New 100% genuinely affordable homes and a pub for Acton
Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) is bringing forward proposals to redevelop the site of the former Goldsmiths Arms and Flaming Grill into a 100% genuinely affordable housing scheme with a ground-floor commercial space, which could include a new pub.
The application has been submitted to Ealing Council, and will be determined by Ealing’s Planning Committee in due course.
To find out more about our proposals, you can view a copy of the Design and Access Statement by clicking the download link below.
- A 100% genuinely affordable housing scheme, giving local people access to a good quality home that they can truly afford.
- 65 new affordable homes across London Living Rent and London Affordable Rent tenures.
- Homes for local people who want to invest in their first home but who are currently priced out or who need a home at an affordable rent.
- New commercial space that could see a pub re-open as part of a mixed-use scheme.
- Flexible commercial space that could include a new pub, local shop, café, community centre, nursery and/or gym.
- An opportunity to deliver a new local meeting place for residents in Acton.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happened to the pub?
- The pub was closed by the Greene King pub co. in September 2017 after the company sought to extend trading hours to encourage more trade. It was not closed by MHA London, the freeholder of the site.
- The Greene King is one of the nation’s largest and most successful pub chains and landlords after a period of marketing by Savills from spring of 2017 to late summer 2017.
- It has been well documented that the public house industry is struggling, demonstrated by the recent news that the nation’s most successful pub chain, Wetherspoons, is to close 16 pubs across the UK.
- It is documented through licensing history that in July 2010, when the Goldsmiths Arms Landlord applied for an extension to the licence this was objected to by both Goldsmith’s Residents Association and Shaa Road Residents Association. The objections were on the basis of the following:
1. Anti-social behaviour (noise, broken glass, public urination and vomiting in the street)
2. That there were several other pubs in the area that had more liberal licensing laws and so there was no requirement for another pub to have liberal licensing provisions.
3. The pub is in a conservation area and there are concerns among the local population about appalled by anti-social behaviour.
4. No problems during the day, but with hot weather and doors to pub constantly opening and closing there would be intermittent noise that would keep people awake
5. Local residents had no issue with the pubs designated use, but there was concern the pub was a destination for travellers.
- The landlord stated in response that “the residents desire not to see any change to the existing licence might result in the closure of the pub” and referred specifically to “the currently difficult trading conditions.”
- A further application to amend licensing hours in 2014 was also objected to by the Goldsmiths Residents Association stating the pub caused disturbance to residents.
- There is no evidence that the pub was deliberately run down before closing.
2. But I thought the pub was taking £30k a week?
- We have never been presented with evidence that the pub took £30k a week in revenue (which equates to in excess of £1.5million a year). We would be happy to consider any evidence about the pub’s historic weekly takings if these can be produced.
3. How have you marketed the leasehold?
- We have marketed the leasehold through the national press (both print and online) since November 2017 to see what potential demand there is from possible pub operators.
- This has been carried out by placing adverts in Shop Property – a leading property website which displays commercial spaces to let or buy – the Estates Gazette and EG PropertyLink, as well as an advert on hoarding surrounding the site. We have also held a number of viewing days for interested parties in April and May 2018.
- Our marketing strategy has been put together and carried out on the advice of CWM, one of the UK’s leading property marketing agencies who have a proven track record of marketing all types of leisure facilities, including pubs, in London and the South East.
4. What interest have you had from potential operators?
- It has been suggested that Wetherspoons, Fullers, Harvester and two local residents were interested in leasing the pub and that we did not respond to their enquiries. This is not accurate.
- We have responded to all enquiries that have expressed an interest in the pub, with the majority coming from independent retailers and local residents with the exception of some very limited interest from pub companies which quickly fell away. Fullers advised that they did not have a requirement in the area for a new pub, while Wetherspoons declined to take their initial interest further after receiving details. We never received an enquiry and/or offer from Harvester.
- We have only received one offer from a local pub operator so far, however when MHA London requested confirmation of how the company would be able to fund the running of the pub, this information was not forthcoming.
- Other parties that have also expressed an interest in the site have come from a variety of different sectors, including hotels, restaurants and property developers.
- Obtaining feedback from interested parties can however prove challenging, particularly as the majority of feedback received so far has appeared to be at a curiosity level rather than demonstrating a real intent to reopen the pub.
- The majority of responses to our marketing to date reinforces our view that the pub is too large a space and there is no commercial pub operator who could reopen the existing pub in its current form.
- However, market research suggests that a smaller public house could be viable. Consequently, the application proposes a smaller commercial space which could be attractive to potential pub operators.
- Concerns have been expressed that the lease was offered at an inflated and unaffordable cost in order to discourage any offers. Again, this is not accurate. We have made it clear to interested parties that all offers will be considered, and that our leasehold rent is negotiable.
- That said, if residents are aware of any operators that have expressed an interest in the leasehold please get in touch with us.
5. Does the development mean that there will be a lack of meeting places for the local community?
- During our public consultation, local residents were asked what potential commercial uses they would like to see at ground floor. Residents demonstrated a desire for these spaces to be used for a new pub, a café and/or community centre.
- With this in mind, our application provides 524m² of new flexible commercial space as part of the ground floor, which could see a pub re-open on the site. It could also provide a local shop, café, community centre and/or nursery.
- Therefore, there will be no loss of places for residents to meet from our proposals.
6. What does the listing as an Asset of Community Value mean for the proposals?
- The pub was listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) on 14 November 2017.
- The ACV allows the community the right to make a bid to purchase the freehold of the public house if it is put up for sale in the future.
- The ACV is however a separate matter to this planning application.
