Sustainability on our Estate

We know that many people want to do what they can to help combat global warming, and promote green spaces and wildlife. We are very proud to live on such a beautiful Estate, rich with plant life and the joy that brings. In 2021 a group of residents got together to work on how to make that Estate as sustainable as possible. Here are some of the questions we’ve thought about. Please do get in touch with your questions, comments or expertise. We plan to keep updating this area. 

If you want do something...
 

Can I have solar panels? 
Yes! Solar panels are allowed in conservation areas, but there are rules in place to make sure they don’t affect the overall look of the Estate. For example, they must be placed so they can’t be seen from the front of the property, and they must not protrude by more than 200mm. Although they do not need planning permission as they are a ‘permitted development’ we’d strongly suggest you talk to us at the Residents Association first, so that we can make sure you have all the information you need. 

As well as on the roof of your house, you could think about solar panels on your garage or shed. 
 

We have residents with lots of knowledge in this area, please contact us via mail@hhgera.com and we’d be happy to talk through the options. 


Did you know our local schools have solar panels? West Acton Primary school has recently added to those on their roof. We are hoping (and talking to) other local schools about doing the same! Do you know any other local buildings who could do similar? We can help put you in touch with organisations to help. We’re keen on helping support local solar, as we know that in our conservation area there will be limits on what we can put on our own homes. 

I’d like an electric car, but how will I charge it on the Estate?
On street charging is available near to North Ealing and West Acton stations. Tesla owners can use the Tesla garage, just off the A40. Current live EV point locations can be found at https://www.zap-map.com/

 

You can charge on a driveway or in a garage – many of the smaller models fit in the Estate garages – but you might need a clear out first! 


What if I don’t have off street parking?
Running a cable across the pavement from your house or flat is not permitted by the council.  The service roads behind the houses also cannot be used for charging, as they are not wide enough. We need to make sure that refuse lorries and emergency vehicles can get through.


Front gardens cannot be converted to parking, because we live in a conservation area. (Front gardens are also very important for wildlife and drainage.)


What you can do: Find a neighbour who has off street parking and ask about sharing.  There are apps available to help you do this too; try https://co-charger.com/faq/


Lamp post charging is a possible future option, but is not suitable for all lamp posts and means loss of a parking space. We will continue to work with the Council on solutions.


If you’d like more information, or to speak to one of our residents who has already has an electric car, please contact us at mail@hhgera.com

How can I improve energy efficiency in my home? (houses)
The houses on our Estate are not suitable for cavity wall insulation, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. From roof insulation, to underfloor insulation, and even stud walls, there are lots of measures you can take. 
As well as insulation, you can think about smaller changes which all add up to make a difference. Heat reflectors behind radiators, thermally lined curtains, and good seals round windows and doors all make a difference. You can also think about the efficiency of your heating system, and if it needs a service or upgrade. 


We have a local houses residents who is passionate about this subject. If you’d like to meet for a chat and a tour of their house, contact us at mail@hhgera.com. Ealing Council have an advice service that's open to all and there are some schemes offering financial support for people on lower incomes – see https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201098/energy_efficiency

How can I improve energy efficiency in my home? (flats)
The roofs and walls of the Flats are managed by the Flats Management Board (which is separate to the Residents Association). You can make a difference to your energy efficiency, for example:

  • using insulated plasterboard on internal ceilings, 

  • heat reflectors behind radiators

  • thermally lined curtains

  • good seals round windows and doors 
     

Ealing Council have an advice service, and there are some schemes offering financial support for people on lower incomes. The advice service is open to all. https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201098/energy_efficiency

Can I change my windows to double glazing? (houses)
Planning permission is needed to change the windows at the front of houses and any windows which can be seen from the street. This means side windows usually need planning permission too. Ealing Council Planning Department does now approve like-for-like replacement of windows on houses in the Estate with double glazed timber framed windows at the front and side, and UPVC at the back. Your builder or specialist double glazing company will help you apply for planning permission if needed.  We may also be able to suggest some local companies we have had success with. 

Can I change my windows to double glazing? (flats)
Flats windows are managed by the Flats Management Board. It is possible to change them, with the appropriate permission. 

 

For the rear of the flats – which is the windows without leading, usually kitchen and bathroom – permission is needed from the Flats Management Board, who will ask to see drawings of the proposed windows. Once permission is granted, residents can change these rear windows without planning permissions. 


The front and side windows – those with leading – need planning permission. The Flats Management Board continues to work with Ealing Council on getting approval for a design to replace these. We hope this will come soon! Residents can apply for their own planning permission to do this. If you have been able to do this, please get in touch at mail@hhgera.com as we would love to hear your experiences. 

How can I encourage biodiversity on the Estate?
Our front and back gardens, their hedges, flowers and trees, are crucial for reducing pollution and providing habitat and food for insects and animals. There was a great front garden project carried out in Ealing a few years ago, which showed how to make the most of your space, even if you have decided to have paving or a hard surface. Have a read here: https://frontgardens.nationalparkcity.org/ 


We have some expert gardeners on the Estate – both those who manage the communal areas and residents with a keen interest. So if you are struggling to keep your hedge healthy, or if you’d like to know how to encourage more birds and bees, do get in touch at mail@hhgera.com

 

We manage our gardeners' enclosure as a wildlife area, with bird and bat boxes, and a huge  compost heap! We also have a butterfly garden between Princes and Tudor Gardens, which is protected from development. 


One particular problem on our Estate is honey fungus, which can be why your hedge is not looking so well. There is some information here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=180 and we can offer advice as well. 


We are planning a project to rejuvenate our front gardens before the Estate’s 100th anniversary in 2030, so watch this space!