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

Development News – May 2017

Nishkam School: Work on the school continues and OWGRA is in constant contact with the construction company BAM to ensure that disruption to the local community is minimised. The new school entrance has been established and over the coming months the road itself will be resurfaced. On site construction has proceeded apace and the building is rising fast. Any particular issues or queries should be posed to BAM Construction on 07973 141653 or 07541 338770 or to; please keep us informed.

Grasshoppers Rugby Club: Since the approval of the planning application by Hounslow Council in November there have been no further developments in terms of construction and neither has the contractor been identified. In the interim the ancient thicket comprising trees, shrubs and undergrowth has been completely and wantonly destroyed along Syon Lane from the Piccadilly line bridge to the new school entrance. The council claims this is within the planning approval but its removal was totally unnecessary and another part of old Osterley has gone for ever. The sole consolation is that it is intended to replant with trees and shrubs in due course. There has also been similar destruction wrought along Wood Lane but not to the same degree. Check the council planning website for further details under reference P/2017/3376.

Bolder Academy: The planning application has now been submitted under reference P/2017/1417. Following the presentation at the OWGRA public meeting on 6th December last year the developers have held two additional “exhibitions” which we deemed to be totally inadequate. Under pressure from OWGRA and ward councillors a public meeting was held on 22nd March. The main areas of concern centre around the impact of traffic, parking and inadequate access to the school current planned only via MacFarlane Lane. The earliest the school is likely to open is September 2019. No date has yet been set for consideration by the Planning Committee.

Gillette Corner South: The application has been submitted under reference P/2017/0053. No date has as yet been given for the application to come before the Planning Committee. Due to the general election on 8th June the Planning Committee meeting due on that day has been postponed provisionally until 22nd June. Full details of the application and OWGRA’s objections along with how register comments are available in the planning section of this website.

Osterley Library & Bowls Club: At our public meeting on 6 December Cllr Curran did not rule out a transformation of Osterley Library and the Bowls Club. It will depend on circumstances and whether or not both institutions have sufficient local support.

Jersey Gardens:  Issues have been raised about the pruning of shrubs within and on the borders of the gardens as well as continuing anti-social behaviour within. These issues have been raised with Hounslow Council and their contractors, as well as the police.

Quakers Lane & Braybourne Drive: The landowner of the ditch along Braybourne Drive has agreed to erect a high fence to deter fly-tipping and CCTV has already been installed. The landowner will also remove the rubbish already deposited. Frequent visits by the local police have had a beneficial impact on anti-social behaviour in terms of drug trafficking and prostitution.

Thornbury Road: The “no left turn” proposal has been dropped. The road will be widened by 0.6m to allow for two lanes (going north). A number of other traffic calming measures are to be proposed for Church Roa, Osterley Road and Ridgeway Road. There will also be a new bus shelter in Thornbury Road outside Campion House.

Dudley House. Following adoption by the developers of council recommended cosmetic changes to the application it was approved by the Planning Committee on 9th March.

Consultations, consultations

Personal view

I attended two so-called consultations in the last two days. On Wednesday it was the Airport “consultation information exhibition” at Isleworth public hall. It was organised by the Ministry of Transport. On Thursday it was a Council consultation over plans for the Great West Corridor (held at the University of West London). Business and government (central and local) now like to back whatever it is they plan to do with claims that their plans have public support. A whole culture of sham consultations has been developed to this end as everyone who takes an interest in these things in Hounslow should be well aware. Continue reading

Gillette South – nonsense about files (updated 5th March)

How the developer sees the proposed development

How the developer sees the proposed development

Until today there were 97 files for the proposed Gillette South development on the Council’s Planning website. This large number was produced by splitting many files, for no good reason, into smaller files. Thus the Design and Access Statement (a key document) was split into 15 separate files. The Heritage Statement was split into 9 separate files. Many other files were also split. This created an entirely confusing and distinctly unfriendly access to the files for the development.

The case officer for the development said, by way of an explanation, that the old planning website imposed a 5Mb limitation. We explained in response that this was simply not true and that there were very much larger files still viewable which had been uploaded onto the old website. Eventually our point got through. There has now been a reduction in the number of files from 97 to 75. The Design and Access Statement has been uploaded and, at our request, the 15 separate files have been removed. Similarly the Heritage Statement is now available as a single file.

Several other documents, for example the transport assessment, are still presented as a number of separate files but our point has been established and now we will ask for the job to be completed.

Our repeated point was that we want the materials to be presented in a way that will encourage rather than discourage viewing. This is clearly not a factor that has been taken seriously by LBH up until now but we may have scored some initial success in establishing that a rather different approach is required if community involvement is to be anything more than an empty phrase.

In an effort to sort this problem out we telephoned the PR agent for the development (Polity) but no offer of help with the problem resulted. Later email communications with Lee Jameson and Martin Hughes of Polity and the agent for the development, David Morris, were positive and it looks as though we may get the single files for the supporting statements we are requesting. The LBH case officer was also helpful and got changes made to the files on the Council website. We will keep you posted.

Note added 5th March. It seems from subsequent exchanges that the source of the problem is with the Council and not the developer. A council officer maintained that the previous Council set-up could not handle files greater than 5Mb (which is contradicted by the existence of very much larger files on the previous system.). A bit of persistent complaining has now resulted in a significant reduction in the number of files through consolidating most of those that had been split into single files. What a waste of our time all this has been.