Park Road Allotment Holders Celebrate Appeal Rejection
Plan to relocate site deemed an 'alien intrusion into the Brownian parkland'
Allotment holders at Park Road in Isleworth are celebrating after an inspector rejected an appeal against a plan to build over the site. The inspector reasoned that it was the intention of Capability Brown and Robert Adam to allow the general public to view the vistas across Syon Park where the allotments were to be resited and that the scheme went against this aim.
The Northumberland Estates had submitted a plan in 2016 to move the allotments and build over 100 homes at the location which had been rejected by Hounslow Council last year. Northumberland Estates, which was the entity acting for the Duke of Northumberland had made two linked applications, one for proposed development at Park Road Allotments (P/2016/0717) and the other for alternative site for allotments in Syon Park (P/2016/0716) and appealed against the rejection of both plans.
After visiting the site in October, this Thursday (29 November), the planning inspector Nick Fagan announced he was rejecting the two appeals made by the estate.
The estate wanted to build 119 flats and 8 houses (127 residential units in total) in eight blocks of three- and four-storey buildings. The first part of the appeal was against the rejection of this scheme. The inspector supported Hounslow Council’s decision saying that the loss of Local Open Space caused by the proposal conflicted with adopted local policy and the possible harm it would do to the Isleworth Riverside Conservation Area.
The second part of the appeal was against the refusal of the plan to relocate the allotments to land at Syon Park. The inspector found that this adversely affected the Grade I listed Capability Brown designed Registered Park and Garden and failed to preserve the settings of the Robert Adam designed Grade I listed Syon House and the Grade 1 listed Lion Gate and lodges onto London Road. He also concluded that the new site offered to the allotment holders was materially inferior to the existing site as had been argued by the Isleworth Society.
The proposed site was of 1.31 hectares within the currently grazed part of the historic Park just to the west of the Duchess Walkway, the public path which links the Duchess Gate on London Road to Syon House and the commercial facilities next to it, including the Hilton Hotel opened in 2011. The combined proposals were to redevelop the Park Road Allotment site with houses and flats and to relocate the allotments to this site in Syon Park, which is about ¾km away.
The inspector said of the Syon Park location that it was, “atypical of much of Brown’s work which is generally exclusive enclosed landscapes designed to show off the owners’ wealth and prestige, because the Lion Gate allows fairly extensive views into the Park from the public highway. This was clearly deliberate: Brown and Adam were working for the Duke at the same time. The Lion Gate and lodges, the lake and Adam’s bridge over it and the carriage drive linking them and then opening up vistas.”
The proposed allotments would have been clearly visible from the Lion Gate, which is open and wide and allows expansive vistas across the parkland from London Road.
Mr Fagan said they would be, “an alien intrusion into the Brownian parkland in a highly visible location.”
He also disputed the Estate’s claim that the project was necessary for the continued maintenance of the park and buildings saying that he had been given limited information on the Duke of Northumberland’s wider financial interests and it was up to him to demonstrate the financial imperative for the scheme.
He also accepted that Hounslow Council had designated the land on which the allotments were situated as for housing as a human error and said this should have no bearing on his decision.
November 30, 2018