Save Gurnell - Stop The Gurnell Overdevelopment

Save Gurnell - Stop The Gurnell Overdevelopment

3 October 2019
Petition to
London Borough of Ealing and
Signatures: 4,888Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Louise Simmonds




Please help us to stop the overdevelopment of Ealing.

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London Borough of Ealing plan to redevelop the current Gurnell Leisure Centre and build a large residential development on the current site, which is within the Brent River Park and is owned by the borough. It's on the flood plain and is designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) which is afforded the same degree of protection as Green Belt.

The leisure centre will be closed for at least three years while the development takes place. The residential construction phase will take five years.

The council claim that they do not have sufficient funds to pay for the new centre and will be allowing a private developer to build on the site in return for a yet undisclosed fee.  The total cost of the leisure centre is still not clear however it is estimated to be around £40-45M.  This is an extortionate amount for the proposed facility mix and other Council's have delivered far more at a much more reasonable price.

The entire residential part of the development will consist of 599 flats across 6 tower blocks ranging between 6, 10, 13, 15 and 17 storeys - this could equate to around 1,800 people living in the development.  

The local residents support the need for the leisure centre to be either refurbished or redeveloped and recognise that there is a cost associated with this. They are also supportive of the provision of Affordable Housing, and sustainable progressive developments.  However, a number of concerns have been raised about this development, including but not limited to:

  • Inappropriate development on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) which is afforded the same protection as Green Belt - this development does not comply with planning policy and would cause substantial harm to openness (visual, spatial and through erosion of MOL)
  • Environmental Impact Assessment has not been carried out and an Environmental Statement has not been produced despite the significant urbanising effect of the development - this must be produced
  • Destruction of a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and loss of at least 158 trees. The Bat Assessment has identified bats in the area and requires the applicant to protect the SINC however the applicant has proposed a BMX track in the very meadow they are meant to protect. This could breach several national and international laws that protect bats and their habitats
  • The lack of consideration by the Local Planning Authority regarding the impact as a whole of this and other developments across the borough
  • This development is not required to meet our housing needs.  The housing pipeline in Ealing is significant and will generate an excess against the London Plan targets. There is no need to build on MOL.

  • The amount of affordable housing is below strategic targets – it should be 50% on public sector land. There are only 12 family sized affordable units. The proposed proportion of approximately 50% 1-bed and studio flats is considered an over-provision and the proportion of 3-bed family sized units at just 6% is well below the expected 15%.

  • The impact to local infrastructure from the increased population (NHS, schools, public transport, parking and sufficient cycle spaces in local transport hubs) 
  • The lack of meaningful consultation with the local community with regards to both the specification of the leisure centre and the residential aspects of the development
  • The adverse effect on the residential amenity of the neighbours and community due to overlooking, loss of privacy, overshadowing, etc. There are over 50 homes with breaches to sunlight and daylight guidelines.
  • The site has not been identified for development, let alone for the development of tall buildings.  Tall buildings should have a positive relationship on the surrounding area – this development will be overbearing, out of context and not in keeping with the character of the neighbouring area.
  • The density of this proposal is 4 times the guidelines in the current London Plan. The aggressive size and layout of the buildings coupled with unattractive design creates a feeling that a monster brick wall has closed off access and visual amenity into the park.  


  • We request that the Local Planning Authority (Ealing Council) do not grant planning permission for this application
  • We request that the Greater London Authority (GLA) refuse this application as it constitutes an inappropriate development on MOL.  No “very special circumstances” exist that outweigh the harm caused to the openness of the MOL or any other harm.
  • This application has been referred to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan as a development of Potential Strategic Importance (PSI). We request that the Mayor uses the powers granted to him under article 6 of the Mayor of London Order (2008), to direct refusal of this application.
  • We request that London Borough of Ealing review its plans for the leisure centre redevelopment and seek alternative options that do not require an inappropriate development to be built on this site
    We request that London Borough of Ealing and any associated Developer(s) conduct a proper consultation with both the local and wider community of Ealing in the same manner as the following councils: Wokingham, South Gloucestershire and Brent.
  • We also request that the London Borough of Ealing properly consult with the community to draft a Neighbourhood Plan.  This will enable the local community to develop a shared vision for our neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of our local area

For more information and for the latest updates please visit our website and like our Facebook page.

Please note there was an earlier petition on this matter however as the proposed development has changed significantly since the original petition which was started in 2017 this one will replace it.  All information is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing.

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Signatures: 4,888Next Goal: 5,000
Support now