Three key Brentford organisations issue a wishlist to LB Hounslow
Ballymore have gone somewhat silent on their intentions regarding the area south of the High Street since Brentford said no to the plans back in November.
Three of Brentford's critical organisations have come together to write a letter to Brandon Walsh, Head of Regeneration and Economic Development at London Borough of Hounslow.
Brentford High Street Steering Group, Brentford Community Council and Brentford Chamber of Commerce united to set out 6 key priority areas that need to be addressed to make the area south of the High Street a success. These are:
- Develop a coherent retail strategy that includes a support plan to ensure that all retail and other small businesses currently on the south side of the high street have the potential to continue operating during the build phase and secure affordable new retail space within the final scheme, as well as support to access financing - if required - to increase the capitalization of their businesses.
- Set out detailed plans for how and when Watermans will be moved to the town centre as a catalyst for economic regeneration.
- Move the development substantially towards to four stories or less, in keeping with the local area and the Brentford Area Action Plan policy. Brentford’s infrastructure (sewage, healthcare and schools) is already struggling to cope with the growth in population of the past decade.
- Continue to maximise the retention of key existing historic buildings on the site integral to Brentford's character. For all that has been achieved in this regard it is disappointing that the Vicarage, Wilson and Kyle and adjacent 81 High Street are all under threat of demolition with no effort yet being made with the latter two buildings to recreate the frontage.
- Change the architectural style to something both beautiful and in keeping with Brentford's character & heritage. This does not preclude some contemporary architecture but should broadly pick up a mixed traditional warehouse style in keeping with recommendations of The Princes Foundation for the Built Environment and examples on the attached note. We were encouraged by an initial focus group session with Ballymore’s architects last Autumn that was looking at alternative options for the High Street frontage around 108/9 High Street. This more collaborate approach to design should be extended to review all the facades.
- Design should go further in responding to and respecting the importance of the water’s edge, water users, access and boat maintenance as an important element that is particularly special to Brentford. For example, a tidal grid/dry-dock maintenance facility at Workhouse Dock is important to our heritage and economy – the example of such a facility working within and enhancing the centre of a new development being Banbury. The slip way should also be retained at Workhouse Dock – the Richmond waterside example proves that these are operable as both working and social spaces.
Read the letter in full
March 5, 2013