Bid To Make Gunnersbury Triangle Asset Of Community Value

Councillor Gary Malcolm wants to protect the nature reserve from residential development

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Local Lib Dem councillor for Southfield, Gary Malcolm is seeking to have Gunnersbury Triangle nature reserve declared an Asset of Community Value.

Cllr Malcolm ais amongst those who object to a proposal to build a five storey block of nine flats and a visitor centre on a site by the Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve in Chiswick.

Councillor Malcolm believes having a residential development will have an adverse impact on the environment and that the Triangle should be protected from this. He has now applied to both Ealing and Hounslow Councils to consider it be considered an Asset Of Community Value (ACV).

The assets of community value provisions of the Localism Act 2011 enable local groups to nominate local buildings or land as an asset of community value and to intervene when changes are proposed which they believe would be harmful to the asset. Examples of ACVs include the Tabard Theatre in Chiswick, and Ealing Town Hall.

gunnersbury triangle nature reserve

Hounslow Council owns the land and proposes to develop it through its Lampton 360 company. The Gunnersbury Triangle is situated in Bollo Lane, which comes under the borough of Ealing for planning purposes.

The London Wildlife Trust backs the plan, on the grounds that it would not be able to fund a visitor centre itself, but others including the Acton Green Resident's Association (AGRA) and the local branch of the Green Party, oppose having residential development so close to the reserve.

You can read the full list of comments on Ealing Council's Planning pages, for and against the proposed development.

The Green Party in Ealing is also against the plan and want the land to be given to the nature reserve. The Greens opposed previous developments around the site in which several large blocks of flats were built on the periphery of the nature reserve. They say that since the building of these flats on Bollo Lane the decrease in wildlife including bats, birdlife and insects has been noticeable to regular visitors.

The London Wildlife Trust's (LWT) view is that the impact of building the flats next to the site will be negligible.

Jan Hewlett, chair of the Nature Reserve’s Steering Group said: ‘We’ve wanted a proper visitor centre for many years. The current proposal provides a visitor centre across the whole of its ground floor, so there would be room for school groups and community activities, as well as practical things like decent loos and tool store. The residential element is an enabling development which makes all this possible. It should help the local community to gain greater enjoyment from our lovely nature reserve."

artist's drawing of development from another side

The London Wildlife Trust says, "The new building will at its highest point be five storeys high, and located so that only a marginal part of the reserve will receive any additional shading in early summer mornings. We are confident that any impact on the wildlife or natural assets of the nature reserve will be negligible, and have advised on ensuring that the new development is as wildlife-friendly as possible. Green roofs and living walls are planned to be installed on the building."

Located just across the road from Chiswick Park Underground Station on Bollo Lane, Gunnersbury Triangle opened to the public in 1985, having been saved from development by local campaigners, supported by LWT and the former Greater London Council. It is now a statutory Local Nature Reserve. Owned by London Borough of Hounslow and managed by LWT, the reserve is cared for by a small onsite Trust staff team and a dedicated group of volunteers.

The planning application is currently with Ealing Council's Planning Department for consideration. If permission is granted, work is due to start in the first half of 2019.


December 12, 2018

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