Cllr Gary Malcolm says his constituents believe planning process is a sham
Southfield ward's Liberal Democrat councillor Gary Malcolm with petitions
Recently, local volunteers and I delivered letters and petitions against the large volume of tall buildings proposed for the section of Bollo Lane that borders Southfield ward to residents in the area.
Our petition has generated nearly 200 responses in less than two weeks with many additional comments emailed to us that they feel the planning process is a sham. They have told me that instead of listening to the residents, the planning committee merely has targets and developers in mind.
Besides the enthusiastic response to the local Liberal Democrat petition, a total of 632 have given their views, with 618 (98%) of those respondents against the scheme on the Ealing Council website.
Liberal Democrats recognise the importance of truly affordable housing. Assessments and targets have been created for each borough for affordable housing, and Ealing has surpassed their target. Therefore, it is ludicrous to plonk ten massive, skyline-blackening tower blocks when local resources are already so stretched as it is.
The regeneration of the nearby South Acton Estate has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of residents but with no new building taller than ten storeys high. It was a success because the development was planned in stages over several years, actively consulted the tenants of the pre-existing estate, and humbly listened to the local stakeholders.
The current development does none of that. Its gung-ho attitude is causing widespread anger amongst the local community.
Liberal Democrats see that Ealing Council tends to always signal that it wants more and more housing. It hardly ever turns applications down. This virtual signalling means it grants planning permissions even if they do not bring many (if any!) benefits to the area, only unsustainable pressures on local services such as our schools, health, transport, and our environment. In the end, everyone suffers.
The Labour-led planning committee will vote on this later this year. This means, the decision will ultimately be made by Labour councillors. I urge them to listen to people and vote for sustainable developments, and not for monstrous schemes that bring long term disasters for Chiswick and Acton.
Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for a planning process that actively listens to residents, not a sham “tick-box” comment section this current one uses.
Councillor Gary Malcolm
Southfield ward Liberal Democrat councillor
August 12, 2020