Historic England Makes Strongly Worded Objection to Chiswick Curve
'An inappropriate intrusion into some of West London’s most cherished historic spaces'
Historic England has made a strongly worded statement detailing its objections to proposals for a 32-storey skyscraper at Chiswick Roundabout dubbed the “Chiswick Curve”.
They have advised Hounslow Council that the development would have a serious impact on a wide range of important historic sites, including Kew World Heritage Site, the Grade II registered Gunnersbury Park, and three Conservation Areas.
Historic England, which until recently was known as English Heritage, has also warned that if the Council approves the scheme, it will request that Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, call it in for his own determination.
A statement from Historic England said, ' The “Chiswick Curve” proposals are for two very tall towers which would be dramatically out of scale with the local area and clearly visible within the settings of some of West London’s most important historic spaces. Kew World Heritage Site, which includes the rich cultural landscape of the Royal Botanic Gardens and 44 listed buildings, would be damaged by the intrusion of the towers. Elsewhere, the Grade II registered Gunnersbury Park and Cemetery would be overshadowed by the building which would loom over this historic and commemorative space.'
'Three important Conservation Areas would be affected by the building which would dominate the skyline of Kew Green Conservation Area, undermining the intimacy and integrity of this quintessentially English village green. The development would also be a prominent intrusion in views of the Strand on the Green Conservation Area, harming the tranquil river setting which is at the very heart of its special character.'
Nigel Barker, London Planning Director for Historic England said, 'This development is not only entirely at odds with the local character of Chiswick but would be an unwelcome and inappropriate intrusion into some of West London’s most cherished historic spaces and places. We have objected to the proposals for the damage they would cause a range of highly graded historic sites, including a World Heritage Site. But we also believe that the harm the scheme would cause is unnecessary to regenerate the area and that new development should enhance, not damage the area’s unique character.”
An on-line petition is still in operation against the Chiswick Curve.
The petition which has been launched by Keith Garner, the Planning consultant for Kew Gardens, says that the tower will blight the protected views and forever alter the character of local conservation areas including the Kew Gardens World Heritage Site.
Local MP Ruth Cadbury has also slammed the proposal for a 32-storey Chiswick Curve and criticised the developer Kim Gottleib for his "ever more intense development proposals for this site".
The MP For Brentford & Isleworth, who was a member of Hounslow's Planning Committe for over thirty years, including two terms as Chair, said that in all her time she had never seen such an example of "gross overdevelopment as the "Curve" now proposed for the half-acre site at Chiswick Roundabout".
Despite the closing date of February 1st for comments you can still read about the application and make comments
Concerned residents in Chiswick along with their local councillors are currently engaged in a campaign against the development.
The tower at Chiswick roundabout will contain up to 320 new apartments with 1-3 bedrooms and an expected 800 new residents. There will also be 50,000 square feet of commercial space including offices and restaurants which is anticipated will accommodate 400 staff. The second one will be 25 storeys high and linked to other tower at the lower levels.
The Chiswick Curve from Strand on the Green
A formal planning application was submitted by Starbones Limited to Hounslow Council on 21 December 2015. If planning permission is granted, the resulting skyscraper would be the tallest building in West London, higher than Trellick Tower in Paddington- which has recently been turned down.
Planning applications are evaluated against the Council's planning policies as set out in the Local Development Plan.
The Curve from Kew Bridge
The Kew Society has also objected to the development on the grounds of the LED advertising which is part of the proposal. In its statement the Society states that: "The applicant has produced no evidence as part of the application that the development will not adversely impact on the setting of heritage assets such as the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, the listed Kew Bridge and Kew Steam Museum, the Kew Green Conservation Area and the River Thames.
"The increased level of lighting, combined with its changing images and colours will impact adversely on the area character and the living conditions of residents. Illuminated and changing electronic Roadside advertising such as these proposals can create public safety issues and in the interests of road safety, restrictions should be enforced such as controls on the number of image changes per minute (e.g. one), the number of words displayed in any one image (e.g. seven) and any form of subliminal advertising at any time.
Richmond Council has also objected to the scheme.
The Curve outside Gunnersbury station on Chiswick High Road
Another view from Strand on the Green
From Chiswick streets near Wellesley Road
A view from the A4
Looking north from Strand on the Green
Skyscraper viewed from Chiswick Roundabout
The developers claim that an outward facing design approach and 'public realm strategy' will overcome the severance effect of the M4 flyover. They are also promising an improved pedestrian and cyclist environment beneath the M4 flyover.
Skyscraper viewed from the south of Chiswick Roundabout
March 4, 2016