We recently found out, by accident (from an article in a recent edition in the Chiswick Herald spotted by an eagle-eyed OWGRA Committee member), that LBH is ‘shortlisted for a prestigious Planning Award’ (sic) for the Nishkam/Bolder/Grasshoppers scheme – see  Interestingly, we were not informed of this by the Council.

You can watch the short film which was produced to support this application by clicking on the video link on this page

One of the comments made in this film is “With the sensitivity of the sites it was important that the process was really collaborative… that there was adequate consultation, and extensive consultation with local community groups.” Anyone who was involved with the KOG (Keep Osterley Green) campaign at the time will know that this really was very far from the truth!

We took the opportunity of putting the questions below to IBAF (Isleworth & Brentford Area Forum)  last Thursday evening (
“a. Given that this scheme was pushed forward in the face of huge opposition from local people (who were only informed of the Nishkam School a few weeks before the planning application was submitted, while the planning for the school had gone on for years in secret before it was made public), that very substantial amounts of public money had to be spent forcing this through against the views of local people and relocating a sports club from fit-for-purpose facilities to world-class facilities, and that many of the objections raised by local people to show that this scheme was fundamentally flawed have proved to be true, how can the Council argue that this is an example of good planning?
b. How can the Council congratulate itself on a planning award which so clearly ignored the Council’s own Statement of Community Involvement? That statement and every level of planning guidance recommends that local people should be involved in the FORMATIVE stage of planning and design. In the case of Nishkam local residents only saw the plans when everything had been finalised. Is this really a process about which the Council should be congratulated?

c. Who nominated the Council for this award or did LBH submit their own application for this award?
d. Who should we contact to request to see the information that was submitted in support of the application for this award?
e. How much is the entry fee for this award and who has paid it?
f. What other costs were involved in the application for this award (eg the making of the supporting film)?
g. How many LBH staff will be going to the award ceremony on 4 June and what will the cost of that be?
h. Would the Council accept this award (if they won) considering that the Bolder part of this scheme has now stalled?”
In his response at the IBAF meeting the Council Leader rejected the idea that there had not been adequate consultation over the Nishkam planning proposal.  We can only assume that this means that he does not believe in the Council’s own policy as stated in its Statement of Community Involvement which carries a statement by him praising the document. Paragraph 6.7 says that the Council will “Encourage applicants of larger schemes to submit to the council (as part of the planning application) a participation statement of early engagement setting out how the requirements of the SCI have been satisfied, the representations received and how these have been considered and reflected in the application as submitted”
There was no such “early engagement”.  Residents were invited to an exhibition for the development only a few weeks before the application was made at which point it was clear that all the plans for the school had been fully drawn up ready for submission.  The exhibition was therefore a token consultation only and certainly not part of a process of “early engagement” given that the Council had been in discussion about the proposed school for years before the application went in.  At the IBAF meeting we therefore said that it was impossible to see how a development which ignored the Council’s own policy on early consultation could reasonably be considered for an award for planning excellence unless that policy is simply not regarded as important.

Planning news for May 2019

Development News – May 2019
Adini Flats

The appeal by Adini on the refused planning application for the block of flats has been upheld, which means the block of flats can go ahead, but with certain conditions (e.g. the applicant/developer would have to pay a £400,000 contribution for affordable housing elsewhere as there was no provision for affordable housing in the proposed block).   You can read the report by going to and inputting the reference 3217838.

[Just a reminder that Adini only lodged an appeal against the decision to refuse planning application for the block of flats, they did not appeal the decision against the refusal to grant planning permission for the office/warehouse development.]

The Planning Inspector was not convinced by the Council’s arguments, and although we/OWGRA submitted robust arguments for the appeal to be dismissed, it is the Council’s representation which the Inspector would take most notice of.

