The residents of this sixty-five apartment tower block, will be moving into some of the eighty-nine new homes to be built alongside it so that Allen Court can be demolished, as part of Ealing Council’s regeneration programme. This site, at the top of an ancient lane was originally the responsibility of Brent Council but boundary changes in the 1990’s put it in the charge of the neighbouring authority. By the time Ealing took it over it had become clear that its layout and design were not conducive to a sense of community and personal safety. Allen Court dominates Ridding Lane Open Space and the views, even from ground level, are impressive. However, as with other tower blocks built in similar settings over the decades, those living in it have no real sense of connection with the suburban homes around it. These buildings can seem like fortresses set in a kind of “no man’s land”. The reports and documentation published about this project give a fascinating insight into the process: Ealing Council’s outline of the project; the design and access statement; the ecological appraisal of the site. New homes will be built on the site of this block and sold to private owners. In theory this will be the ideal combination of social and privately owned housing which seems to be the holy grail of planning, preventing the development of ghettos and encouraging inclusiveness. It probably doesn’t hurt that the proximity of this development to Sudbury Hill Underground Station and bus routes is bound to make it popular with commuters.
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