Residents are “delighted” a conservation area will be protected from development and their “irreplaceable” Horse Chestnut tree saved.
The University of West London submitted a planning application for the construction of eight, four-bedroomed three-storey houses comprising of two detached houses and six semi-detached houses in St Mary’s Road, Ealing.
It also included parking, access and associated amenity space and landscaping for six houses.
Ealing Council refused the proposal on June 25 and those who campaigned against it are celebrating the preservation of their “beautiful area of ground”.
Neighbours say the university’s plans would have involved sacrificing at trees and could have resulted in the loss of an old “irreplaceable Horse Chestnut”.
Resident Miranda Vickers said: “Ealing is well known as a green borough, but if we start chopping down our precious trees, it will soon not be.
“It would be great if the site can now be turned into a place where students and the community alike enjoy a quiet moment amid beautiful trees, shrubs and birds. These places are becoming increasingly rare in London’s suburbs.”
The reasons given by the planning committee for refusal are that the proposed development “because of its scale, bulk, mass, siting, and footprint, would result in the loss of green open space".
They feared it “fails to provide a high quality design response which has regard to the pattern and grain of existing spaces and that contributes to a positive relationship between the urban structure and natural landscape features”.
The council report also says: “The proposed development, would result in the loss of characteristic space and mature trees of amenity value as well as the bulk, scale, mass and footprint of the development resulting in a dominant and overbearing development along this section of The Park, thereby failing to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the Ealing Green Conservation Area.
"As such the proposal would be contrary to the Ealing Green Conservation Area Management Plan (2008).”
Resident Marie Lester said: “The reasons why is was rejected are reasons we share. It’s one of the last remaining green spaces on the university campus.
“If you start giving permission for trees to be destroyed the whole character of Ealing is going to change.
“The university is keen to be green [as per their website] so we are just asking them to uphold their values.
“The best thing to do would be to turn it into a small park for students and residents to enjoy.”
Christopher Fenner, property services director at the University of West London, said: “We are disappointed with the decision to refuse our application to build eight houses at the Mandela site, on the university’s Ealing campus.
"The refusal is particularly disappointing as we were previously advised the council’s planning officers had in fact made a recommendation to approve our application.
“To date, we are still waiting for the council to advise us as to why our application was rejected. Until we receive this notice, we cannot decide on our next course of action.”