Council Concern Over Reynards Mill Development
Fears that the Secretary of State will rubberstamp the development
Hounslow Council has raised concerns that an excessive planning application it rejected earlier this year will be rubber-stamped by the Secretary of State.
The council rejected an application to build 275 housing units on the site of the Reynard Mills Trading Estate in Brentford in April.
The level of development was seen as excessive, the layout and design were out of keeping with the area, there was a lack of amenity space, and it would have had harmful impacts on traffic and parking conditions in the area.
The developers have appealed the council’s decision to the Planning Inspectorate but the Secretary of State has decided to ‘recover’ the decision and make the final decision himself.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for housing at the council, said:
“We are doing all we can to encourage more much-needed family homes to be built in the borough, but we have planning policies in place to make sure that they compliment, not conflict with, the local community.
“We believe that, as representatives of the local community, we are best placed to judge what is or is not suitable.
“If Mr Pickles’ commitment to localism is as strong as he insists, then he would do well to bear that in mind.”
Brentford councillor Mel Collins said:
“There were almost 300 objections from the local community to this development, and we agreed that this simply wasn’t an appropriate scheme for the area.
“We’re open to the idea of housing on the site, but it has to be in harmony with the rest of the area, and not just a way for developers to cram in as many units as possible with no thought for what it would be like to live there, or in the surrounding area, for years to come.
“By taking the decision away from the Planning Inspectorate, we have real concerns that the views of local people will be ignored.
“In the past, when the Secretary of State intervenes, they have tended to side with the developers to grant the decision.
“I hope our local MP, Mary Macleod, can use whatever influence she has with the Secretary of State to make sure intercede so that local people voices can be heard.”
September 27, 2012