What happens now?  Will the 15 flats actually be built?  The applicant stated that the profit from selling the land to build the flats would fund the Adini office/warehouse redevelopment.  But Adini did not appeal the refusal for the office/warehouse development within the permitted 6 months, so they are out of time to appeal now.  We now wait to see what Adini will do next and whether they will submit a second application for the commercial development.

Access Storage development at Gillette Corner
The Access Storage development at Gillette Corner was approved by the Planning Committee at the meeting on Thursday 2 May.  Many of our comments on this application were addressed by the applicant to mitigate the impact of this development on the surrounding area and allow it to fit in as much as possible. In addition the applicant has made some additional concessions:
– the premises would not operate 24/7, but Mon-Sat 7.00-23.00, Sun & Bank Holidays 10.00-18.00,
– no alcohol or food can be sold from the premises.
This development (a 4- to 6-storey storage facility) is a huge improvement on the original proposal for a 14 storey tower-block and we thank Access Storage for working with OWGRA and the local community to reach this position.


Quite a few local residents attended the exhibition at the end of 2018 on the proposed development of a 10-storey block of flats over the car park at Osterley station, with further information available here These are the comments that were made to the developer:

·         Height. Far too tall for an area where the prevailing height is 2-3 storeys – 10 storeys is wholly out of scale for the area.

·         Station. Completely fails to respect, reflect, harmonise or support the Grade II-listed station next to it which is a local landmark and should remain as such.

·         Sight Lines. Stands out like a sore thumb when looking along the Great West Road. with all other buildings stepped back by 7-10 metres from the pavement whereas this is right on the edge of the pavement.

·         Style. No attempt to reflect and mirror the prevailing 1930s red brick style of the area.

·         Parking. Loss of almost 40% of car parking spaces in a car park that is already full 6 days a week by 8.30 am.

In general it is fair to say that the developer received largely (if not completely) negative feedback on their proposals. Following that exhibition the developer held a number of meetings with the council regarding their proposals. Whilst we were not party to those meetings, we understand that the council were also less than supportive of the proposals. We have not heard anything further; hopefully this is due to the developer working on proposals more in keeping with the area.


Yet more tower blocks are being proposed for Brentford. The latest of these consist of plans to redevelop the current B&Q site at Chiswick roundabout into a complex of 6 tower blocks, ranging in height from 8 storeys up to 16 storeys. (The new development would not include a B&Q store – which would close and not be replaced in the area). This will include a “Hub for Automobile Technology, Collaboration and Research”, retail units associated with the Automobile Technology theme, a hotel, residential units (rental only) in 4 towers and a central square. The proximity of this site to the heavily congested Chiswick roundabout and the very busy M4, Great West Road and North Circular Road on 2 sides of the site represents something of a challenge to the developers regarding pollution levels and access (by foot or by car). We have also heard rumours that TfL are concerned that the development could cause the Chiswick roundabout to become even more congested. The developer held a public exhibition of their plans at the Musical Museum in Brentford on 20/21 March. We will be watching for further news on this.

Tesco / Homebase / Berkeley Homes development proposal
Details are still scarce about this proposed development. Indeed the only “official” response we have received was the following from Tesco :
“We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement with Berkeley Homes (St Edward) with the intention of moving to a brand new Tesco Extra store to be developed on the nearby Homebase site at Gillette Corner.
Under the plans, our existing Osterley Tesco Extra store will continue to serve customers as normal for a number of years, until the new store is built and ready to open. Once we have moved, Berkeley Homes will undertake a mixed-use redevelopment of the site.
These plans will be subject to a full planning application process by St Edward, including consultation with the local community, and will take a number of years to develop. We will be sure to keep the local community updated on our plans going forward.”

