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The empty site next to Kew Bridge site should be designated a competition site under a revised Unitary Development Plan Brentford Labour Councillor Patrick Edwards said today.

Speaking after the conclusion of the first phase of the planning appeal by St George’s into the refusal of a planning permission to develop the land adjacent to Kew Bridge, Cllr Edwards insisted that on such a key site the Council should insist on the highest standards of design and innovation with no penny pinching on costs.

Cllr Edwards said: ‘The land adjacent to Kew Bridge is a spectacular site. It’s the front door to the borough in the east, and sits within a major heritage landscape. With the river in close proximity it provides a real opportunity to combine a dynamic and thriving public community space which could be a real asset to local people and a design that could act as a beacon for west London.’

Cllr Edwards continued: ‘Designating the land as a competition site would send a clear message to developers that the council insists on the highest standards of design and innovation with no skimping on costs. This approach would encourage architects with an international reputation to inject something genuinely creative and unique to the borough. The present plans reek of a poverty of ambition for the site and have been rightly condemned by local people. Brentford people want a development that they can be both proud of and live with.’

During the planning appeal Brentford councillor Ruth Cadbury gave evidence on behalf of Isleworth and Brentford councillors.

Cllr Cadbury said: ‘The development falls down on so many scores. The cramming of units onto a limited site has reduced the amount of amenity space and the prominence of one bed room flats makes the development as a whole un-family friendly. There is clear evidence of pretty drastic loss of sunlight and daylight should the development go ahead. It’s regrettable that a scheme of this size should provide so little in the way of community benefits – there were no plans to replace rowing activities that happened on the site before and public square proposal was a hostage to fortune from any new resident that wanted to restrict them.’

Cllr Cadbury concluded: ‘Given St George’s standing as a major development company it should have been more than capable of coming up with a scheme that paid more respect to the setting and potential of Kew Bridge.’

6 July 2005

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