ANGRY residents are fighting a university’s plans to build a three-storey building in its car park, which they say will clog their narrow, leafy street with traffic and destroy precious trees.
Ron Leach, of The Park, Ealing is working with the Park Community Group residents’ association to fight the plans by the University of West London, whose side gate opens out onto their street.
Neighbours say they are already plagued by students queuing up to get into the cheap £5-a-day car park, some even waiting on residents’ driveways.
Mr Leach, 76, said: “My neighbour came back to find a woman parked on his drive who refused to move. He had to push her car back off into the road so he could park his car in his own drive.
“The development is going to halve the size of the car park, cutting the supply which is already outstripped by the demand. They queue all along the road and the traffic wardens don’t do anything. If they are moved off they just come back.”
Mr Leach said the work would mean the loss of up to five mature trees, as well as a large hedge, which residents paid about £2,000 to have planted when the site was a college and owned by the council.
He said: “It’s heartbreaking. I’m absolutely livid. This is a conservation area. What does that mean? What are we conserving?”
Park Community Group committee member David Hughes said he was also concerned about a planned performance venue which may attract even more motorists and that the development will mean the loss of a parking bay for residents.
He said assurances some students will be able to queue their cars inside the university grounds are not reassuring, and that there is so much demand for the cheap student-only car park that some will still be waiting in their street.
He said: “It will be a disaster for residents.”
A university spokeswoman said: “Over the past six months, we have been carrying out an extensive consultation process with the local community about our redevelopment plans.
“Following this feedback, we have revised our proposals submitted to Ealing Council following concerns from residents about localised congestion in The Park and the need to keep the majority of the existing trees and hedges in place.
“Our goal is to create a brand new landmark for Ealing that local residents and students alike can be proud of, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank residents for the invaluable feedback they’ve provided so far.”