We understand that a booth will appear in the Tesco car park shortly and will display information on these plans.
We had been aware that there were long term plans to use part of the current Tesco car park for flats (and that the Homebase site was also likely to be redeveloped) but this combined proposal was a surprise to us and will have major implications for residents in the area, in areas such as transport and health care provision.  We assume that school provision will be adequate though.  Presumably Gillette Corner will be redeveloped (a bit like the A4/Boston Manor Road junction when GSK was built).
What we do know is that the development will take at least 4 years and will proceed in a series of phases. First the Homebase store will be closed and the building demolished (we tried to get this building locally listed to protect it, but were not successful). (Note this will mean that, combined with the Hudson Square development (above), that we will lose BOTH the Homebase and B&Q DIY stores). Then a new multi-storey building will be constructed on the site consisting of a new Tesco store,  parking and flats, allowing Tesco to move from their current Syon Lane site to this new location. Then the existing Tesco store will be demolished and the site redeveloped for housing (hopefully a mix of houses and flats, and not just monolithic blocks of flats). No planning applications have yet been submitted for these developments. Whatever is proposed we will be pushing hard for any such development to respect the important Grade II-listed Gillette building, to be in keeping with the style and height of buildings along Syon Lane, to include appropriate actions to mitigate any traffic associated with these developments, to include community and other facilities that local residents can use, and for the developments to represent a welcome addition to the facilities, architecture and appeal of this area. Rumours of the first thoughts of the developers are more than a little different from this.

Development News – January 2019

Shell Garage (Gillette South) site

Access Storage (the owners of this site) are proposing to construct a significant building on this site housing self-storage units and offices for this site.

This is the seventh proposal for this site since 2005; previous proposals included a car showroom (2-storey), self-storage units, a 14-storey mixed use development (residential, self-storage and retail), then an 11-storey mixed use development (residential, self-storage and offices), the latter having been refused planning permission by Council Planning Officers in August 2017.

This is for a storage facility owned and run by Access Storage, which will consist of rentable storage and office space, housed in a 4- to 6-storey building.

They held an exhibition at the Osterley Park Hotel on 17 July 2018 on their initial proposals, and followed this with a presentation to Brentford Community Council (our neighbouring Residents Association) on 13 August 2018. Based on these presentations both we and the Brentford Community Council (BCC) sent representations on the proposals to the developers in mid-summer.

They then presented their plans to Councillors on 20 September 2018. We attended this meeting but were only able to submit questions via councillors – which we did. This was a “pre-application presentation” to Hounslow Council’s Planning Committee, seeking guidance from the Committee as to how to structure their proposals to meet the committee’s expectations. The developer emphasised that they were listening to the views of local residents and confirmed they had received representations from OWGRA and BCC and were incorporating their feedback into their proposals. Their latest proposals did indeed include responses to some of the concerns that have been raised. Further comments were made by the committee and the developer confirmed they will incorporate responses to those and the comments from OWGRA and BCC in an updated proposal.

A public meeting was then held by the developers on 4 December, 2018 at which they presented their latest plans and took questions from local residents.  The developers explained the reasoning behind the revised design for the proposed building (which will be part a storage facility and part offices) and the transport implications were the application to be approved. It was good to see that a number of changes reflecting comments from both OWGRA and Councillors have been incorporated. Around 40 people attended the meeting which was chaired by Councillor Tony Louki.  After the presentations there was a Q&A session which clarified some issues and highlighted others as needing further discussion.  The planning application is expected to be submitted soon, so we will be going through it in great detail, and sending you a draft response.  If you would like to help us with this in any way, please let us know.

Adini building development

This proposal to replace the current 2-storey office & warehouse on the site with a combined office/warehouse and residential flats development of 5 storeys is still ongoing.

We presented our objections (here) on behalf of local residents to this proposal at the Planning Committee meeting on 2 Aug 2018, as we feel it is inappropriate for the area and will adversely impact on nearby residents. The Councillors on the Committee asked pertinent questions and made very relevant and sometimes tough comments about the applications. It was clear that the Councillors were prepared to listen to alternative views and concerns raised by local residents. Both applications were ultimately rejected by the Committee, the reasons being as below.


