Brentford Residents' Victories at Planning Committee
Committee members support protection of conservation area
Residents in two streets in Brentford were celebrating a double victory on Thursday night at Hounslow planning committee which protects their conservation area status against unwelcome development.
Residents from Hamilton Road were opposing a development of 6 new houses in a thin strip of land behind their homes and residents from Clifden Road were opposing a developer plan to build a two story extension on the front of a house.
In both cases the Council planning officers were recommending approval of developer plans, despite the fact that both plans were within the St Paul’s Conservation Area, which seeks to protect the unique Victorian and Edwardian character of these streets.
Petitions against the developments were submitted from both streets – with over 100 households opposing the two developments.
Presenting the case against the Clifden Road development, local resident James Curran said: “Hounslow Council’s own Conservation policy is to preserve and enhance the special character and appearance of areas, such as Clifden Road , and to resist inappropriate and harmful development. We are not against development of back or loft extensions. We understand the need for more space when families grow, but we vehemently oppose the 2 storey side extension to the front of the house at Number 23.” He went on to show how a two storey front extension, filling in between houses, would destroy the architectural look of the street and set out a number of other reasons why it would breach planning rules.
Hamilton Road residents set out their concerns about plans for development of a site between their houses and the railway. Plans for this site have already been rejected twice by the Planning Committee over the last 20 years. Plans to knock down a house and build a new access road to the development would have altered the look and feel of the street. It was also felt that the proposed new houses were not in keeping with the rest of the area. Residents also made a strong case for the damage to local wildlife, with evidence of rare stag beetles and bats in the green space where the development was planned.
In both cases Councillors on the Planning Committee voted to reject the development plans and overturned their own official’s recommendations. They cited numerous reasons why the development plans were not consistent with planning rules. Most importantly they recognised that development plans such as these were simply not in keeping with the Brentford conservation area. Councillors cited the unique character of these streets and the need to protect this.
Residents in both streets set out their opposition to the plans at the Committee and were delighted with the outcome. Clifden Road resident Adam Jackson said: “Before the committee we were really concerned that the council’s planning officers recommendations flew in the face of their own conservation area rules. Councillors listened carefully to the evidence submitted by residents. The Committee made very clear that such developments were unacceptable and threatened the unique look and feel of our Edwardian and Victorian streets. "
Campaigner Chris Collins said: This is a huge victory for the people of Brentford – it sets a clear precedent that should prevent future developments which are not in keeping with the St Paul’s conservation area”.
James Curran, summed it up: “Conservation is the community. Without the support and co-operation of the community there is no conservation”
March 15, 2013