Fifteen Years of Building Flats
Hounslow's Local Plan selects entirety of Brentford as area for growth and regeneration
Hounslow's Local Plan is out for consultation until 22nd April. This sets out the council's spatial vision for the next fifteen years (i.e. what goes where - schools, flats, offices...) and will guide future development and planning applications.
Windmill Road Action Group are encouraging residents to write in response to this consultation over the next week. We reproduce their introduction to the Local Plan below:
The council is consulting on proposals to designate the whole of Brentford as an area of “significant growth, investment and regeneration” from 2015 to 2030.
This will apply to all backland and infill sites, not just the employment sites facing the
Great West Road and the land south of the High Street.
Hounslow town centre is the only other part of the borough to be designated for growth in this way.
Between them, Brentford and Hounslow Town Centre are expected to provide the majority of the borough’s future 15 year housing growth of 13,592 additional homes, with 5,999 being built over the next five years.
The Council says:“The Local Plan will set out the council’s spatial vision for the development of the borough over the next 15 years, highlighting the key areas for regeneration and investment. It will include policies to guide development in the borough, and be used in the consideration of future planning applications.”
This would mean that a developer can point to the Council’s proposed new growth designation for Brentford and argue that they should be allowed to build taller and more densely occupied buildings than in the past. This would apply to everywhere within the orange boundary line on the map above.
The consultation draft of the Local Plan also includes the following map, which shows “M4 Gateway” section of the proposed Great West Road Corridor extending into the residential side streets to the north and south of the A4.
An early indication of how the Council are likely to interpret their growth policy for Brentford can be seen in the presentations they have been sharing with developers. These discussions have been taking place since last autumn.
A senior council officer was recently reported in a sponsored magazine article as saying:
“The approval (of Lionel Road) gives developers confidence that Hounslow Council is not only up for big development – it is also up for big tough decisions in order to make it happen.”
The following extracts are from the February presentation to developers. They show development sites in pink at the A4/Boston Manor Road and A4/Windmill Road junctions and in orange at Carville Park.
The presentation included the following photographic montage showing the Council’s willingness to consider additional tower blocks alongside the elevated M4.
Residents are key stakeholders in the future of our area. Despite requests, residents and residents' groups have been excluded from the Council discussions on the future of the Great West Road.
The Council’s Local Plan consultation refers to the “Golden Mile Vision and Concept Masterplan 2014” as the key supporting document for their growth proposals. We have now learnt that this will not be published until after the Local Plan consultation ends. So we can’t comment on it in our submissions about the Local Plan.
So what to do?
There are three things residents can do about this:
It would be helpful if you could let the councillors know what you think about designating the whole of Brentford an area of significant growth for the next 15 years. You may also wish to comment on the adequacy of the existing infrastructure and the requirements of yet more development.
It would also be worth asking why residents have been excluded from the discussions about the future of the Great West Road Corridor and the residential side streets which border it.
Ruth Cadbury: email@example.com
It would be helpful if as many residents as possible could send a short email to the Council saying that they think the proposed spatial strategy of encouraging significant further growth across the whole of Brentford (all the areas within the orange boundary line on the map) is wrong and unsound.
The Council has to show the consultation responses to the Government Inspector who will conduct a public examination of the Council’s proposals later in the year. So residents’ comments will influence the subjects the Inspector examines.
We suggest that you also refer to the tremendous infrastructure pressures which already exist in Brentford even before all the new flats currently being built are occupied, and then point out that yet more homes and/or offices will result in even greater pressures.
The Great West Road is already one of the most congested and polluted (air & noise) stretches of the local road network. Where’s the sense of constructing even more tower blocks alongside it, which will generate even more vehicle movements?
Emails should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The postal address is:
Windmill Road Action Group
April 18, 2014