Are We Creating the Slums of Tomorrow ?

Those of us who have been living in Ealing over the last 25 years or so have seen significant changes taking place in the character of our town and those changes have been for better or for worse, accelerating during the past three to four years.

This drive to redevelop in the borough of Ealing is in part due to the Crossrail project, together with the central government’s pressure on local government to create more housing stock.

 

Dickens Yard (with its completion scheduled for next year) has significantly altered the look and feel to the Ealing town centre and further changes are just over the horizon.

 

Perceval House will be redeveloped and around three hundred and sixty new homes built.

 

Another redevelopment proposed is for the old Woolworths site in West Ealing where there are plans to build one hundred and eighteen homes with a 15-story tower block.

 

Affordable housing in London is a huge problem, and whilst we do need good affordable homes I am increasingly dismayed when I see the type of developments going up in the area.

Aesthetically all we seem to be building are more and more tower blocks with no unique qualities or design that just look like every other tower block. This seems to me to be a wasted opportunity and a disgrace when there is an opportunity to create something dynamic and of lasting architectural merit.

 

There seems to be little thought in ‘quality of life’ for those individuals and families who will eventually be living in these new developments. Based on the surrounding evidence, it seems as though everywhere I look in the borough, both developers and the local authorities just want to maximise space and profit from these new developments.

 

Have local authorities and developers learnt nothing from the past? Are we not just creating the slums of the future? Where young families will have little choice other than raise their children in two-bedroom tower blocks, and we are all aware of the social problems that can result from this type of an environment for young people growing up.

 

It occurs to me that we are about to miss out on an opportunity to create a town environment of outstanding quality and beauty leaving a lasting contribution for the generations to follow.

The question I believe we should be asking ourselves, local planners and developers is ‘what is the commitment to Ealing?’ it should not be purely about maximising financial gain.

 

Those of us who have been living in Ealing over the last 25 years or so have seen significant changes taking place in the character of our town and those changes have been for better or for worse, accelerating during the past three to four years.

This drive to redevelop in the borough of Ealing is in part due to the Crossrail project, together with the central government’s pressure on local government to create more housing stock.

 

Dickens Yard (with its completion scheduled for next year) has significantly altered the look and feel to the Ealing town centre and further changes are just over the horizon.

 

Perceval House will be redeveloped and around three hundred and sixty new homes built.

 

Another redevelopment proposed is for the old Woolworths site in West Ealing where there are plans to build one hundred and eighteen homes with a 15-story tower block.

 

Affordable housing in London is a huge problem, and whilst we do need good affordable homes I am increasingly dismayed when I see the type of developments going up in the area.

Aesthetically all we seem to be building are more and more tower blocks with no unique qualities or design that just look like every other tower block. This seems to me to be a wasted opportunity and a disgrace when there is an opportunity to create something dynamic and of lasting architectural merit.

 

There seems to be little thought in ‘quality of life’ for those individuals and families who will eventually be living in these new developments. Based on the surrounding evidence, it seems as though everywhere I look in the borough, both developers and the local authorities just want to maximise space and profit from these new developments.

 

Have local authorities and developers learnt nothing from the past? Are we not just creating the slums of the future? Where young families will have little choice other than raise their children in two-bedroom tower blocks, and we are all aware of the social problems that can result from this type of an environment for young people growing up.

 

It occurs to me that we are about to miss out on an opportunity to create a town environment of outstanding quality and beauty leaving a lasting contribution for the generations to follow.

The question I believe we should be asking ourselves, local planners and developers is ‘what is the commitment to Ealing?’ it should not be purely about maximising financial gain.