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Green light for Cartwright Pickard’s four-tower Southall scheme

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Cartwright Pickard has secured approval for a 575-home, four-tower scheme on the site of locally-listed industrial buildings in west London

Ealing Borough Council’s planning committee granted full planning permission to the practice’s proposals for Merrick Place next to Southall rail station.

The £200 million scheme, for developer Stanhope and housing association Network Homes, will consist of four buildings ranging from 15 to 23 storeys, each stemming from a two-storey podium.

It will include 2,100m2 of office space and 3,18m2 of flexible commercial floorspace as well as 926 cycle spaces, communal gardens and public realm.

Measured by habitable room, 35 per cent of the residential units will be affordable, with 70 per cent of these for shared ownership and the remainder at London Affordable Rent.

Ealing Civic Society objected to the demolition of arches, which it said were among the few remaining relics of the Otto Monsted margarine factory originally on the site. The society also branded the height of the development as ‘unacceptable’.

But planning officers advised councillors that the scheme would ‘not, as a result of its scale, bulk and massing, be harmful to most adjoining developments and occupiers, visual amenity or the local environment’. They said demolition of the arches was justified because of the structures’ reduced heritage value since being converted to workplaces and the negative impact retaining them would have on an ambition to regenerate the area.

Concerns were raised by the Greater London Authority about some 60 single-aspect units proposed to face the adjoining railway line to the north with implications for outlook, noise intrusion and poor sunlight.

But planners found that these homes were made acceptable by mitigating factors including far-reaching views, larger-than-required interior sizes and being for private sale so giving buyers choice. 

Their report to the committee added: ‘The proposed design and appearance of the building have evolved through extensive pre-application negotiations, would be of good quality, would complement the locality and would provide a satisfactory residential and commercial environment for occupiers.’

Network Homes executive director of development David Gooch said the scheme would not only deliver ‘much-needed new homes to London [but] it will also dramatically transform a poorly used brownfield site, triggering the regeneration of the wider Southall area’.

Cartwright Pickard director James Pickard called the project ‘a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the full potential of offsite manufacturing methods’ to speed up the delivery and improve the quality of new homes.

He said: ‘Stanhope and Network Homes are forward-thinking organisations that are pushing the boundaries in terms of innovation and design quality, and demonstrating how homes in London will be delivered in the future.’

Work is expected to start on site in September 2019.

Animated roof plan 2 181114

Animated roof plan 2 181114

Project data

Location Southall, west London
Type of project Mixed-use regeneration
Client Stanhope and Network Homes
Architect Cartwright Pickard
Landscape architect Hyland Edgar Driver
Planning consultant Barton Willmore
Structural engineer Tully De’Ath
M&E consultant Hoare Lea
Quantity surveyor Alinea
Start on site September 2019
Completion 2021
Gross internal floor area 46,000m2
Form of contract Design and build
Total cost circa £200 million 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • No images of the existing arches? - no images of the view from Southall Station of the north facing elevation for that matter, but presumably the fact that this 'filing cabinet' housing is only really overshadowing railway lines could be considered another convenient mitigating factor.

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