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.

ADINI FLATS

  • 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

ADINI OFFICES

  • 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 DECISION ON SHISHA LOUNGE AT OSTERLEY PARK HOTEL WILL BE MADE THIS THURSDAY, 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 bomeara@bam.co.uk; 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