On November 5 I attended the meeting of the planning committee and came away appalled not only at the decision to go ahead with St George's plans for Dickens Yard, but with the manner in which the decision was made.
One begins to see why so many buildings of dubious architectural merit have appeared in Ealing over recent years.
Enough objections have been made by various individuals and bodies such as English Heritage and the Government's Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) for the planning committee to have rejected the application outright.
At the meeting these objections were aired clearly and succinctly by six representatives of local groups within the excessively severe time limits imposed by the chairman, Councillor Potts.
Yet, when it was the councillor's turn to speak the few who spoke did so in a manner which calls into question their competence to occupy positions on this vitally important committee.
One dismissed Ealing's town hall (grade two listed) as of no value to the heritage. Another mumbled about new retail units being necessary to the future of Ealing without dealing with the fact that there are currently 11 empty shops in Ealing.
Two others said, weakly, that they were "confused". Another said he was speaking for "the silent majority"; how does he know, if they're silent?
No justifications were made concerning many of the new flats being subject to poor internal light levels or serious noise disturbances from the railway lines, the boundaries of which in some cases run within two metres of the development.
Then again, it was revealed that other than in midsummer the new main shopping street will be devoid of any direct sunlight.Yet the council-lors made no comment as to how oppressively gloomy and unappealing this will be.
Not one councillor commented sensibly on the forceful objections received from English Heritage, CABE, or local residents' groups.
Sadly, there could have been agreement over this site, for everyone shares the same opinion that the area needs to be developed - the disagreement is about its style and nature.
So let's not be in any doubt as to what the councillors have approved: a design which will be incongruous in its surroundings, excessively tall and bulky and, to put it kindly, of anonymous architecture. Ealing deserves far, far better.
CHRIST CHRISTOPHER GUNNING