Brentford High Street Group Reports Back

Recommends that Waterman's be moved to centre of town

Related Links

Community Planning Project of to Flying Start

High Street News

Sign up for our free newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Over sixty people recently attended a report back event at Watermans Arts Centre as the Brentford High Street community planning project drew to a close. 

One of the conclusions from the exercise was a recommendation that the Waterman's Art Centre be relocated into the centre of Brentford.

The steering group representatives: Leigh Stops, Luke Kirton, Chris Richards, Cllr Matt Harmer and Cllr Andrew Dakers fed back on the conclusions drawn from the six month project that has involved hundreds of residents in determining the community’s vision for the future of Brentford High Street. 

They were joined by guest speakers Tim Luckett (President Brentford Chamber of Commerce) and Paul Sanders-Jackson (New Economics Foundation). Cllr Phil Andrews sent a video message of support from the Council’s administration.

Andrew Dakers, Chair of the High Street Steering Group, said, "By encouraging active and continuing participation from the whole Brentford community, envisioning our High Street’s future we set out to identify a regeneration approach that is unique and particular to this site and this community. Our intent was to set out an inspiring vision for a unique, world class sustainable regeneration of Brentford High Street’s town centre that is also financially deliverable. In the report’s draft recommendations the Steering Group hope we have succeeded."

He believes that an anchor store is needed amongst the High Street's diverse range of retail outlets. However, expert advice indicates that due to Brentford’s geographical position and surrounding competition there are limits to the retail growth potential. The conclusion was therefore that way forward appears to be in shaping a much more vibrant and high quality retail mix that encourages local residents to spend significantly more locally and creates a unique destination.

Cllr. Dakers also addressed the issue of potential complications in the relationship with developers in the area. He said, “There is no doubt there are difficult conversations to be had with the developers Ballymore/ Geronimo who may not share all the community’s view of what is needed in Brentford town centre.  However I hope that Ballymore/ Geronimo will rise to the challenge and that constructive dialogue will continue.  Win-win solutions must be sought for the challenges the South side of Brentford High Street site presents.”

Recommendations summary…

A strong heart to the community

  • Consider introducing a local shopper bus service
  • Retain and reinstate historical place names
  • Conserve historical, industrial or otherwise interesting sites and integrate into development with new uses
  • Relocate Watermans Arts Centre to new facilities in the heart of the town centre
  • Ensure appropriate education, healthcare facilities and social services in place for growing population
  • Identify resources and appoint a Town Centre Manager
  • Ensure good site permeability and clear water views
  • Establish focal points at Market Place, Workhouse Dock and Town Wharf
  • Design underground car parking around heritage assets
  • Building height must respect local context. Develop High Street’s mixed character frontage with contemporary and innovative design as elements of scheme

A thriving economy

  • Develop a mixed retail experience, with the introduction of a new anchor store
  • Increase Brentford residents’ retail local shopping spending through a limited expansion in retail floor space and increase in quality of retail offer
  • Establish rent variation by type of store and explore turnover based leases in the interests of a diverse, thriving

High Street

  • Establish flexible and affordable shared office space for small businesses/ sole traders to meet and work together
  • Retain and strengthen all four remaining Brentford boatyards
  • Build a new youth centre for Brentford
  • Introduce integrated branding and signage for Brentford as a whole, leading people towards the High Street/ town centre
  • Use a variety of media to market High Street Brentford as a destination

Transitioning to zero carbon living

  • Research the local supply of renewable fuel source for Combined Cooling, Heat and Power Plant in Brentford town centre
  • Comprehensive water efficiency measures
  • Design in water reuse across site and adopt Sustainable Urban Drainage System best practice
  • Introduce a car club to the town centre
  • Develop water transport links to Brentford High Street
  • Significantly improve Brentford’s cycling infrastructure and provide folding bicycles on lease agreements to all tenants
  • Promote West London Carshare to new residents
  • Improve the sustainability of food supply through roof top allotments

Urban Design Parameters

July 5, 2007