Ballymore's Car Park Approved
Although decision is not yet made on temporary car park
Hounslow's Planning Committee this Thursday 1st August approved the plans for Ballymore's Car Park on Dock Road. This application is for “reserved matters” and therefore deals only with detailed issues such as scale, appearance, layout and design. The principle of development was not in dispute because this had already been agreed in 2015.
Only two councillors voted to refuse the planning application and both are (Conservative) councillors from Chiswick. Of the two local members of the committee, Mel Collins was absent while Guy Lambert voted for approval.
Objectors were given a total of five minutes between them to state their objections, which were environmental, amenity-based, legal and archaeological.
In his submission, Tony Firkins of the Green Party said “This huge car park will produce considerable greenhouse gases, both from the concrete and steel used for its construction, and because it is encouraging driving in the area. Hounslow council have declared a Climate Change emergency. How can they let it go ahead?.” He called for the building to be zero carbon to comply withe the London Plan.
Greens were encouraged when the Hounslow Council planning officer, Kosma Nykiel, said that he takes the climate emergency very seriously. He said that the council would work with Ballymore to make sure that future plans were aligned with the emergency.
Brentford Voice were also given two and a half minutes to speak to the committee about their concerns. In a statement they said "We argued strongly that permission should be refused. The planning application is so lacking that a deferral would only, at best, have led to amendments to the conditions while the fundamental design problems would not have been addressed.
"We made the case that the developer’s decision to go ahead with this development without the benefit of the requisite planning permission and the failure by LBH to take enforcement action were extremely ill-considered and an absolute disgrace. This will inevitably taint future relationships between the local community, LB Hounslow and the developers.
"We also made the points that the height of the building was too great while the detailed design and cladding of the building does not reflect anything of Brentford’s heritage. We reiterated the desirability of introducing vertical green walls on up to three of the elevations".
The GLA have earlier commented on the application for the temporary car park “The proposed 508 car parking spaces are wholly unacceptable as they are likely to attract more car trips to Brentford High Street, which is already congested, and will worsen air quality. They are contrary to draft London Plan Policies T1, T2 and T6 and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and must be reduced to 150 spaces in line with the S106 requirement”.
Despite these objections the planning committee granted planning permission on the basis that “the building conforms to the requirement that it should not exceed 30 metres in height”. Brentford Today have recorded the meeting which can be watched on Facebook only.
“It’s a farce”, said Jon Elkon of the local Greens. “This monstrous building is not needed and sends the wrong message to the local community, yet still it was approved”.
Ballymore commented "“Both of our applications for a temporary and permanent car park were reviewed by Hounslow Planning Committee (1st August). Planning officers have been amending the scheme to reduce the volume of car parking to be more in line with previously agreed obligations. These obligations require there to be temporary car parking available during the construction of the development. We are confident that we will come to an agreement with the committee due to our positive engagement to date and that there will not be a formal re-consultation required. We understand that following the Committee meeting, the application is recommended for approval subject to conditions.”
A spokesman for Brentford Voice said "We are very disappointed with this outcome and the sole vestige of hope on this issue is that the Mayor of London will dig his heels in following his trenchant comments on the proposal for a temporary car park.
"There will be many other battles to be fought and causes to be promoted. At the very least we have put down a marker to say that Brentford Voice will be listened to and we are determined that the interests of the local community will be championed".
The application for the temporary car park (00607/BA/P3) is still pending consideration.
August 7, 2019