Planning Controversy Over Ballymore's New Car Park

508 car spaces "wholly unacceptable" according to GLA

Car Park
Construction as of 23rd June 2019


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The new car park being built by Ballymore off Dock Road to the south of Morrisons has been causing alarm due to its size and confusion as to whether it has planning permission.

At last week's Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum on 20th June Martin Case of Brentford voice asked what Hounslow intended to do about the situation.

A spokesperson for Planning replied by email that "Applications for the temporary car park and a Reserved Matters Application for the permanent car park are currently in and planners are assessing this. The comments from the GLA reflect the scheme for the temporary car park as originally submitted. Officers are currently working on amendments to the scheme which reduce the car parking to an acceptable level which is in line with the agreed planning obligations that require provision of a temporary car park for the development during its construction.

"We are positive that we will reach an acceptable position with the applicants very soon which will enable us to get it to planning committee. With the level of engagement we have with the applicant to get to the position which has consent, there is limited benefit in issuing a stop notice at this time. Although the work carried out to date is unauthorised, it is within the maximum parameters of the outline planning permission for the site.

"It is unlikely that the changes being sought would require a formal re-consultation of the planning planning application".

Temporary car park
Proposed "Temporary" five year car park

The original application approved in August 2016 granted detailed permission for three blocks in phase 1 and outline for the rest of the development which included Block G as predominantly car parking, with a residential, retail and commercial element as applied for in the full application below. Block G was to be a 7 storey maximum with a height of 30m.

In February 2019 Ballymore submitted a planning application for the Dock Road site (also known as “Plot G”) for a nine-storey temporary (for 5 years) car park providing 508 car parking spaces.

Permanent Car Park
View from Dock Road looking North showing the proposed residential block

Ballymore submitted a further detailed (reserved matters) planning application for Plot G in March 2019. The proposals included the construction of a permanent ground plus eight storey building comprising 30 residential units, 220 sq. m. of flexible retail floorspace, 173 sq. m. of leisure floorspace, 509 car parking spaces, landscaping, and new public realm and other associated works.

The later planning application includes 530 car parking spaces overall. 519 car spaces are within a multi storey car park accessed from Montgomery Wharf Alley and 11 spaces on Dock Road. The 519 car spaces within the multi storey car park are proposed to be split between residential (372 spaces) and retail (147 spaces).

Because the height of the proposed building is above 25 metres and because of the high number of car parking spaces the planning application for the temporary car park was referred by LB Hounslow to the Mayor of London as being of “potential strategic importance”.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) issued their response (pdf) on 10th June and their views on the temporary car park would apply in equal measure to the proposal for a permanent building.

The GLA does not provide a detailed view on the design of the building but their report finds that the high number of car parking spaces is wholly unacceptable on the grounds that these would attract more car trips to Brentford High Street, which is already congested. The GLA also reports that the air quality impacts are likely to be adverse and unacceptable.

Unless notified otherwise by the Mayor, LB Hounslow must consult him again if it resolves to make a draft decision on the application, in order that he may decide whether to allow the decision to proceed unchanged. The Mayor could then direct LB Hounslow to refuse the application, or issue a direction that the Mayor is to act as the local planning authority for the purpose of determining the application.

Martin Case's question and answer, as well as comments from residents at the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum on 20th June can be viewed at Brentford TV on Facebook.

Martin asked "“Can the council please serve a Temporary Stop Notice to stop the unauthorised building works immediately. This would give a period of time for the council to decide whether to serve an enforcement notice to cease unauthorised works, and would it outline the steps to be taken to remedy the harm. It would also give Ballymore the opportunity to re-think their proposals, in the light of the very clear GLA report opposing the works that they have started without obtaining planning permission first.”




June 27, 2019

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