National Grid’s plans for the former Southall Gas Works site have been aproved following a Mayoral call-in.
LB Ealing refused the plans last year, as did LB Hillingdon, who had major concerns over the traffic impact on the Hayes bypass, and the economic impact on Hayes Town. The development sits on the Ealing/Hillingdon border.
Boris Johnson judged the development to be of strategic importance to the whole of London, and used his powers to call-in the scheme for his determination. He has now given his approval to the regeneration project, which will see the construction of 3750 homes, 30 per cent of which will be affordable, as well as leisure and recreational facilities.
The Mayor said that he was satisfied that all major concerns surrounding the development had been addressed and added: “This application is clearly of major significance to London, with the homes it will deliver and the jobs it will create. West London is an important driver for the capitals entire economy and within a decade it will become one of the best-connected regions in the UK with the arrival of Crossrail. Failure to give the Southall application the go-ahead and develop this key brownfield site could be detrimental to the future economic prosperity of the area.”
The plan will boost Southall town centre, says the Mayor’s office, with a new town square on the development site and an increased focus on retail and commercial units. As well as new and affordable homes, the application includes a hotel, cinema, and recreational facilities. It will also open up the Grand Union Canal for local people, allowing new and easy access to the waterway.
A legal agreement attached to the application will see the developer contributing over £22 million towards the provision of transport infrastructure improvements, education and health facilities, and public realm improvements for the local community.
The Mayor has insisted that only 2,500 units can be built before South Road bridge, near the development site, is widened by the developer. This will help relieve traffic congestion on routes around the site and ensure smooth traffic flow on the nearby South and Beaconsfield Roads.