The decision taken by the planning committee on Wednesday, November 5 to approve the new development of Dickens Yard was a deeply disappointing one.
Not only will it lead to a poorly designed high rise development of high density housing and the consequent increase in traffic in Ealing centre, but it is also, we believe, a failure of democracy.
Thousands of letters of protest and the representations from councillors of the four wards most affected, clearly outlining the proposed developments as unacceptable and unsustainable, seemed to have no impact on the planning committee.
Indeed, one member of the committee said he had 'asked one or two young people about the developments and they were in favour'. So 'one or two' in favour trumps thousands of those against. A small committee became even smaller because the LibDem councillors were unable to vote as they had been campaigning against the proposed developments.
Major decisions which affect the whole environment of Ealing centre were therefore made by a handful of councillors. No wonder that those who care about what Ealing will be like in the years to come, and who have put so much effort into preventing ugly and inappropriate developments, left the council meeting feeling failed by a system which should listen to the voices of local people.
SUE NEW CELIA ROBERTS