January's Update from Councillor Matt Harmer
* Reynards Mill reckoning *
First off, thanks again to everyone who has been in touch regarding a couple of controversial planning applications – the Reynards Mill site off Windmill Road and the area of open space between Hamilton Road and the railway line.
There’s some news on the first one, an application for 275 homes on the industrial estate. Something we call the Isleworth and Brentford Area Committee – the 12 councillors who represent that area – will be discussing the Reynards Mill application at our meeting next Thursday 26th January. No decision will be made; the purpose is to pass local views onto the council committee that decides these things. However there is one important thing – the format of these local meetings has changed and there’s now an opportunity for residents to address the committee. Not for very long, there’s a five minute time limit and so objectors (and supporters, of course, I’ve had some supportive emails) have to team up.
If you want to come along then please do so. The details are at http://democraticservices.hounslow.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=576&MId=6837 where you’ll see that the discussion is not first on the agenda, so be prepared to possibly have to spectate on some exciting items about bus stops in Osterley.
The Hamilton Road application won’t be at that meeting as I understand that there is still work to be done on it. It’s attracted much opposition locally – again, hello if you are receiving this for the first time – and I suspect that it will be a while before we get to discuss it.
Regardless of what we think about the application, it’s my personal opinion that they should be decided at the full planning committee that contains councillors who have received at least some training. Of course there are some applications that we would be glad to see the back of straight away but doing things the right way is important.
* Parking progress *
This application is not the only thing that will be giving residents around Windmill Road something to think about. You may remember that, last year, residents raised a petition to seek a further consultation on whether or not their roads should have controlled parking. That consultation will be happening at the end of this month.
I’ve already had plenty of emails on this and if they are any guide the results will be too close to call. I know that very few people will be happy with the result, whatever it is – everyone has an ideal solution and no two solutions are the same. To start with, there are questions on who is eligible to vote – should people who don’t drive get to vote? If you have two cars, do you get two votes? Special dispensation for shift workers?
Anyway, in the first instance there will just be a couple of questions – are you in favour of a CPZ and, if so, what hours/days would you prefer. If there’s sufficient interest there’ll be a second round of consultation on detailed designs. A drawn-out process, yes, but worth doing right. I also want to sort out some unclear rules about whether you can or cannot park partly on the pavement on Enfield Road.
Enfield Road, Eastbourne Road, Grove Road and Avenue Road were the roads down to be consulted, we have asked that Whitestile Road be added. If you haven’t had a letter about all this by Feb 5th please let me know. You have till 20th Feb to reply.
* High Street Happiness *
There’ll be some changes to the High Street following an award of around £950,000 from the Outer London Fund to Hounslow Council. Some of the things coming our way:
- A launch event along the Grand Union Canal with the Royal Opera House during the Olympics
- Improving access from the Great West Road to Brentford Lock through a new cycling and pedestrian junction via the canal’s towpath and new bespoke signage on the Golden Mile
- A project to improve signage in and around Brentford town centre
- A bespoke lighting scheme linking up the Great West Road with the towpath, bridge underpass, towpath, Piazza, High Street and Market Place
- Development of a new cycling junction outside Holiday Inn
- Improvements to entrances to St George’s Piazza, new lighting and signage and bringing empty retail units back into use
- Improvements to the north side of High Street, with new street furniture, lighting and further shop frontage improvements
- A one year long community programme to develop a spectacular performance for a celebration event in March 2014
In case you are wondering (and I was) St George’s Piazza is the open space just above the High Street opposite St Laurence’s Church and the Holiday Inn. I must have missed the meeting that decided that name (and to be fair it’s not Brentford ward) but anyway. Particular congratulations for this are owing to my ward colleague Ruth Cadbury, who has driven forward this successful bid (which has also netted Hounslow town centre around £2 million)
* Funding call *
A reminder that the Council has funding available for local not-for-profit enterprises. Despite the financial challenges we face I'm pleased that we have been able to keep some funding available for this important sector. Since the last email I'm pleased to have been able to point the Toy Library and Spartans FC in the right direction. As ever, please get in touch if you think your group might qualify.
There's also funding available for one-off street parties and the like to celebrate the St George's Day, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Torch Relay or the Olympic/Paralympic Games. Up to £500 is available and if possible we'll help you close the road for the party. Drop me a line if you want to know more.
* Can I help? *
Finally, please get in touch if you think I can help, either by emailing email@example.com 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
January 20, 2012