Police Station Not to be Demolished
Philip Green discusses the police site and Watermans with Brentford Community Council
The last meeting of the Brentford Community Council saw over 20 people packed together to hear Philip Green to talk about his acquisitions: Max Factor building and the former police building.
Philip is the Director of London Green, who have developed relatively small residential schemes within the M25. London Green has the support of Hounslow Council who wish to see these two sites, as well as Watermans rebuilt with the inclusion of some affordable housing.
There was much discussion of the financial constraints required to develop a high quality replacement of the Watermans as well as enabling affordable housing on top of private. Concern was expressed that the application should be on an open book principle so that residents could clearly see and understand the financial details.
Philip advised that it might not be possible to demolish the Police tower due to the costs involved. There was universal objection to the retention of the tower or any building of similar height in an area of Brentford where height restrictions should be observed.
Opinion was divided as to whether the Arts Centre could be redesigned on its present site with up to date facilities or whether it could be better provided on the Police site. There was much emphasis about the need to use experienced theatre architects to design the new arts centre as well as world class architects for the development.
There was also concern that the proposal to place the Arts Centre in the core of the shopping centre (i.e on the Ballymore site) so that it was an integral part of the Brentford shopping experience had been lost.
The BCC supported the need for affordable housing especially as three recent schemes (Lionel Road, the Town Centre and Commerce Road) provided hardly any. However it was also noted that these were both sensitive sites where over-development could harm Conservation Areas and the World Heritage site at Kew.
It was agreed that it was essential to tie in development of the Police site with a broader Master Plan for Brentford and it was noted that the Wilkie plan for Brentford established the importance of the St Paul’s church spire in relation to developments of adjacent sites including the police site and Morrison’s which is now designated in the Local Plan.
PG suggested that residential development on the Waterman/Max Factor site would follow the heights of Albany House and Goat Wharf. Concern was expressed that the new development should open the site up. This would ensure that there would not be a solid wall of buildings facing Kew Palace and that Brentford residents would not be shut off from the river.
PG thanked the BCC for inviting him to meet us at this early stage and said he would carefully consider the points made to him. They had every intention of consulting widely before any proposals went firm. He said he would welcome an opportunity to return for further meetings with the BCC with his design team after the summer.
The next planning meeting of the BCC, to which all are invited, is on May 18 upstairs at the Griffin. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the mailing list for notifications of meetings.
May 8, 2015