Last Chance to Get Your Views Heard
Brentford Community Council Issues Its Views on Reynard Mills
Further to recent article about the proposed development at Reynard Mills and article with advice on objecting to planning applications we reproduce below the letter submitted by the Brentford Community Council about the proposal further to their open meeting with the developers.
You may use this to assist your own letter writing regarding the planning application which should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org at the very least. If you have any additional points you think are relevant then please email email@example.com
Reynard Mills Trading Estate:
Thank you for sending us your public information material and for presenting your scheme to the Planning Consultative Committee of the Brentford Community Council.
We were sorry to note that you had not consulted us before you lodged your application so we could have discussed your ideas at an early stage.
The meeting, however, did give an opportunity for local residents to hear about your proposals in detail, This was particularly helpful as it was clear that very few local people had learned about your proposals before you lodged the application.
We have been advised by the local Chronicle newspaper and by the TW8 Newsletter that in view of the considerable interest in this scheme they would wish to publish material from this letter. It will also be placed on the Brentford Community Council Website.
A copy of our letter will also be sent to the case officer in the Planning Department at Hounslow. We would ask officers to ensure that the views adopted by the BCC will be reported to the Committees considering the application.
In view of the extensive hostility to your proposals the BCC would ask you to consider withdrawing the application and to consult on an alternative planning brief for the site with local residents. We appreciate that the site
However the BCC would ask the Council to reject the present scheme for the following reasons
1. Loss of Employment.
The development would remove a further 2,5 hectares of land zoned for employment. The Council is already concerned at the loss of employment land in the borough and is undertaking a review which is not expected to be complete for some months. A decision to allocate this site for housing before then would be premature/
2. Employment in Brentford.
The loss of employment sites in Brentford is particularly severe. Consent has already been given for mixed development in Commerce Road and the Council is considering a residential application for the Kew Campus site.
3. The Brentford Area Action Plan.
The Council recently adopted the Brentford Area Action Plan as the local Development Framework Document for this area. This document contains individual site policies for the most significant development sites, particularly those involving a change of use, but does not include this one, although we understand that the applicant was considering a change of use before the Plan was adopted.
The BAAP was prepared in parallel with the Employment DPD, and the allocation of land uses within it resulted from extensive consultation and a balanced assessment of the employment needs of the Area.
A major reduction in Employment generating land area, such as that now proposed, should only be made after a similarly competent consultation of employment needs, not just fir this site, but fir the whole area.
You advised us at our meeting that you had marketed the vacant parts of the site. mostly occupied by obsolete buildings. It is understood that the site was not marketed as a whole for secure commercial occupation, which could attract commercial development investment
The BCC considered whether a development site additional to those shown in the BAAP would have the necessary infra-structure in view of our present deficiencies and concluded that there might be no present capacity for additional residential development sites. We further note that no community spaces are offered in this application.
There is already extreme pressure on all the local schools. Further housing has been approved which is not yet built. Council policy is seeking family housing units to redress the present in-balance and all these factors will increase the pressure for new school sites. The land is placed between a primary, a secondary school and a university campus.
The BCC considers that if development were considered suitable the site should be allocated for an educational use.
7. Height and Massing.
The outline proposals appear to start from the assumption that the appropriate massing is something that approaches the high rise accommodation flanking the A4 and the elevated M4.
This is at odds with the low rise residential housing close to the Reynard Mills Estate on both it western and eastern boundaries.
We draw your attention to the fact that the Paragon development steps down in height on its western side. The residential block nearest Reynard Mills and St Faiths is four storeys high, while the relocated Our Lady and St Johns primary school is only two storeys high. The residential housing in Manor Vale is between two and three storeys high.
In proposing seven storeys tower blocks constructed on raised ground you are seeking an unacceptable and substantial increase in building height on the site when compared to the height of the neighbouring buildings along the western boundary ands to the roof line of the industrial units that currently occupy the site.
We do not accept that that this pronounced increase can be regarded as “mediating” a reduction in scale and skyline.
We are concerned at the unacceptable massing that would result from the substantial footprint of the elongated seven storey tower blocks. When viewed from most angles the tower blocks will appear as a solid mass and will dominate and overlook the surrounding low rise housing and the playground.
8. Accommodation Mix.
We note that family units, especially for larger families appear to be under-represented in this development despite the provision being considered a local priority.
The provision of amenity space necessary for family housing is disappointing and appears to be an attempt to achieve an additional use for the gaps that will be needed between the tower blocks to provide some level of natural light to the north facing ground floor habitable rooms. It should be noted that the nearest publicly accessible metropolitan open land is some distance away in boston Manor Park an can only be used by children who can go on the lengthy walk with parents. In these circumstances on site amenity appears inadequate.
9. Character and Design.
It would be our view that any residential development which was permitted on this site should match the heights and character documented in the description of Character Area 7 in the BAAP, leaving a clear distinction between terraced family housing and the limited areas which have become recognised high rise development.
We draw your attention to the recent nearby developments which have respected the local built environment in particular Mill Cross Court, Boston Lodge on Windmill Road, numbers 82 to 105 Manor /Vale and the Manor house complex to the immediate north of Manor Vale. It is our view that the design of the proposed town houses and flats proposed for the Reynard Mills Estate falls far short of these exemplars.
10. Traffic and Parking.
Windmill Road is already subject to considerable transport pressures that often results in congestion. It is a double decker bus route with wide vehicles finding it hard to move between parked cars. It has an TTAL of 2.
The majority of the proposed housing will be for market sale with associated car ownership expectations of private sector residents.
We note that only access to the site is from Windmill Road, We are concerned at he congestion and tale backs in Windmill Road that would result from vehicles waiting to enter and manoeuvring to leave the site. We note that these problems will be compounded by the narrow road width of Windmill Road, which makes it impossible to mark out physical or “ghost” traffic islands along its centre line for vehicles waiting to enter or leave the site.
You have acknowledged that on site car parking provision falls well below the Hounslow “tariff” and it has been implied that the overflow resident and visitor parking can be accommodated on the surrounding residential side streets.
These problems may be further compounded if significant numbers use the 300+ cycles to be parked on the site.
It is our view that the number and mix of residential units proposed would result in excessive vehicle movements in Windmill Road and will add to the problem of rat-running through residential side streets between Windmill road and South Ealing road which will exacerbate the already considerable problems experienced in these side streets.
We are concerned that this application could be a precedent for further sites in the area. We would object to any proposal which could become a precedent for further loss of employment, for the under-provision of schools,
For all these reasons we would urge you to withdraw your application and
We request the Council to reject the current application.
July 19, 2011