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Stock Woolstencroft scales down shopping centre plan to appease residents

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London-based architects Stock Woolstencroft has submitted a toned-down proposal for the redevelopment of The Oaks Shopping Centre in Acton.

The practice began working on the project earlier this year but was forced to rethink its plans for an 11-storey landmark after residents dubbed it ‘the periscope’ and branded the scheme ‘inappropriate for the area’.

Jake Snell, project architect at Stock Woolstencroft, said: ‘We’ve listened to the concerns of residents and tried to address them wherever we can. The height has been reduced in some areas of the scheme and although the tallest element remains the same – 11 storeys – it has been revised to create a slimmer profile.’

The shopping complex was earmarked by the London Borough of Ealing as a key development site in 2006 but a planning application made under previous architects was withdrawn in 2011.

Current plans for the 1.1ha site include the remodelling of the existing shopping centre, a new supermarket and the construction of a three-floor multi-storey carpark. The mixed-use scheme will also contribute 146 homes towards the borough’s annual target in the form of four apartment blocks and 6 mews-style houses.

The proposal aims to create a retail landmark that is well integrated with residential housing areas to the north and south. St Mary’s Burial Ground in the east will be transformed into a key public space, opening up pedestrian access between Acton High Street and Churchfield Road.

The scheme is one in a flurry of public realm projects intended to tackle poor integration in Acton before the arrival of Crossrail, which it is anticipated will make the town a destination in its own right.

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