7. What is the historical significance of the pub?
- The heritage interest of the pub derives more from its use as a pub which has been in existence since 1819 than its architectural value.
- The existing building dates back to 1910 when it replaced the original Goldsmiths Arms built in 1819. While of a good generic design typical of pub buildings of this era, it is quite modest in terms of its architectural quality.
- Some residents described the building as a “pleasant example of Arts and Crafts architecture,” which we believe overstates the significance of the building as a heritage asset and its contribution to the Conservation Area. That contribution is largely attributable to its historic use as a pub rather than the architectural quality of the building which is a 20th century replacement of the 19th century original.
- The pub use, or other community use, will be retained in the new development hence protecting much of its heritage significance.
8. Will there be an impact on the Acton Park Conservation Area and nearby heritage assets?
- Some residents have argued that there will be a negative impact on the character and appearance of the Acton Park Conservation Area and nearby heritage assets, including St Dunstan’s Church.
- We believe the proposals are of a high quality design, which reflects the local vernacular and adds to the local Conservation Area.
- Although the new development would be six storeys at its highest, it steps up from four storeys on Friars Place Lane and also on the eastern boundary fronting the village green, which pays regard to its location and established trees on site which will remain. To describe this four/six storey building as an “urban residential tower block” misrepresents the form of the designs.
- We also believe that the stepping up from the lower scale adjacent buildings to six storeys on the corner can serve to reinforce the curve of the road and provide a strong relationship to the green.
- The site is at the northern edge of the Conservation Area, which is mainly concentrated further south where the character is somewhat different.
- The choice of brick is a quality material that will sit well on the site and age well over time.
9. Is there not too much development in the local area already?
- Ealing Council had a target to deliver 1,297 homes per year between 2015-2025. This has been revised up to 2,807 homes, by the draft New London Plan, an increase of 116%.
- The Council also has 12,000 people on its Housing Register for Affordable Housing, with only 10% of applicants receiving an offer for housing each year.
- Therefore, despite other developments within the area, there is still a significant shortfall in the supply of homes in the area.
10. But I thought there were a number of unsold flats in the local area?
- None of the homes we will be delivering on this site are for sale – the proposals include 65 genuinely affordable homes for rent, including 80% at London Living Rent and 20% at London Affordable Rent. Both these tenures are classed as ‘genuinely affordable’ by Ealing Council and the Mayor of London and are designed to help families currently on the Council’s waiting list to find a good quality home that is genuinely affordable, and to support those trapped in the private rented sector who do not have the ability to save towards a deposit due to exorbitant private rents and low incomes.
- Given there are 12,000 applicants on the Council’s housing waiting list, we expect that these homes will be occupied as soon as the development is completed.
11. Will there be any impact on neighbouring properties in terms of daylight and sunlight?
- The development has been designed with full consideration of the site’s setting and neighbouring properties.
- As such, the scheme has a very high level of compliance with BRE Guidelines and “good levels of daylight and sunlight” are retained in accordance with Policy 7B of the Ealing Development Management DPD.
12. What about the impact on local traffic?
- The level of parking proposed is in accordance with that set out in the London Plan. In addition, Friars Place Lane and all other roads in the immediate vicinity of the site fall within Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) K/K1, which operates Monday to Friday between 09:30 – 17:30. This would restrict the ability of new residents to park a vehicle within the local area.
- New residents of the development will also not be able to apply for a residents parking permit (which can / will be controlled by either planning condition or S106 legal agreement) as well as controlled by MTVH.
- A car club operated by Zipcar is also located adjacent to Garden Nursery some 250m from the site.
- The scheme will have 4 disabled parking spaces.
- In respect of the cumulative impact on developments within the local area, the approved Transport Assessment submitted in support of the new Barratt Development concluded that the net change in vehicle trip generation as a result of that redevelopment would give rise to an additional 11 vehicles in the morning peak hour and 49 vehicles in the evening peak hour. As such it was considered that this proposal (Barratt) would therefore not lead to a material change in traffic flows in the local area.
- The exact commercial occupiers are yet to be defined for this application, however given the small scale of the floor space, it is expected that visitors will predominately be from the local catchment area. The site frontage has double yellow lines in place, meaning that the ability for people to park and visit the development is restricted and subject to enforcement action.
- Refuse collection will operate from the kerb side generally in accordance with the existing operation across the local area. It is likely to occur twice weekly and will only be for a short period of time; it is therefore not considered that this will give rise to any particular operational issues on the highway network.
- Large deliveries will be scheduled to take place outside of the peak periods on the local highway network, specifically not between the hours of 07:30-09:30 in the morning and 16:30 and 18:30 in the evening. All deliveries will also be managed by the site management to ensure that no other deliveries are scheduled when the largest vehicles are due to service the site. Again, it is considered that this will not give rise to any particular operational issues and will not block the highway.
13. Do your proposals include any changes to the village green opposite the pub?
- At the public exhibition, we outlined suggested improvements that could be made to the village green opposite the pub to make it a more accessible and enjoyable space for local residents.
- However, following feedback received at the exhibition, we are no longer looking to make any changes to the village green as part of our proposals.
14. Will you be preserving trees around the site?
- Yes, we will be retaining and preserving the trees around the site.
- The trees are not located on the site – they are owned by Ealing Council and are protected as they are situated within Acton Park Conservation Area. We were therefore required to submit an application to the Council, which the Council has not objected to.
- There have been concerns that we will be removing these trees. This is not the case. The application we submitted involves pruning the trees only, which forms part of our ongoing maintenance of the area around the site.
If you would like further information please get in touch by filling the contact form below or via one of the following channels: