Planning News – October 2019

There has been a lot happening over the last several months with regard to Planning Applications. The reality of our current planning system is that it is skewed against those who object to a development, as it is based around a “presumption in favour of development”. As a result (as you see below) we do not always win the argument; but by objecting, and being seen to object we are able to exert influence to improve the proposals even if they are ultimately approved.

Tesco / Homebase development

This is the major proposed development in our area as it is both the biggest (by far) in the last few years and the one that will have the greatest impact on our area. We have reported on this in multiple eNewsletters and via articles on our website.

The developer is St. Edward, a joint venture between Berkeley Homes and the Prudential. Their proposal is for

  • Homebase site. Demolition of the existing Homebase building, to replace it with a building covering the whole of the site. This will include a new Tesco store (ground floor), car parking for 450 cars (1st and 2nd floor) and a complex of tower blocks of varying heights up to 16 storeys high in total for 550 flats
  • Tesco site. Demolition of the existing store and replacement with a complex of tower blocks of up to 16 storeys in height for up to 1,650 flats, plus a “new public park”.

We have had multiple meetings with the developer and they have held a Public Exhibition of their proposals and have opened a consultation centre outside the Tesco store to listen to feedback from local residents. In addition they have launched consultation webpages and Facebook sites.

We are working with the developer to try and arrive at a proposal that the residents of Osterley will view as a valued asset in the area which respects the special character of our area.  We recognise that the pressure on housing requires that these sites be developed to provide new housing, but hope that this can be done in such a way as to add to Osterley rather than dominate it.

We strongly encourage local residents to make their views known to the develop via the means explained above.

Adini Office development

It has now transpired that an appeal against LB Hounslow’s refusal of this application was submitted within the required timeframe. However we were not notified of this because the Planning Inspectorate was waiting to allocate an Inspector with the requisite set of experience. They have now commenced this appeal, and OWGRA have submitted our objections to this appeal. We wait with interest to hear the results of this appeal.

Osterley Station Car Park development

There has been quite a bit of progress on this proposed development. Following their previously reported public exhibition of their initial proposal (for a complex of flats up to 10 storeys high), the developer came back with a revised set of proposals. These were a noticeable improvement, with the maximum height reduced to 6 storeys and the development much more sympathetic to the Grade II-listed Osterley Station next door, in style, height and overall design. However we still had a number of concerns which we explained to the developer including the impact on nearby roads and the quality of life for the proposed residents with balconies right on the edge of the Great West Road.

We explained all of these to the developer. They stated that they would take note of our feedback and that they were planning to submit a Planning Application in August. To date none has been submitted and we wait to hear the next step on the proposal.

Osterley Hotel Shisha lounge

This hotel has been under new management for some months now and we have been impressed with how they have been doing it. The complex is now being run effectively as an integrated hotel / restaurant / bar / catering / banqueting suite operation. The new management have agreed that a Shisha Lounge does not fit comfortably within such an operation, and as a result have withdrawn this application and advised us they will not be progressing any further with it.

As you may recall, the impact of the proposals would have been to convert the existing conservatory from a multi-function, flexible and comfortable space into an open (on 3 sides), draughty (Shisha) smoking area. The withdrawal of these proposals preserves this local asset, with this area now operating as a new Indian restaurant.

Brentford Football Club Training Ground (Jersey Road)

Following on from our previous update on this, we submitted our response to the Planning Application, in which we supported it but asked for a number of conditions to be attached to the approval. The developer made some detail changes to the application, none of which affected our previous support for the application, and resubmitted it to the council. The Planners recommended approval of it, and supported effectively all of our requested conditions as part of the approval.

As a result we did not comment further, and the application was approved by the council recently.

Shisha lounge on Spur Road Isleworth

A retail unit on Spur Road, right next to the Green School, recently opened up as a Shisha Lounge, consisting of an internal café area (the original layout of the premises) and an external open seating area on the pavement for shisha smoking. It transpired that this did not have planning permission and the council instigated enforcement action. A retrospective planning application was then submitted. We objected to this because on the basis that is an inappropriate location for such an operation, being so close to the school and the application was refused.

The applicant then appealed and the appeal decision was a split decision. The part of the appeal relating to the use of the internal area of the premises as a café was upheld. However that relating to the addition of the external area (used as a Shisha smoking area) was refused, with the inspector agreeing that the external area should not be granted planning permission.

Mobile Phone transmitter aerials

We have objected to a proposal for yet more masts on the Great West Road next to Jersey Gardens. Our concerns regarding these related to

  • The proposed masts being far taller than current ones (as high as 17.5 m) and as such will be far more visually obtrusive than current ones
  • The introduction of a sizable number of additional cabinets onto the street area, reducing the space for pedestrians and obstructing the view, resulting in a safety hazard.

The application was refused by LBH.

Redevelopments of family homes into multiple flats

We have objected to a number of these. There is a real shortage of family homes in the borough, yet developers are trying to convert these into what are, in most cases, a set of minimum-size flats / bedsits which will then be rented out. Thankfully, LBH agree in most cases with us, and have rejected a number of these applications. In addition they have taken enforcement action where developers try and get round this by going ahead with the redevelopment without seeking planning permission.

