Secretary of State intervenes in Arcadia application  

The Government has decided to intervene in the planning application for the Arcadia site.  

Read the letter from the Government Office for London (GOL).

It’s extremely rare for the Secretary of State to intervene in this way so there must be some serious Government concerns about the key aspects of the Arcadia proposals.  The planning concerns identified by the Secretary of State are described in paragraph 4 of the letter.  The following is a précis of paragraph 4 from the GOL letter.
The Secretary of State has asked the planning Inspector to pay particular attention to:
·               The design of the proposed buildings in relation to both the site and its surrounding area, and that they take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of the area,
              Housing, and in particular the housing requirements of the whole community,
              Conservation area issues, include the nearby listed buildings
              The extent to which the proposed development accords with Ealing’s current planning policies and the London Plan.

The Planning Inspectorate have told us that the Inspector will not be limited to the above issues/topics and will be free, if he/she chooses, to consider other significant planning issues such as Springbridge Road congestion and safety, disability access, the major increase in shopping space, and the internal design of the basement car parking and delivery/refuse collection areas.

What does this mean? There will be a Public Inquiry, likely to take place in June 2009, that will be held by an independent, Government appointed inspector.  On a normal timescale, this would mean that the Inspector’s Report would be finished in the early autumn and the Secretary of State’s Decision announced in late autumn 2009. She could approve the existing planning application, she could reject it out of hand or she could approve it subject to certain modifications and conditions. Every thing to do with the Arcadia site will be on hold until the inquiry’s completed and the Secretary of State has announced her decision.  

21 JANUARY 09 Arcadia application approved by the Mayor, subject to a condition on providing acceptable sustainability proposals.  Questions remain on whether Glenkerrin:

    • has all the necessary agreements from Railtrack to bridge the tracks west of Ealing Broadway
    • has the finance to continue the scheme - they have already said they would not start before the end of the three year delay they are allowed (ie January 2012)
    • may either sell on the site with planning permission, or look to make other changes before they begin to build

 Read SEC's submission to Boris Johnson.

Arcadia and Haven Green Planning Decisions

On Wednesday 17th December the Planning Committee approved the Arcadia planning application but rejected the application to rearrange Haven Green for a bus interchange.
A very big thank you to the hundreds of residents who came out on a bitterly cold evening just before Christmas to witness the Planning Committee at work.  The Queen's Hall was packed.
The Arcadia application

Thousands of residents had written to object to the first application and a few hundred sent in letters to object to the revised application. Seven representatives of the public, including 5 nominees of SEC's member organisations, were allowed to address the meeting. They spoke on the key issues of: Height and Shadowing, the School and its pupils, Community Pressures, Transport, Air Pollution, Regeneration and Retail, Design and the Built Environment.
Four of the five councillors who'd ask to address the Planning Committee also spoke out against the application.  One was enthusiastically for it.

This application is undergoing constant revision as new defects are identified and highlighted by objectors.  Where it's physically impossible to revise the plans, all sorts of "management agreements" are being inserted in vain attempt to "mitigate" the problems.  
The Committee Report, sent to Councillors prior to the meeting, misrepresented the results of the public consultation.  Two SEC representatives spent some hours in the Council Offices the day before the committee meeting and found evidence of extensive double counting of the pro Developer responses together with the miss-classification of a number of objection responses.  After working late into Tuesday night rechecking the results from the most recent round of public consultation, the Council acknowledge that there were twice as many responses opposed to the application than there were in favour of it.  The Council also acknowledged that nearly all the pro development responses were in the form of pre printed template letters prepared by the Developer's public relations consultants.  A senior Council planner announced the corrected results at the start of the meeting but the damage had already been done in the Committee Report.

A significant change from the earlier version of the application is the construction timescale.  When Glenkerrin first applied they wanted to start demolition and construction as soon as the planning process was completed.  In the revised application they state that they don't intend to start work for three years.  This is the longest period that a planning approval normally lasts for.  A number of speakers suggested to the Planning Committee that this three year gap could be used to rework the application into something better, and that there was therefore no need to grant an approval on Wednesday evening.
Despite the continuing problems with the content of the application and the massive public opposition to it, the
Planning Committee approved the Arcadia application.
The size of the development means that the application has to be referred to both the Mayor of London and the Government Office for London (GOL) for their approval.  
This is a major opportunity for residents to alert both the Mayor and GOL of their concerns.  We'll email again shortly identifying some of the points which you might want to raise in your letters and emails, along with both sets of contact details.