  • out of character for the area
  • adverse impact on other buildings (including listed ones)
  • building overlooks residential properties
  • contribution to social housing provision too low


  • out of character for the area and the art deco frontage
  • scale and massing too large
  • impact on neighbouring buildings
  • impact on suburban setting.

In December 2018 the applicant submitted an appeal against the refusal of the Planning Application for the Flats. We have submitted our objections to this to the Inspector who will adjudicate this appeal. Given the backlog in the Inspectorate, this may take 6-9 months before we hear what the decision is.

Osterley Hotel Shisha Lounge

This application to develop a Shisha Lounge has also been a long-running application. Following its earlier deferral it was considered at the Planning Committee meeting on 2 Aug 2018. We had spoken against it when it was previously considered, and a decision made to defer it for later consideration. Our arguments were carried forward to this meeting, and this application was discussed extensively by the Committee, with some considerable concerns being raised about having a Shisha lounge at such a location (in a residential area close to a major school). The application was eventually rejected, with the reasons being

  • not open on 3 sides, and needs to be
  • blacked out windows proposed for a listed building
  • lack of health policy
  • easy access for children, doors close to other public areas.

In Sep 2018 they submitted a new application. This was more than a little similar to the rejected Shisha Lounge application, except that this time it was to make the same structural changes as had been proposed in the Shisha Lounge application, but with no mention as to the use the revised structure would be put to. The proposals would impact the existing versatile, multi-use Conservatory (which for many years was a successful restaurant, and has more recently been used as a meeting room, banqueting area and exhibition area). It would remove the walls on 3 sides, remove part of the roof and detach it from the rest of the building. We objected to this based on the impact on this locally listed building and the application was rejected by the council.

In Jan 2019 they have now appealed this rejection.

Brentford Football Club Training Ground (Jersey Road)

In late August 2018 Brentford Football Club (and their developers) made a presentation to Councillors about the plans to modernise the facilities of the Brentford Football Club Training Ground on Jersey Road. Councillors made a number of comments to them and recommended that they work with local residents.

We established contact with them and held a meeting with them at the grounds on Jersey Road on 1 Oct 2018. We attended together with some local residents. They presented their plans and then held a Q&A session at which a number of points were raised about their plans, which they took on board.

Based on this meeting we then submitted a number of comments to them regarding their proposals which they took on board.

They submitted their formal Planning Application to the Council at the beginning of January 2019 and we are now finalising our response to this.

4-8 Harlequin Avenue (office building at the back of the Gillette building)

This proposed development of a 6-storey office block behind the Gillette Building was approved by the Council at their Planning meeting in mid Oct 2018 despite objections from OWGRA and BCC. Our objections were due to our concerns about the building intruding on the views of the Gillette Building, which is a Grade II listed building. The Council felt this would not damage the views and we very much hope they are right.

Oakley Close flats

We have been working with local residents, and submitting objections, to the proposals by developers to build a block of flats at the far end of Oakley Close backing onto Burlington Road.  The Council refused the latest application. The applicant then appealed against this latest refusal, and this appeal was then dismissed in Nov 2018.

Osterley Station Car Park Development

We attended an exhibition in Dec 2018, together with a sizable number of local residents, on the proposed development of a 10-storey block of flats over the car park at Osterley station.  The boards shown at the exhibition can be seen here.  These are the comments that were made to the developer:

  • Height. The proposed building is far too tall for an area where the prevailing height is 2-3 storeys; 10 storeys is wholly out of scale for the area.
  • Station. It completely fails to respect, reflect, harmonise or support the Grade II-listed station next to it which is a local landmark and should remain as such. It will completely block many of the views of the illuminated tower of the station at night.
  • Sight Lines. It stands out like a sore thumb when looking along the Great West Road,  with all other buildings stepped back by 7-10 metres from the pavement whereas this is right on the edge of the pavement.
  • Style. No attempt appears to have been made to reflect and mirror the prevailing 1930s red brick style of the area. The building style is completely different to anything else in the area.
  • Parking. The proposals would result in the loss of almost 40% of car parking spaces in a car park that is already full 6 days a week by 8.30 am.

