Planning Application update In January we were told by both the developer and Ealing Council that the planning application would “likely be submitted by mid-February” however we have not been informed that this has happened. We have asked for a further update.
We will let you know once it has been submitted and will provide a guide on how to make an effective objection.
Cleveland Ward Forum Thank you to those of you who attended the Cleveland Ward Forum in January. Somebody in the audience requested that Gurnell be on the actual agenda for the next meeting (Wednesday 4th March) rather than being pushed into the public forum section – please put that date in your diary!
The Ward Cllrs also agreed to try and set up an update meeting with the Council ahead of the next Ward Forum and hopefully before the planning application is submitted – we haven't heard of any progress on this but we will keep you posted.
It was clear that there were some areas of confusion during the Ward Forum discussion and we’ll clear these up in our next newsletter. The key point is that despite what you might have heard, the council is still pressing ahead with this development.
Update from 10 November 2019
The developer (Ecoworld) has walked away from the leisure centre and affordable housing build which leaves the Council with the responsibility to deliver these and take on the associated risks.
Financial information that was previously available has now disappeared - we don’t know how much the Council are receiving for selling off our land or the size of the shortfall that must be met by public funding.
The council had all this information before the last consultation (September 2019) however they decided not to tell us.
There has been a SIGNIFICANT change to the deal structure between Ealing Council and the developer (Ecoworld). Ecoworld have walked away from the leisure centre and affordable housing build– the council must now find another company to deliver these.
Summary of the current and previous deal structure:
When did this happen?
The Gurnell redevelopment was discussed at a Cabinet meeting on 17th September – just 8 days before the consultation meeting on 25th September, however none of this was mentioned to the public.
What’s the impact?
Now that the developer has walked away from the leisure centre and affordable housing build– the council must find another company to deliver these.
The developer was going to pay the council £25.2m for this piece of land but it is now unclear ow much the council are receiving - this information was left out of the September 2019 consultation. Assumption is that the contribution hasdecreased,therefore widening the funding gap over and above the £12.5m already budgeted to cover the £37.7m cost of the new centre.
Council are taking on direct delivery responsibility for the leisure centre build and the associated risk– under the previous deal, the build was fixed cost and the developer carried the risk.
Leisure Centre build cost could increase above the £37.7m estimate and the council have no budget for this - it could be in the millions.
The council will have a dependency on Ecoworld to build the basement across the site and if this is delayed then the leisure centre will be closed for longer than planned.
There is a risk that the council run out of money and reduce the facility mix or specification of the leisure centre.
There is a risk that the leisure centre is demolished and delayed past 3 years or never rebuilt.
Is there anything else we didn’t know?
The council has already spent at least £1.34mon the pre planning activities, £3mhas been spent in total but unclear how much over the agreed £1.34m has been incurred.
The council plan to use £10m of GLA grant to fund the affordable housing. Therefore, the 400 residential units being built by the developer do not contribute to this in any way.
This reason this project has been delayed is because the council keep submitting plans that the GLA which they do not approve. In fact, the last proposal did not include any affordable housing and it’s the GLA who have told the council that this must be included – so it’s clear that the council were willing to build 600 residential units with 0% affordable housing.
Despite these changes, the entire proposal will be submitted under one planning application.