AN EYESORE next to a conservation area will be staying put after plans for its redevelopment were turned down.
Initial House, an ugly office block in Field End Road, has been derelict for three years, but an attempt to replace it has fallen short for a third time.
Planning officers at Hillingdon Council said plans for 44 flats plus commercial space should be refused by councillors at a meeting next week, citing concerns that the design would 'not adequately harmonise' with the surrounding area.
Developer Create and Construct promptly withdrew their proposal last week. The plans generated 14 objections from members of the public, and Ruislip and Northwood Tory MP Nick Hurd wrote to voice his concern. A petition of 53 signatures was also raised against the application.
Lesley Crowcroft, chairwoman of Eastcote Conservation Area Advisory Panel and a planning adviser for Eastcote Residents' Association, told the Gazette: "Everybody is extremely pleased. Our principal objection was the damage it would do to the street scene, although the building there currently is very ugly and we would be pleased to see it go.
"The area deserves a better design that fits in with our 'Metroland' style, rather than something dominant.
"We want to see the area developed but in a way which complements the existing style."
The site was formerly occupied by a cinema but that was pulled down in the 1960s and replaced with the existing three-storey office block.
An application to replace it with 70 flats was withdrawn in October 2007 and another, for 54 flats, was refused in July 2008.
New owner Clifton Sands submitted its application in November last year.