Massive Development at Heidelberg Site Set for Go Ahead
Council planners recommend approval of waterside scheme for 333 flats
A forthcoming meeting of the Hounslow Borough Planning Committee is to receive a report recommending that a major development in Brentford be given the go ahead.
The proposal by Fairview Homes (P/2022/1142) for the demolition of the former Heidelberg offices at 69-76 High Street (TW8 0AA) and building of 333 housing units down to the waterfront in tower blocks up to 11 storeys high will be considered on Thursday, 8 September.
The four blocks which will also include commercial space, car and cycle parking and landscaping with renewed access to the Thames Path at the front of the building.
Council planning officers dismissed the 47 objections made to the scheme including ones from Brentford Voice and Historic England. They argue in their report recommending approval that the proposal is highly sustainable, is in line with the local Development Plan and the ‘minimal harm’ it does to view from Kew Gardens is outweighed by the benefits it provides. Approval would be subject to necessary planning conditions and planning obligations.
A new river walk would run adjacent to the Thames Path at a raised level, providing additional space along the river frontage with deck stages, large timber seating, and bleacher steps at the south-west corner linking to the existing Thames Path. Fairview says it plans to integrate the Thames Path with the rest of the site with a linkage to Ballymore’s Brentford Project.
In its objection to the proposal, Brentford Voice said that it approved in principle with development on this site but that the scheme was excessive. It also said the amount of affordable housing in the scheme was too small and there was not enough family housing. It also was unhappy about the design which includes vivid red bricks and bright blue steel which it feels is wrong for the area. Along with many other objectors, it expressed concern for the nearby boatyard which it said must be protected from future noise complaints.
Historic England also suggested that the development would be more acceptable if the height of the buildings was reduced.
Affordable housing in the development is 35% by habitable room made up of 60% London Affordable Rent and 40% shared ownership, although the applicant states that this is dependent on grant funding. As a former industrial site, the affordable housing threshold is 50% according to GLA officers commenting on the development who say they will not be giving any weight to vacant building credit for the site. This could indicate that the Mayor will not give approval to the scheme unless the affordable housing component is increased.
This proposal would generate Community Infrastructure Levy income of £2,742,520 for Hounslow Council and £1,495,920 for the Mayor of London.
If the application is approved then Fairview hope to start work towards the end of this year and complete the project in Summer 2026.
September 2, 2022