Haven Green Bus Interchange application:
This application to rearrange all the bus stops, bus stands and taxi rank on Haven Green was treated as a local planning issue, even though the buses are used by residents from across the Borough.  Only one objector and one councillor were allowed to address the Planning Committee.
After a discussion, much of which focused on the design of huts which will house the bus driver facilities, the application was rejected with only 1 in favour.


What Next
The most urgent thing will be the emails and letters to Boris and GOL.  We'll email again very shortly with advice as to the points which you might want to mention and the contact details.
SEC will be meeting after the holidays to decide its next steps in fighting the Arcadia and Dickens Yard developments.

17 December 2008 - Planning Committee meeting to accept/Reject the Arcadia Development and Bus Interchange on Haven Green

The Planning Department has produced its reports for both the Bus Interchange and Arcadia Development and the recommendation is that these two developments go ahead.

On Wednesday evening, the Planning Committee meets to take a decision. Once again, SEC has 5 people speaking 3 minutes each to give reasons why these developments should not go ahead in their current form. Another objector is from the Dentist opposite Haven Green and there is a strong possibility that there will be a last minute 7th objector in the form of Christ Church School. The developer and its supporters will also have time allocated to present why the developments should go ahead.

Please try and attend to lend support to the people of Ealing who are trying to make the Council and developers see sense.

More than 3000+ letters of objection were received by the Council about the first Arcadia application in 2007 and 300+ objections were received in response to the revised 2008 application. The planners are using this small response as indication that the residents are more satisfied with the scheme. Additionally, the developer employed PR staff to obtain thousands of signatures on pre-printed forms in support of the application and is expected to claim that the volume of these "out votes" the personal objections which have been submitted by thousands of individuals.  
So it's vital that as many residents as possible turn up to physically evidence their concerns.  Even if people can just turn up for an hour or so on their way home from work this would be an immeasurable help.

The link to the page on the Council's website where you can see the agenda and all the papers for Wednesday's Planning Committee meeting is:

Is all lost if Arcadia gets the green light on Wednesday?
No, so we must not lose hope and give up trying to get the application modified to something more suitable for Ealing town centre.

If the Planning Committee approve the Arcadia development it then will also go to the GLA Planning Decision Unit at City Hall and they will make a recommendation to Mayor Boris Johnson to accept or reject it.

So, we urge everyone to come to the meeting on the 17th, keep this high profile in the local press by writing letters to 

21 Novemberr 2008 -

Ealing Council's Planning Committee expect to make a decision on Glenkerrin's two planning applications on 17th December. 

Do the residents of Ealing want two developments with substantial height, massing and density in the heart of Ealing? Combined, these represent 14 residential towers ranging from 7 stories to 26 stories, 1500+ new flats, 3000 new residents and no additional infrastructure to support them! 

The Council may have accepted the Dickens Yard application but we must urge them to refuse Glenkerrin's.


1. Glenkerrin's Bus Interchange application P 2008 4025 (Nov 27 deadline for comments)

For good reasons why to Object to this scheme, please Read SEC's Bus Interchange Assessment.

Please Object to this scheme by November 27th by going online ( be sure to change 'Nature of Submission' option that is after your Details from COMMENT to OBJECT) at

A new bus interchange has been proposed for the east side of Haven Green. It requires a reduction in the common land and removal of 21 trees to allow 6 lanes to be constructed. The current bus and passenger stands that run along the diagonal road and those on the station side will be moved to Haven Green east side. The new interchange takes into consideration the number of buses that currently travel through and stop in Ealing Broadway. It will be built on the condition that Arcadia is accepted AND it won't be built until Arcadia is completed in 8 years time. Given this, it does not consider the increase of buses or the 1000 additional bus journeys that are forecast for when Crossrail is implemented.  Pedestrians will have to cross an even busier road to access taxis and buses and there is no dropping/collecting point for cars! For Glenkerrin, it diverts attention away from the plan in the Ealing UDP to have a proper transport interchange for buses, taxis and cars over the railway lines at either the Ealing Broadway station or the Arcadia site. 


Please write to Ealing Planning by 27th Nov08 to comment on Glenkerrin's proposed Bus Interchange on Haven Green.  SEC asked for a bus station NOT a bus interchange that replaces the bus stands currently around Haven Green. To approve or not comment on the Bus Interchange Application is a Vote for Glenkerrin and their massive Arcadia development. The bus interchange will only be built if Arcadia is approved. What Should You Do? Go to our page Glenkerrin's Arcadia 2008 and email 'Save Haven Green' leaflet to your contacts.

