Glenkerrin’s redevelopment of the Arcadia site, the Norman Foster designed Leaf building, has been scaled down following criticism from CABE and others.
A slimline tower, designed by Foster + Partners, has taken the place of the practice’s original 40-storey Leaf building.
The scheme’s ‘finger blocks’ have also been scaled down as part of Glenkerrin’s aim to reduce the height of towers throughout the scheme by around 40 per cent; in addition, the HKR housing element has been reduced from 700 homes to 560, and the transport interchange has been improved, and now includes access to Haven Green.
The scaling back follows opposition from campaign group Save Ealing’s Centre, as well as criticism from CABE and English Heritage. Boris Johnson’s general opposition to towers has also doubtless played a part.
Sean O’Gorman, a director of the Irish firm, told the Ealing Times: “We now have a tall building which is less than 50 per cent of the original one, and the quantum of development has reduced by approximately 20 per cent. With the reduction of the tall building we aim to open up the centre of the site a little bit more.”
Other features of the proposals, which are still in the design stage, include a large new public square called Ealing Place, and a reduction in height of the blocks fronting onto Haven Green to nine stories. The developer also says they have improved access through the site, light for flats in the buildings and (with perhaps a nod to Boris’ viewing corridors) views through it.
Mr O’Gorman also said the reduced residential element would stretch the financial options for the site, and that would make the company “less generous than we would have been” with the section 106 payout.
Glenkerrin also confirmed that architects Foster and Partners, and HKR Architects are both still retained on the job.
Plans will not be submitted to the council until the autumn, by which time the decision on Dickens Yard may be known.