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Decision awaited on plans for six-storey flats on Ealing-Brentford border
AN inquiry into controversial plans to re-develop the Reynards Mills trading estate on the Brentford-Ealing border ended on Friday.
The four-day inquiry, at Hounslow Civic Centre, gave objectors an opportunity to share their concerns with a planning inspector.
Ealing residents and a leading councillor voiced strong opposition to LP’s (Brentford) plans to knock down the Windmill Road estate and build 275 flats in six-storey tower blocks.
The scheme, which attracted a great deal of opposition when first proposed, was rejected by Hounslow Council earlier this year, causing the developers to launch an appeal.
Objectors to the revised plans claim the development will still congest their roads with traffic, overstretch their services and overshadow homes.
Ealing Conservative Group leader Cllr David Millican, who gave evidence, said: “It’s too big and it will generate too much extra traffic on the already-congested Windmill Road and rat running along residential roads.
“As there would not be enough car parking on site, then neighbouring roads will be clogged with the extra cars trying to park.”
He said many of the Ealing residents he represents, who live by the site, have written to him objecting to the plans.
"The site is already largely derelict and I accept that it needs to be developed and I accept the need for more housing,” he added. “But not this many. It needs to be scaled back.
“Pressures would be reduced if the scheme was more in keeping with the surrounding residential community.”
Developers say the buildings currently on site are mostly vacant and old. New flats would provide much-needed homes suitable to the largely residential area.
Nick Montgomery, of Schroder Property, representing LP (Brentford), said: "The planning application is for a mixture of town houses with gardens and apartments that would fit into the local area well.
“The proposals would not result in any noticeable reduction in daylight and the traffic report indicates traffic will not increase from a fully-functioning trading estate."
A spokesman for Ealing Fields Residents’ Association said: “The new application is only a token reduction of one storey from the previous one – and it’s been submitted over the summer holidays.”
“The latest plans are still a massive overdevelopment of the site, which will lead to intolerable traffic and parking pressures on the surrounding streets.”
In a letter to their ward councillor, residents of Murray Road said that, while they supported the development of new housing in the area, they objected to the density.
Other concerns raised by objectors include road safety and the increased pressure on primary school places.
Following the inspector's eventual decision, Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, will have the final say on the scheme.