The developer is now meeting with local councillors for the first time in Jan 2019 to present his proposals to them.

Shisha lounge decision deferred by Planning Committee

The Hounslow Planning Committee deferred making a decision on the proposed shisha lounge in the Osterley Hotel complex on the corner of Wood Lane and the A4 at a meeting on Thursday 14 June 2018.

The discussion on this item lasted for an hour and 20 minutes. During the course of that time the case for the proposal was made by a lawyer working for the proposers. Objections were made by Laurence Hawcroft on behalf of OWGRA and Tom Cragg on behalf of the Nishkam School. In addition Osterley and Spring Grove Councillor Richard Eason (not on the Planning Committee) made use of his right to speak and made a strong case against the application on grounds of the Council’s duty to promote community health.

The Planning Officers recommended that the Committee should approve the application but a number of the Committee members were not convinced by their arguments. In particular Osterley and Spring Grove Councillor Tony Louki spoke several times making the point that the circumstances of the application were not clear. He said that the just who owned what on the site and which bits were leased to whom and under what conditions was, he had found, very unclear. Even though towards the end of the discussion Councillor Pritam Grewal had moved approval Councillor Tony Louki asked him to withdraw his motion so that the decision could be deferred. Councillor Grewal agreed to do that. Councillor Louki moved that the decision be deferred until the matters he had raised, along with others, could be clarified for the benefit of the Committee. This was agreed with 7 voting for deferral, 1 voting against and 4 abstentions.

We will be researching various issues that arose in the Committee discussion in order to do our best to help the Councillors make an informed decision when the proposal comes up again for consideration by the Planning Committee. When materials are ready for this we will post them on this website.

Recordings from the Planning Committee

The applicant’s lawyer makes the case for the lounge


Tom Cragg (Nishkam School) and Laurence Hawcroft (OWGRA) make the case against


Councillor Richard Eason on health problems of the lounge


Councillor Tony Louki points to problems and moves deferral


Details on the application and OWGRA’s objections can be found HERE.


Shisha Lounge decision 14 June


The agenda for the Planning Committee meeting has been published and the planning application for the Shisha Lounge at the Osterley Park Hotel will be considered at the meeting on Thursday 14 June, at 7.30 pm, at the Civic Centre (Committee Rooms 1 & 2), Lampton Road, Hounslow.

OWGRA will be presenting its objections at the meeting, so we urge you to come along to listen to the proceedings and to support us.

You can see the application files submitted on the Council Planning website or, rather more easily, you can download them all HERE in one go as a zip file (it is just 2 Mb).

You can read the Officer’s report recommending approval of the proposal HERE.

You can read OWGRA’s objection to the proposal HERE.

Bolder application approved

OWGRA member David Pavett, writing in a personal capacity, reflects on the latest meeting of the Hounslow Council Planning Committee.

Planning Committees are a major function of government. In theory they are required to work on the basis of an extensive set of national, regional and local guidelines. Its members are supposed to go for regular training and to take an interest in matters of architectural design, a lot of advice on which is designed specifically for them.

There is a general presumption in favour of development. In other words a proposed development is deemed to be good unless specific faults can be found with it in terms of planning guidelines. Not only that but the guidelines are only that, guidelines, so it can always, and often is, argued that there are reasons for not adhering to them in specific instances.

The seeming tight constraints of the guidelines can therefore, when there is a will to achieve a result irrespective of them, dissolve into background words to which the majority of those involved have no knowledge and or no interest. This was certainly the way things looked in the case of the Planning Committee that determined that there were no significant problems requiring resolution before approval in the case of the application to build a new school, the Bolder Academy on Metropolitan Open Lane at the end of MacFarlane Lane (next to Osterley Tesco). Continue reading