CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop Perceval House in Ealing were approved last night (31) – to the dismay of community groups and Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq.

The borough planning committee met virtually to approve the scheme by eight votes to four after the last meeting, on March 10, was blighted by technical issues.

Under the scheme, Perceval House would be replaced with blocks of flats, including a 26-storey tower.

Following the almost-three-hour meeting, Ms Huq said: “Ealing needs more genuinely affordable housing for working families, not high-rise luxury flats that will sit empty.

She claimed it would adversely impact elderly residents in nearby Apsley House in Longfield Avenue, adjacent to the town hall.

The MP also raised concerns about fire safety, as well as a lack of genuinely affordable housing and three-bedroom family homes. 

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“Despite the thousands of objections, despite the many legitimate concerns that have been raised, the planning committee has given carte blanche for these greedy developers to transform municipal land into a series of ugly blocks,” she said.

Justine Sullivan, of the Stop The Towers group, said: “We are really shocked and saddened that some of the councillors totally dismissed the voices and concerns raised by pensioners at Apsley House. This is a very poor legacy for the future of Ealing.”

Will French, co-founder of Ealing Matters and Chair of Save Ealing's Centre, added: “Ealing needs to pause for a while to reflect on what it is trying to do and consult with stakeholders, including the public, about what’s best for the borough.”   

The scheme will now be referred to the Greater London Authority and the Secretary of State for Housing for final approval.

Demolition of Perceval House could start as soon as this December.