Dudley House Planning Condition removal

When this development of this building into a number of flats was approved, the council attached a number of planning conditions to the approval which were accepted by the developer. One of these forbade any resident of the flats from applying for a parking permit in the surrounding CPZ (a limited number of parking spaces were provided on site).

Once the development had been completed the developer asked for this condition to be removed. We objected on the basis that planning conditions are an integral part of planning approval, and are the way that groups such as ourselves can ensure that a development remains acceptable. Allowing the retrospective removal of them did, in our view, undermine this whole premise. Unfortunately the council did not agree and accepted the request.

172-174 Wood Lane

This was a very large family house on a road consisting of family houses. A developer proposed to demolish this and build a block of flats. We (and neighbours) objected with the result that a revised application was submitted. Whilst this was a little better, the substance of all our objections remained unchanged and we objected and spoke against it at the planning committee. Despite being able to convince almost half the planning committee, the proposal was (just !) approved.

OWGRA Community Litter Pick 10.08.2019

Eleven volunteers braved the blustery conditions for an OWGRA Community Litter Pick along Windmill Lane. We had cleared this area 5 months ago, yet we managed to fill another 25 bags! As usual we found some vehicle registration plates and a set of keys.
Many thanks to the Hare & Hounds which kindly provided much deserved refreshments afterwards. Thanks to our volunteers for another good morning’s work.

 

BOLDER ACADEMY

The building of the new Bolder Academy on MacFarlane Lane has been delayed and the new school buildings won’t be ready to open until the Summer Term 2021. A letter from the headteacher in March 2019 stated the following

“Dear residents,
I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you to keep you updated with the developments of our new school building. As you are aware it was due to be completed by September 2020 and the Governing Body, Sky, London Borough of Hounslow, and I have been doing everything in our power to meet this deadline.

Despite our best efforts, due to the complexities of the property deals and the number of stakeholders involved in signing off the s106 legal agreement, it has now become apparent that the construction of the permanent school building cannot be delivered until Spring 2021.The DFE has appointed the building contractor. The contractor and the Academy has undertaken detailed design down to the level of furniture layouts.

With the completion date of Spring 2021 we want to minimise disruption to students and most importantly their learning. This means that our current students and the students who join us this coming September will be based at 390 London Road until summer 2021.This will allow the Academy time to ensure a smooth transition. It will also enable us to rehearse travel plans with our students and parents to minimize concerns that you may have. For the students who join us in year 7 in September 2020, we have agreed to run a split site. We have worked hard to ensure that these students also have access to first-rate facilities and are currently in detailed discussions with a school very close to us. This school has sufficient space as they will have a new building ready for this September. Talks are ongoing and we hope to be able to confirm further details in the next month.

For those of you who are local parents we do know that a great school and a great education ultimately comes down to the teaching on offer and the pastoral care in place. We know at Bolder these two aspects are very strong features of the Academy.

Open mornings for admissions for September 2020 will be announced shortly.

I will of course continue to keep OWGRA up to date with developments as they arise.

Best wishes,
Heidi Swidenbank
Headteacher”

In May 2019 in an update (http://bolderacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/May-2019.pdf ) the school have advised that the “school very close to us” referenced above to be used by the pupils who join them in Year 7 in September 2020 will be The Green School in their new Sixth Form block.

OWGRA Community Litter Pick, Windmill Lane, 2 March 2019

Nine volunteers (6 from OWGRA, 1 from Heston Action Group, 1 from Isleworth, and Councillor Tony Louki) spent about 1.5 hrs clearing the litter on Saturday morning 2 March along Windmill Lane between the Seccombe roundabout at the Jersey Road/Syon Lane junction and the M4 underpass. They filled 35 green Hounslow Highways bags. Found among other things: 3 sets of registration plates and a set of VW keys!

Many thanks to the Hare & Hounds which kindly provided much deserved refreshments afterwards. A good morning’s work. Thanks to all our volunteers, job well done!

OWGRA Community Litter Pick 23.03.2019

OWGRA Community Litter Pickers (10 of them plus 2 from HAG and Councillor Unsa Chaudri) were out again today clearing litter, including the area around Osterley Station, the footpath from the A4 to Bassett Gardens, also Penwerris Avenue, Jersey Road (west) and Jersey Gardens.

There was some scrabbling through bushes and undergrowth to get to litter which has been there for years.

Thank you to Memories of India for providing refreshments for the hard workers afterwards, much appreciated.

OWGRA Community Litter Pick 19/3/19

11 lovely volunteer litter pickers headed back to Windmill Lane in Osterley today to continue clearing the litter that filthy people throw from their cars. The M4 underpass was the most challenging, and we need to go back to finish the job there despite filling another 35 bin bags.
The usual suspects were found including vehicle registration plates and plenty of large plastic bottles full of cider and other suspicious-looking yellow liquids.
Thank you to Wyevale Garden Centre in Osterley for providing refreshments for the hard workers afterwards, much appreciated.
Next OWGRA Community Litter Pick, Sat 23 March, 10.15 am, meet at Osterley tube station. We hope to see you there!