2. Glenkerrin's Arcadia application P 2007 4246 (Dec 5 deadline for comments)


For good reasons why to Object on Residential and Community grounds to this scheme, please Read SEC's Residential Assessment and Read SEC's Community Assessment . 

Please Object to this scheme by December 5th by going online ( be sure to change 'Nature of Submission' option that is after your Details from COMMENT to OBJECT)  at

Residents should have received a notification from the Council of Glenkerrin's application for the Arcadia site P/2007/4246 (previously the 40 storey building plus 6 other high buildings facing Haven Green.) The 7 towers heights are 26, 12, 11, 11, 8, 8 and 7 storeys with 567 residential units and NO community facilities. SEC is disappointed that despite a comprehensive list of comments to Glenkerrin in August08  Read SEC Aug08 comments  the developer has persevered with a scheme which is too large, too dense and unattractive for central Ealing. 

Please write to Ealing Planning by 5th Dec08 to comment on Glenkerrin's revised Arcadia application.  The development is still too high (8-26 storeys), too dense (7 blocks) and with too many small flats (567) and development of this site will not start for 3 years. SEC submitted recommendations in August08 which have been ignored.  What Should You Do? Go to our page Glenkerrin's Arcadia 2008 and email 'Arcadia' leaflet to your contacts.


August 2008 - SEC comments on Glenkerrin's revised plans

Glenkerrin ran a public exhibition of their revised proposals for the Arcadia site on 25 July and 26 July. SEC member organisations attended Glenkerrin's presentations. Based on the information available, SEC crafted a detailed response and sent it to Green Issues Communications, Glenkerrin's representative. Read the SEC comments

We all must lobby our councillors to insist Ealing Council puts together an overarching integrated development plan, that combines residential, retail, transport, infrastructure and community facilities for Ealing Town Centre. This will attract the right type of developer for our prime sites and ensure that the developments, as a whole, will provide the right mix of facilities that will make Ealing the centre of the community once again.


25 & 26 July 2008 - Glenkerrin returns with revised Draft Plan for Arcadia site

A letter dated 11 July from Green Issues, on behalf of Glenkerrin, is currently being delivered locally inviting you to attend an exhibition of their revised plans for the Arcadia site. 
The exhibition dates are Friday 25 July (2 pm to 8 pm) and Saturday 26 July (11 am to 4 pm) at Christ the Saviour Church's Parish Hall (opposite M & S). Please attend and make sure you have some really searching questions to put to the members of the project team. 

June 2008 Status 

On the 10th June 2008, Glenkerrin executives with building models returned to Ealing Councils' Perceval House. The Ealing & Acton Gazette, has reported that Glenkerrin expect to submit a revised Planning Application, to re-develop the Arcadia retail centre and its environs immediately to the east, in September 2008. 

If this is the case, then Glenkerrin will be waiting to see the outcome of the Dickens Yard application, a similar development of 7 high rise towers on a 4.4 acre plot with 698 flats right in the town centre.    



The Dickens Yard public consultation period ended on 27th June 2008 BUT the Authority must consider all comments, if it can, right up until the they take their decision in September. Please write and together we can make it clear to Ealing Council that we want 'NO HIGH RISE DEVELOPMENTS' in our town centre at  HOW TO OBJECT.









The developer, Glenkerrin, applied to Ealing Council in September 2007 to build its 'Leaf' devleopment on over 4 acres of property they has acquired in the centre of Ealing - which included the the current Arcadia retail centre.

A prominent feature of this predominantly residential development of 704 flats accommodated in 6 high rise towers, was a 40 storey residential tower block to be built over the railway lines immediately west of Ealing Broadway Station.

Save Ealing's Centre (SEC) was formed in November 2007 in order to try and stop the Glenkerrin proposal becoming a reality.

Opposition was massive. The Council planners received more than 5000 letter and emails. English Heritage, the Government's architectural advisers CABE, the GLA and London's Mayor all objected.

This Planning Appication effectively 'failed' when in April 2008 Ealing Council postponed indefinitely its Planning Committee meeting to review the application and Glenkerrin withdrew their submission

Archive information on the "Leaf' development can be found at Glenkerrin 'Leaf'/Arcadia 2007.