Last Minute Legal Challenge Delays Morrisons Redevelopment

Supermarket chain's lawyers say they weren't properly consulted

Altered frontage and slight increase in rooftop


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It has emerged that the reason for the delay in consideration of an application to make changes to the plans to develop the Morrisons site in Brentford was due to a last minute legal challenge by the supermarket chain.

A virtual meeting of the Hounslow Council planning committee was due to consider the application on 4 June along with an officer’s report which recommended approval. However the item was withdrawn after a letter was received by lawyers acting for Morrisons.

They argued that the application was invalid because they hadn’t been formally notified as the owner. The item was withdrawn from the agenda for legal consideration.

Subsequently and addendum report has been published in which the claims of Morrison’s lawyers are dismissed on the grounds that, as they had less than seven years to run on their lease, they were not entitled to receive the notification due to the owner.

The application will now be submitted again to a virtual meeting of the Hounslow Borough planning committee on 9 July.

As seen from Ballymore car park
As seen from outside Ballymore's car park

The new proposal by L&Q is to switch from the original build to rent proposal to flats which will be sold. The total number has been reduced to 215. There will be a significant increase in the number of affordable or ‘intermediate’ units with the ratio increasing from 25% to 66%. There will no longer be any studio flats in the development and the number of three bedroom flats is increased to 28.

View from Dock Road northwards
View from Brentford High Street looking north

Essential Living's original application, which was approved (P/2016/5573), was for 221 private rented sector units, a supermarket and other retail use with 90 parking spaces. L&Q bought the site from them last March for a little over £28 million.

The expectation had been that demolition would begin this year with construction to finish towards the end of 2023. It is not known by how much this original timetable will have been affected by the lockdown and the deferral of this decision.

July 3, 2020

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