November's Update from Councillor Matt Harmer
* Windmill Road *
Earlier this year I attended a meeting with residents of Windmill Road and adjacent roads regarding a potential development of homes and flats on the Reynards Mill site - that's the small industrial estate on Windmill Road. The application was subsequently withdrawn following concerns over scale. The applicant has revised the proposals and a new planning application has been submitted. The documents are all online at http://planning.hounslow.gov.uk/Planning_CaseNo.aspx?strCASENO=P/2011/3128 ; the single most useful document is the Design and Access Document at http://planning2.hounslow.gov.uk/AnitePublicDocs/00303961.pdf
The application documents are still being checked; when everything is found to be ok, consultation letters will be sent out by the council's planning department. I don't think any exhibition has been held; though it's important to point out that there is no compulsion to do this. Anyway, take a look and form a view.
* Parking, continued *
Last month I wrote about the research that had been done on Grove Road, Enfield Road, Avenue Road and Eastbourne Road – the streets around the Lord Nelson pub – into whether or not a controlled parking zone would assist residents who are looking to park. Thanks to all those who contacted me to get copies of this report and to those who sent their own thoughts.
The report concluded that the biggest demand for parking was overnight and that during the day there was some capacity, albeit featuring competition between residents and visitors for spaces. There’s more detail, of course, in the report and as before I’m happy to send a copy.
As a result of this, councillors will discuss a proposal to consult residents in those four streets on the principle of introducing parking controls. I expect plenty of angry emails in return but personally I think this is the right outcome. The research came about because of a petition that residents presented to the Council and if these are to mean anything it is right that the process is followed through (of course, there is nothing to stop people getting an anti-parking control petition together but we’ll deal with that if and when it happens).
The meeting is next Thursday the 17th November (not the 19th as I said before) at the Free Church near the library. It starts at 7.30 and the item is sixth on the agenda so hopefully there won’t be too much waiting around. There’s no opportunity to speak as far as I know and I don’t expect any surprises. To be clear, we won’t be deciding to introduce controls, just to ask if local residents think controls are a good idea.
Before we discuss this we will be talking about Layton Road’s parking scheme. We’ll discuss whether or not we should expand the controlled hours in Layton Road to 8pm Monday to Saturday. More information on the meeting and all the papers at http://democraticservices.hounslow.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=576&MId=6836
On a similar subject, the meeting will discuss proposals to put double yellow lines on various corners of Brook Road South where that road meets Grosvenor Road, Braemar Road, Hamilton Road, Clifden Road and New Road. No-one likes losing parking spaces (and I’ve probably parked on some of them, living as I do on Ealing Road) but it’s being proposed from a safety point of view. This wasn’t done basd solely on what someone behind a desk thought would happen – the Fire Brigade came down, in a fire engine, and tried to drive around the corners. They found them impassable when cars were parked there.
It’ll also keep the dropped kerbs clear – that’s where the pavement slopes down to the road. Talk to people who use motor scooters and wheelchairs about how important this is. And we do take notice of what people reply to us about these things – a lot of spaces were going to go at the bottom of Grosvenor Road, the road that leads to St Paul’s Rec but residents there said this wasn’t required and those proposals are now removed.
* Christmas Lights (1) *
Staying in this area, thanks to all of those who wrote about the longer traffic queues going south on Ealing Road following the introduction of the new junction. In short, it wasn’t done properly and we are pushing for the changes to be made. Drivers and 65 bus users have spoken of long waits to get across the junction whether turning left to Kew Bridge or right towards the High Street.
What there should be is a left turn filter light. Transport for London, who control these things, say that they will put one in. We will keep on at them to do so. One email said it would be done before Christmas, though it didn’t identify which year.
* Christmas Lights (2) *
I’ll leave you with a little bit of What’s On. We have Christmas lights and we will be turning them on next Friday 18th at 4.30pm. The location is different this year- the Market Place. Before then there’ll be an Italian Market so get down there for your seasonal pasta shapes. The Italian Market will also be there on Saturday, and there’ll be a French Market there on Friday and Saturday 9th and 10th December.
The St Faith’s Christmas Fair, sorry Fayre, is always a good event and this year it is on Tuesday 22nd November from 6pm to 9pm. Many local businesses will be there with each stallholder offering something special for Christmas ranging from food & drink, toys & games, jewellery, books and handmade cards & gifts...all your Christmas gifts under one roof! Local choirs including Lionel Primary School, Gumley House Convent School, Chiswick Pop School & Stage Academy, Brentford Belles and St Faith's own choir will be performing throughout the evening. Entrance is free and the Lord Nelson pub will be selling hot food and refreshments. In the past couple of years I’ve had to leave early to get to a council meeting; that’s not the case this year and so I intend to pay full attention to the mulled wine stall.
Check http://www.brentfordtw8.com/default.asp?section=info&page=calendar.htm for more local events.
* Court out *
The website set up by the potential developers of the High Street is now live – it’s at http://www.mybrentford.com/brentford2.0/ and is worth a look. Thanks to those who sent on comments – there does seem to be a consensus about what is and isn’t deliverable, which is good. I’ve had a few emails about the Magistrates Court, asking if the Council would buy it and turn it into a community centre/building of some kind. The honest answer to this is no, I’m afraid. I’ve been in the Court and the costs of converting it into that kind of use would be huge.
We all know that the reductions in central govt contribution to Hounslow Council mean that tough choices are being taken and, because of that, it’s not difficult to make a decision on the Magistrates Court. It’s unfortunate that our local MP is one of the people asking for the council to spend money – your money, of course – on this. As my colleague Ruth Cadbury has pointed out, what we do need to do is use the planning regime to get the car park in front of the building back into some kind of positive use. In the meantime, the last trial is on 9 December, and the building will be auctioned in 2012.
* Two wheels good *
From Monday, work will start on the construction of a cycle lane on the stretch of road between Morrison's and Albany Terrace. There'll be some work to widen the road in places and other improvements, concluding with a resurfacing of the stretch of road. For the next week or two Albany Parade will only be accessible by car from the High Street, so don't let that put you off using the excellent shops and cafes on the Parade.
* Can I help? *
Finally, please get in touch if you think I can help, either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 8560 7033.
In the meantime, thanks for reading.
My mailing address is:
153 Ealing Rd
Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0LF
020 8560 7033
November 14, 2011