On the Ealing Plan, Ian Proud, Vice-Chair Political for Ealing North Conservative Association.
Fox Wood is one of Ealing's open spaces situated on a former reservoir. The area directly on top of the reservoir is comprised of playing fields that Acton Ealing Whistlers Youth Football Club has fully maintained since the Summer of 2000. Some 450 children play games in this space weekly and such open spaces are becoming rare over time. The area is protected by being one of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields set up to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. What authority is being exercised to do away with this protection?
Fox Wood is situated on a former reservoir. What ground survey has been done to check the land is suitable for building houses? It is probably unsuitable for building so why alter its level Queen Elizabeth II fields protection?
The policy of building high rise buildings will lead to increases in pollution so that is counter to the Council’s carbon net-zero aim. But there appears to be nothing in the plan about increasing the supporting infrastructure, viz water and electricity, to support this increase in housing. The electricity companies have to increase output not just for the increased number of businesses and housing units but also for the vast number of servers to service the increased number of business and domestic computers. This does not seem to have been assessed in the Plan.
The increased number of high-rise buildings are not attractive to many purchasers. I know one developer who was granted planning permission for a block of flats by the A40. He is now dissatisfied as he finds it difficult to sell them as one of the conditions of the planning permission was that there would be no parking permits, and his potential buyers were initially attracted by being by the A40.
Whilst the Council is keen to support Electric Vehicles, which take up valuable parking space for charging units, the people most likely to buy any of the new housing units will probably be able to afford an EV. But as the buyers of these new housing units are being strongly dissuaded from having a car by there being no CPZ permits, many of these new units are being bought by buy-to- let investors, so the chances of having a stable population in Ealing by having owner-occupiers is decreased as the number of renters increases.
Over the last several years, the new housing units has not seen an increase in the proportion in family sized units, viz 2 bed flats sleeping four or three bed flats in the mix. As the Chair of the Association of London Housing Associations told me, the mix is based on a financial model and not of what people want. The LBE planning department should be more insistent on swinging the current mix from a majority of studios, one bed and two beds that sleep three to a majority of housing units that are two beds sleeping four and three-bed units.