s planning committee this Wednesday night (20 January) despite over 600 objections being made to the scheme.

The committee voted in favour by 10 votes to 3 after, controversially, councillors from local wards were refused permission to address the meeting. According to the Liberal Democrat opposition group, no site visits were made by the committee before the vote was made.

The project by TfL will include 10 tower blocks and stretches from Acton Town station to the 25 storey Bollo Brook House at the Chiswick end of the development. The building will be by far the tallest in the Chiswick area.

The scheme, which is the largest to date undertaken by the transport body, will include 852 flats. 453 will be for the private market, while 399 builds will be a mixture of affordable properties, including London Living Rent, London Affordable Rent, Discount Market Rent and Shared Ownership.

The masterplan, designed in collaboration with architects HOK and East and engineers Mott MacDonald, covers a 3.6 hectare site on a long stretch of land next to the railway tracks.

The vast site will also provide more than 2,300 sqm of commercial space as well as additional retail space.

Liberal Democrat Southfield Councillor Gary Malcolm said: “The Labour-run Planning Committee heard many reasons why the ten tall towers - one 25 stories high - were not appropriate. Many cited the change of character to Chiswick and the overdevelopment in the area. Liberal Democrats also feel that the Labour Council are allowing schemes that are against their own policies to ensure that buildings are carbon neutral. The planning process is deeply flawed. We will continue to fight for the residents' corner.”

Visualisation from TfL of Bollo Brook House
Visualisation from TfL of Bollo Brook House

Speaking against the proposal, South Acton ward councillor Josh Blacker said while residents accept the principle of developing the sites, it must be “the right development” that will unlock benefits for existing and future residents in the area.

Cllr Blacker said his ward Acton Gardens has hosted a quarter of all new units being delivered in the entire borough, and that the “most troubling” Plot 3A or Bollo Brook House is 25 per cent higher than anything else approved in the area.

He added, “We’ve got 850 new units proposed in a ward of 10,000 residents, that’s going to translate in at least a 10 per cent uplift in the population in one sweep.

“The committee needs to satisfy itself, I mean interrogate properly, the impact of these additional units is not going to overwhelm local amenities.”

He also flagged that what Ealing Council believes to be ‘genuinely affordable housing’, such as London Living Rent and London Affordable Rent, does not make up the majority of affordable housing in the offer.

“A Discount Market Rent product aimed at those with a household income of up to £90,000 is clearly not going to help the 12,000 we have on the waiting lists,” he said.

Local resident Craig Woodrow also told the committee that residents found the plans excessive and overbearing, and would cause a loss of privacy and light.

He added,“It’s not that we oppose the improvement of the area, we want the area to be improved, it is a corridor that isn’t very pleasant at the moment.

“But we request the designs be reconsidered to be more socially conscious, and take into account the residents’ concerns especially the size of the buildings, that is one of our biggest issues.

“At the end of the day we’re the ones that have to live with the consequences of your decisions.”

A TfL representative however informed the committee more than 40,000 residents and businesses were consulted during the planning process for the development and there was clear support for making good use of the site for housing and employment.

On concerns over Bollo Brook House he claimed a certain development of development needed to be delivered to be able to achieve high levels of affordable housing and “significant” landscaping and public realm improvements.

Jonathan Cornelius, Head of Property Development at TfL, said, “It is fantastic news to get the go ahead for our plans at Bollo Lane in Acton Town. The proposals have been designed to reflect the area’s heritage and context, such as the Grade II-listed station next to it, and will bring hundreds of much-needed homes to this part of London.

“The scheme has also been designed to benefit the local community with welcoming green spaces, improvements to pedestrian and cycling facilities and new commercial opportunities for local businesses. Securing this latest green light at planning committee is an important milestone as it is the largest site on which we have secured planning ourselves. We will shortly be approaching the market for a partner as we strive to deliver these homes – including hundreds of new affordable homes – as fast as we can.”

TfL are planning phased construction over five years with work beginning at each end of the site and working towards the middle. Originally it was hoped that construction could have started this Spring but the project has been delayed due to the coronavirus.

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January 21, 2021