Tesco/Homebase Decision Could Be Nine Months Away

Public inquiry ends but new minister may need time to make ruling

A visualisation of the local impact of the scheme created by Mike Spence
A visualisation of the local impact of the scheme created by Mike Spence


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The public inquiry into the proposal for two massive developments on the Tesco and Homebase sites has now concluded.

A number of final sessions were held at Hounslow House with a well-attended lobby organised outside by the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents’ Association (OWGRA) which has consistently opposed the twin proposals by developer Berkeley Homes. The local Green Party and Friends of the Earth were also present and a 3D model was placed for those giving evidence to the inquiry to view.

Although the inquiry is now over and no more evidence will be submitted, it is understood by OWGRA that as much as nine months will be needed before the Secretary of State makes his decision. The current minister, Simon Clarke, took up the role just a few weeks before the last stage of the inquiry, becoming the fourth person with cabinet responsibility for housing in the last few months. It was his predecessor Michael Gove who originally called in the plans for further scrutiny and, privately, some campaigners believe the new incumbent will be less sympathetic given his previous voting record on planning controls and building on the green belt. In addition, there are fears that the Prime Minister’s pro-growth stance will tip the balance in favour of approval eventually being granted.

The battle against the plan to build 16 tower blocks of up to 17 storey high commenced over three and a half years ago. Following the conclusion of the inquiry OWGRA issued a 24-page statement detailing all the efforts it has made to bring about what it describes as more appropriate development for the area.

It said, “We must give thanks to the campaign team and many others who have worked tirelessly over the last three and a half years – too many to mention. But grateful thanks must particularly go to Barbara Stryjak, without whose enthusiasm, drive and commitment the campaign would not have happened. I have said it before – you do not say no to Barbara! Thank you. She will be taking a well-earned break from the OWGRA Committee.”

A visualisation of part of the development on Syon Lane

The OWGRA statement concludes, “We have said all along that the principle of development is accepted on these sites. We said that redevelopment must provide housing which not only respects the area’s residential character and its heritage, but it must also meet known local housing needs.

“ All residents should be entitled to a healthy and happy existence. This requires guaranteed access to adequate public transport, the necessary local infrastructure and utilities. We say that a suitable replacement for the Tesco site would be a 21st century equivalent of the local Wyke Estate, with plenty of houses, and low-rise blocks of flats with generous open spaces. Our limit is 6-storeys to match the height of the nearby Grade II listed Gillette building.”

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October 7, 2022

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