Planning News – February 2020

Planning News – February 2020

There continues to be a lot happening locally regarding developments. And, unfortunately, almost all of them do not represent valued additions to the area, with most being overdevelopments that squeeze too many minimum-size homes onto a site with building of no architectural merit (the standard flat-roof tower block with tiny balconies that we see going up everywhere.

Tesco / Homebase development

We have been covering this proposed development extensively, given that this is the biggest (by far) proposed development in our area. There is extensive information on this elsewhere on our website.

Adini Office development

Unfortunately Adini’s appeal to the Inspector against the rejection of their Planning Application for the offices on the Great West Road was successful. They have now managed to get the rejections of both their applications (for the flats on Northumberland Avenue and the unsympathetic redevelopment of the locally-listed office block on the Great West Road) overturned on appeal.

We were successful in getting the important Art Deco frontage of the building locally listed and saved. However given the nature of the development that has now been approved, one has to question whether that has ultimately had any benefit, and whether the resultant building will become a valued landmark in the area, or quite the opposite.

So they are now free to go ahead with the development – except it would appear that they do not intend to. Instead they have listed their site for sale at £6 million (!!!) with planning permission for redevelopment. We can but hope that whoever buys the site decides to change the design of the new building(s) to something better – which it must be said will not be difficult….

Capital Interchange Way

As reported by the TW8 news site, the Capital Interchange Way development of 3 tower blocks has been approved by Hounslow Council. This site is squeezed between a railway line and the M4 flyover (note the attempt to hide the flyover – on the right – in the developer’s schematic) – yet the developer will construct 420 flats on the site, with the tower blocks going up as high as 16 storeys.

As can be seen, it follows the standard style of developments these days – tower blocks as high as you can, little balconies and a few random bits of concrete / wood / brick to try and soften the blandness of the “tower block box with flats” design.

Osterley Station Car Park development

The developer submitted a revised development proposal to the council, consisting of three blocks of flats around an open area. The blocks ranged from 4 to 6 storeys in height and used external cladding that tried to match the Grade II-listed Osterley Station next door. However it still dominated the area and would have completely replaced the station as the local landmark.

We submitted a strong objection to this application (as did a number of local residents) and Hounslow Council have now rejected this application. This is an excellent result and we hope the developer will listen to the objections and come up with an amended design that responds to them.

Osterley Station and Syon Lane station lifts

Anyone using either Osterley Station or Syon Lane Station will be only too aware of the substantial building works underway at both of these stations to install lifts to provide step-free access to the platform.

We are advised by our local councillors that these works are due for completion this year.

For Osterley Station these lifts are due to be completed by July 2020.

For Syon Lane Station these lifts are due to be completed by September 2020.

Brentford Football Club Training Ground (Jersey Road)

The redevelopment of the training facilities on this site we approved by the council some months ago. We supported this application as the football club had worked very closely with us and local residents, listened to concerns raised, and amended their proposals accordingly. Most importantly, though, the open aspect of the site and essentially undeveloped nature of it would remain. One has only to look at some of the developments underway in Brentford, or the initial proposals from St. Edward for the Tesco and Homebase Osterley sites, to imagine what could have happened here if a housing developer had got hold of this site. We had noted that nothing seemed to be happening on the site. It turns out that the reason for this was the need for the club, now they had approval for re-development (at a cost of some millions of pounds), to negotiate a suitable lease from the landowner (as their current lease only had a few years left.

We were therefore pleased to hear from Brentford FC that they have “ ….agreed a new lease with the landowner, for its training ground at 100 Jersey Road, Osterley. The lease is for 20 years, from now until 2040. The previous lease would have expired in 2021, and the Club is pleased to have secured this longer term agreement that enables it to stay in Osterley, and within the Borough of Hounslow…

They expect to start the work on upgrading their facilities on the site later in 2020. Further details can be found here.

Bolder School construction underway.

Work on the site of the new Bolder School down McFarlane Lane off Syon Lane has now started. The company building it is called Bowmer and Kirkland. Their construction schedule is stated as being

  • Nov 2019 – Site setup. Demolition works
  • Jan 2020 – Piling foundations
  • Apr 2020 – Structural steelwork
  • Jul 2020 Brickwork start
  • Early 2021 – Internal fit-out, external car park and drainage work
  • Aug 2021 – Completion.

In terms of how they will be managing their activities onsite (working hours, etc.), details of what they are permitted to do are contained in their Construction Logistics Management Plan (CLMP) which is available from the council website.

In addition if you wish to monitor the activities on the site from your home, they have even installed a CCTV camera viewing the site 24 hours a day. This can be accessed from this link. This is what we saw at 23:50 on 28/1/20…..

Brentford High Street

Anyone going along Brentford High Street now will note that the whole of one side of it is now a building site, with all the shops having gone and only the shops on the northern side still there.

This is actually the Ballymore development. The scale of the development can be seen in the picture opposite, with Brentford High Street running from the bottom left to the top right, the River Thames shown in light blue at the bottom and the development in yellow (Car Park), light purple/blue/pink (Phase 1A) and orange (Phase 2).

In total, it will deliver 876 new flats, around 14,000 sq m of new retail, 4,000 sq m commercial space, and new public realm including an extended Thames Path.

In addition another three tower blocks of flats are planned on the site of the Morrisons supermarket. Morrisons have appealed against the development which will see them thrown off the site, which would then be redeveloped over 4 years, leaving Brentford without a supermarket for this time. Due to this appeal, Morrisons will be able to stay on the site till the end of 2020 at least. Beyond that time it will depend on the outcome of the appeal.

Finally anyone coming over Kew Bridge towards Brentford now cannot fail to notice several towering blocks of flats going up right in front of them. These are the tower blocks around the new Brentford FC stadium at Lionel Road. They will certainly become a local landmark (as they tower far above anything else in the area – whether that will be a good thing or not remains to be seen.

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