After submission on 17 August 2020 and a flurry of additional documents from the developers in support of the scheme, the Perceval House planning application finally came to Planning Committee on 17 February.
As a reminder, this scheme, in which the developer, Vistry Partnerships (formerly Galliford Try Partnerships), and the London Borough of Ealing are co-applicants, is aiming to squeeze 477 flats, new council offices and a library on to this small site. Many of the flats will be housed in 26-storey tower, almost twice the height of the highest tower in Dickens Yard. This will dwarf the Town Hall and the Conservation Areas that adjoin it. It is also one of the two flagship developments for Broadway Living, the Council’s housing development company (the other being Gurnell Leisure Centre). Prior to the Planning Committee this application had attracted almost 1,400 objections, and 128 people joined the meeting to observe proceedings.
Just after two hours in, and before some committee members had been able to ask questions about the proposals, let alone debate the plans, there was a vote to defer the decision. This was held on the basis that some members of the Committee were not happy with the affordable housing mix, despite some last-minute tweaks before the meeting to make it more palatable.
The representatives of many local community groups were shocked by the shoddy way in which the meeting was run, particularly in view of the conflict of interest for Ealing Council as landowner, co-applicant and planning authority for the site. They have sent a letter to the Chief Executive of the borough to put their concerns on the record, and are now waiting for the Council to make its next move on this unpopular scheme.