Planning Professor and Ealing resident Sir Peter Hall told the public inquiry that current proposals to redevelop the Arcadia site would destroy the essence of Ealing.
Sir Peteris the Bartlett Professor of Planning at London University. Ealing Today reports that he urged the Inspector at the 12 day inquiry, which is in its last week, to reject the Glenkerrin proposals, which have been approved by both Ealing Council and the Mayor of London.
He said, ”the scale of the Glenkerrin development, above all the height of the towers, would impinge almost everywhere as a kind of extreme visual shock, destroying at a stroke the scale and massing of the houses and the relation to the streets, and the Arcadian calm that is the entire areas quintessential quality.
Glenkerrin’s scheme would produce 576 new homes and around 18,000 sqm of retail space next to Ealing Broadway Station and Haven Green. The scheme has already been significantly altered during the planning and consultation process. Despite the local approval, the then Secretary of State decided to call the scheme in for an inquiry in February.
There was support for the scheme too – Patrick Kennedy, a board member of the Ealing and London Chamber of Commerce, said Arcadia would be a “godsend” to an area struggling both in retail and employment, reports the Ealing Gazette. “Unemployment and those on jobseeker’s allowance stands at 8,733, which is 79 per cent higher than May last year. Westfield has sucked the life out of Ealing and we have to act now to get it back. This development is likely to create at least 500 permanent jobs.”
Jon Ball, a Lib Dem Councillor who also gave evidence to the Inquiry, said he couldn’t tell what decision would be made – the Inspector “wasn’t giving anything away.
The inspector will produce his report after the inquiry closes. The Secretary of State is expected to make a decision towards the end of the year.