Residents Win Concessions Over Orchard Road Housing Scheme

Development can't start before replacement parking provided

Orchard Road car park
Orchard Road car park


Parking Space Squeeze Feared Due to Orchard Road Housing Plan

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The Orchard Road Residents’ Group has managed to secure significant concessions from Hounslow Council relating to the new housing development on the road.

As expected, Hounslow Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday 4 March unanimously passed a planning proposal to build five new houses on the car park at the eastern end of Orchard Road, despite fierce local opposition.

The residents’ group which is voluntary and made up of long-term occupants of homes on or near Orchard Road, had employed planning consultation MZA Planning to represent them.

Prior to the planning meeting the group took part in an online meeting with ward councillors Steve Curran, Theo Dennison and Katherine Dunne. As a result, Cllr Curran forwarded an addendum report to be included in the meeting to take into account locals’ concerns about the lack of parking provision. The report states that no part of the development can begin until replacement parking has been implemented, and that alternative off-road parking provision could be considered for, or as part of the minimum of 16 replacement spaces which the Council claims will be lost. Surveys by the Orchard Road group suggest this figure is much higher and that the car park is regularly near or above 90 per cent occupancy, especially at weekends.

The change does not alter the minimum number of replacement spaces but the introduction of the new spaces will now not rely on stripping out yellow lines and will be subject to a separate consultation process undertaken by the council’s parking team.

The local group have requested that as residents they are included in that consultation process along with ward councillors. Steve Curran also stated that the Council do not currently have plans to develop the garages area and that he would look at the costs involved in developing a new car park in the area.

Orchard Road group spokesperson Caroline Stewart said, ‘So although this development is bad news in terms of the loss of our existing car park, we are now focusing on ensuring we get enough suitable replacement parking implemented prior to any development taking place, and we need to monitor and ensure that the legal agreement regarding the parking provision is binding and adequate.’

Visualisation of houses planned on Orchard Road car park

The council has described the housing as a ‘scheme that gives a modern and exciting blueprint for the future of council house building’.

It claims a 100 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions - beyond the relevant building regulations targets. The four three-bedroom homes, and one four-bedroom house, will have triple glazed windows, a waste-water heat recovery system, an air source heat pump to provide hot water and heating, and solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Steven Curran, said, "The Council is responding to the impact of coronavirus in a bold and ambitious way, while at the same time stimulating a green recovery that will accelerate our commitment to build a greener borough and support the delivery of our Climate Emergency Action Plan.

“The fact is we need more quality council homes and Orchard Road is an exemplary scheme, in zero carbon design, which can now be used to set a blueprint for the future as we set on our ambitious journey to deliver a good standard of housing for families.”

Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency, added, “We are an ambitious Council and over the last 12 months, in our role as developer, we have explored the implementation of exemplar energy efficient solutions for new council homes that we are building.

“Through this work the Council will be delivering hundreds of new homes with very little carbon generated.

“Our current development proposals will provide the Council with a blueprint for future proposals as we embrace new technologies and construction methods to make our borough greener.”

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March 12, 2021

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