eric's daily blog - a very personal view of the arcadia public inquiry

Last day, Day 10: Thursday 9th July 2009 | July 10, 2009

Now we are close to the end of the Inquiry itself, I look round at 12:15 pm and still see no sign of senior Ealing Council Regeneration policy holders and executives. At no time during the whole of this 10 day sitting have David Millican, the elected Ealing Council Cabinet Member portfolio holder for Regeneration, elected Cabinet Member portfolio holder for Housing Will Brooks or Mr Pat Hayes, Ealing Council Executive Director Regeneration and Housing made any sort of appearance at the Arcadia Public Inquiry. Surely this lack of interest or care constitutes dereliction of duty. Shame on these gentlemen.

The opposers’ summing up was carried out by our barrister Tom Cross. He reprised much of the SEC/ECS/Conservation Area Panels’ written and oral submissions. His contention was that the application should be rejected on many grounds namely too high density; huge plot ratios; inadequate amenity space; little Affordable Housing; no contribution to local social and network infrastructure; paucity of S106 money; additional  pressure on the already fragile local Policing, healthcare and education infrastructure; transport failings; and harmful shadowing onto Haven Green. He then moved on to concentrate on our major objection – that of townscape and heritage. To be brutally simplistic he said that this was the wrong development in the wrong place.

Ealing Council’s summing up was conducted by the occasionally ever so polite Morag Ellis QC. She felt that the Arcadia proposal ticked all the boxes and represented high quality design.

Glenkerrin’s mouthpiece Russell Harris QC spoke next for what seemed like a lifetime. He delivered his 62 page summing up at break-neck speed. His love affair with the Metropolitan Centre, the London Plan and the Saved portions of the Ealing UDP were paraded before us. His tour de force concentrated on his signature expert-based approach. He said that all aspects of the development were world class; all relevant planning guidelines had been adhered to; and that many of the opposers’ contentions were ‘wrong’, ‘misplaced’ or ‘wrong headed’. English Heritage’s written submission he dismissed as ‘incompetent’. He belittled amateur efforts by opposing residents. Thankfully he finished at 4:40pm.

Of course the elephant in the room at that point was that as guideline compliant as Arcadia might be, the vast majority of Ealing residents who had made their views known clearly did not want it.

The GLC some 40 years ago tried to foist tower blocks and a concrete retail centre on Ealing residents. The residents objected and the scheme was eventually thrown out. More recently Mayor Livingstone tried to foist a Tram on Ealing residents. The vast majority of Ealing residents who expressed an opinion said they didn’t want the Tram and after a four year struggle, and £38.4 million wasted, Ealing residents again got their way and the Tram was cancelled. We now ask the Inspector and the Secretary of State to listen carefully again to Ealing residents and consign the Arcadia proposals into the dustbin of history.

Posted in regeneration


  1. Thank you mr leach for your daily commentary on the proceedings. It represents a huge investment of your time, much appreciated by myself as one too lazy to attend in person.
    I particularly appreciate the balance in your reporting. Thanks again.

    Comment by paul gibson — July 13, 2009 @ 6:58 am

  2. Great job Eric; although I’m not a resident, I read the entire blog with great interest – partly because it’s underlying issues do effect all of us, and partly because you captured it all so well. Excellent reporting.

    I wish I’d been in the room for Tony Palmer’s moment in the spotlight.

    Wishing all of SEC’s the best of luck with the outcome.

    Comment by Paul Rutherford — August 17, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

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A local residents’ group – West Ealing Neighbours (WEN) - Also runs WEN Abundance. We pick unwanted fruit and turn it into juice, cordial, jam and chutney to sell in the local area. All profits are ploughed back into the project. Please email If you are interested in volunteering, or have a fruit tree to pick!







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