The site of the former drama school, the Barbara Speake School for Performing Arts, has been purchased by Luxgrove Homes and they have commenced consultation on their proposals. Opened in 1945, the school was closed following intervention from the Department of Education. Former pupils include Phil Collins, Naomi Campbell and Keith Chegwin.

Luxgrove Homes is committed to creating a positive environmental, social and economic legacy for future generations in Ealing. This goes to the core of Luxgrove’s commitment to investing in Ealing – creating great places, homes, and communities, which stand the test of time, with life at the centre of it all. Luxgrove has delivered over 20 sites in Ealing over the past decade and continues to invest in Ealing with over 100 new homes in development across small and medium sites all due for completion in 2021 and 2022.

The evolving high-quality proposals include the following benefits to the local community:

  • Deliver 40 homes and target a policy compliant scheme in the provision of affordable housing
  • Provide improvements to the current street and townscape
  • Optimise communal spaces with a focus on a new courtyard
  • Provide green roofs that will enhance the overall biodiversity and ecology

The proposals will create a verdant, habitat rich environment of private and communal gardens, terraces, and green roofs. New trees and associated planting will add to the overall green infrastructure of the site, complementing the architecture and providing a distinctive character for the development. Species will be selected to link with the wider landscape context and adjacent Green Corridor.

The principles of ecosystem services are integrated throughout the strategy to create a comprehensive landscape that works hard, providing a unique character, and contributing to a living and evolving environment. Car-free and with a high provision of cycle parking the design aims for active transport priority. Tree species will be selected to improve air quality through reduced air temperature and absorption and interception of a particular matter.

Resilient planting will be selected to respond to wetter winters/more seasonal extreme weather events and dried warmer summers.

All hard surfaces will be permeable and opportunities for blue roof treatments will be explored to provide attenuation. Areas of planting will be maximised as rain gardens or bioretention (where possible) and tree pits will be connected with below ground rooting zones, all harnessing the wider benefits of climate change resilience, habitat creation, and amenity provision.

The consultation will be reviewed in December 2020, with planning determination in April 2021, and the building expected to commence in October 2021.

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