IBAF Airs Planning Applications
Dress rehearsal for Planning Committee for Floreat, Lionel Rd and Nishkam
This Thursday's Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum (IBAF) provided an opportunity to discuss three major planning applications that will be decided at Planning Committee in the near future.
There was a brief presentation and discussion on Floreat's new temporary site at Trico House, Lionel Road development and the Nishkam school.
Floreat at Trico House
The school has already opened with 23 students in a class as opposed to the two forms of entry that were originally planned and catered for. This year's intake includes children with special neds. There is no outside play facility which is consdiered detrimental to the "free flow" of children and their ability to learn and play. Floreat are counteracting this by using a double classroom as a hall facility as the school is not full. They are looking at Carville Hall Park as the nearest outdoor area that is suitable and trips to forest schools where classes can spend the whole day learning outside the classroom. Kew Gardens was also cited as a place to visit.
Questions were raised as to the suitability of Carville Hall Park which caters for a lot of people and dogs as well as a pedestrian walk through. Cllr Louki criticised the lack of communication and consultation, both with residents and councillors, as did Cllr Lambert. Floreat said that the landlord of GWQ wanted to communicate these plans with its residents so Floreat did not consult directly.
Those parents who drive are parking on Ealing Road and walking their children the remaining distance. Cllr O'Reilly expressed concern about how far small legs could walk. Cllr Louki thought the location is unfair to children. Cllr Dunne asked about the alternative sites discussed, mentioning that free schools policy tends to mean a rush decision is made on location.
A parent with a child at Floreat said how happy he was at school since they'd started and that she didn't have any qualms about the location and any problems were temporary.
The EFA (Education Funding Authority) use their own methodology for evaluating sites and will run their own sequential analysis (of potential sites).
Brian Burgess, of Lionel Road Developments explained in response to questions that agreements made mean the stadium and residential units have to be built concurrently, in part due to physical site restraints. Up to 35% of the flats cannot be occupied until the stadium is complete and construction stages of the stadium are linked to stages of the enabling development. Furthermore Griffin Park cannot be developed until the stadium is fully functioning, although there may still be some building work going on. The aim is to start in the first half of 2015 with the expectation that building takes two years and the new stadium will be ready (just) for the opening of the 2018 season.
Cllr Savin asked the unthinkable question of what is the point should the club get relegated to which Brian answered that the new stadium is needed to generate income on match days and non match days to help make the club sustainable which will be needed regardless of which division.
A quarter of a million pounds is being contributed towards improvements to Kew Station and there is a detailed management plan in place for queuing access to the station on match days through the tunnel with the main entrance of Kew station being access for local residents only.
There is currently no affordable housing but if during the course of construction development becomes more profitable then affordable housing will be included on the remaining Duffy site which is not included in this application.
The Education Funding Authority (EFA) have already bought the land (known as White Lodge/Conquest Club). Although current plans show the northern half of the site to be empty it is expected to be the new location of Grasshoppers. George, from Keep Osterley Green complained that this plans were therefore misleading.
Although the application does not include a nursery Nishkam wish the site to be large enough to accommodate one so they can add one in at a future date. This allows them to add 2 acres to the space needed, ruling out a number of alternative sites.
Again residents complained about the lack of responsible consultation. David Pavett complained about the number of drawings submitted at various stages to the planning website and how difficult it is for laypeople to analyse these, due to their volume and the website. There is no means of being notified when additional documents are uploaded to the planning portal although this is Hounslow's fault rather than the applicant's.
A teacher residing in Osterley mentioned the 1200 strong petition in support of Keep Osterley Green and said that the site has been used by sports club since the second world war. It only went into decline when the Earl of Jersey's company who owned it stopped offering long leases so tenants no longer felt it was viable. The concern is that it has been intentionally run down with the aim to sell. The EFA have reputedly bought the site for £11.75 million although its value as Metropolitan Open Land is not expected to be more than half a million.
The site has poor public access with the H28 and H91 the only bus routes. Nishkam are proposing school buses for children but did not say whether these would be funded.
KOG also argue that as a faith school 50% of school places are offered on faith and the other 50% Open places are offered randomly (without distance as a criteria) so this school will do little to alleviate the local need for school places with students travelling from further out.
Cllr Carey asked for legal advice on when it is appropriate to use MOL which Cllr Collins will endeavour to get.
This meeting was live-tweeted and you can still scroll through @brentfordTW8 for the detailed account.
September 18, 2015