Planners Recommend Approval for Park Road Allotments Scheme

Say that public benefits outweigh loss of open space

The Park Road Allotments. Picture: Val Snewin


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There has been a dismayed reaction from campaigners hoping to save the Park Road allotments after Hounslow Council planners recommended approval for the redevelopment of the site.

This will be a key consideration for councillors when they make their decision as to whether or not to give the green light the scheme at a borough planning meeting on Thursday 14 October.

The proposed development would see 80 new homes, comprising a mixture of houses and flats built on the site. The existing 11,700 square metres of allotment space would be reduced to just 3,553 square metres with 38 plots.

The development comprises a mixture of Build to Rent (BtR), including 32 Discounted Market Rent (DMR) homes to be managed by Northumberland Estates.

The council planners concluded in their report that the scheme offers heritage benefits to the Grade I listed Syon House and associated Grade I listed park through the revenue generated by the development while also incorporating 32 homes that would be classed as affordable housing and securing 30 homes (in the form of BtR) dedicated for key workers at the nearby West Middlesex University Hospital. It was determined that the combined public benefit would outweigh the partial loss of Local Open Space.

This application proposes to construct ten buildings on the site ranging from two to three storeys in height. The council planners’ report states that these would be of a high quality design that would preserve the character and appearance of the Isleworth Riverside Conservation Area and that the development would be highly sustainable achieving a 78% reduction in CO2 emissions.

Local Labour Party Vote Against Park Road Allotment Plan
A visualisation of how the development might look from the planning documentation

There were 925 representations about the planning application of which 924 were objections. A combined objection from Councillors Salman Shaheen, Sue Sampson and Daanish Saeed, who represent the Isleworth Ward in which the development is located, was also received. A petition against the plan received 3,000 signatures.

The Park Road Allotment holders’ association disputed the contention in the application documents that there would be no loss of actively used allotments. It said that the practice of only granting three month leases by Northumberland Estates had discouraged use and vacant plots were not being re-let. There will be 38 plots in the new smaller allotment site which is being provided as part of the scheme compared to 37 on the existing site but the allotment holders say this is not representative of the true state of usage and demand.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which runs West Middlesex Hospital supported the plan because of the 30 homes that would be available for key worker NHS staff.

Cllr Salman Shaheen is urging his colleagues on the Planning Committee to ignore the officers’ advice and vote against the scheme. He said, “I have the utmost respect for the opinions of our Planning Officers but in this case, it is the over 1,000 objectors including allotment holders, residents, the three ward councillors and Shadow Minister for Planning, Ruth Cadbury MP, with the law firmly on their side, that councillors on the Planning Committee should listen to. If the Duke of Northumberland is allowed to bulldoze this green jewel in the heart of Isleworth it will be gone forever.”

Spokesperson for the allotment holders, Annie Aloysius added, “We are disappointed by the planning officers’ decision to approve the development; the Estates have not engaged in a meaningful collaboration with plot holders regarding their proposals for the new site, they have threatened and intimidated us during the process, leaving a huge lack of trust as to their sincerity and real intentions for the future.

“We are extremely concerned that the proposed development will destroy the existing plots, trees and wildlife and what we will be left with once they have installed drainage tanks, cut down trees and applied weedkillers, as per their plans, will be worthless in terms of cultivation and ultimately is a huge loss of green local open space that is currently loved by all as an asset of community value.”

Sue Casey of The Isleworth Society says, ” We are extremely disappointed that Hounslow’s Planners are recommending approval of the redevelopment and destruction of the Park Road Allotments site, a place that is valued by the community. We urge all members of the Planning Committee to listen to the arguments, from over 3000 people, of those speaking against these proposals; to their consciences; and to local residents- and to refuse this Application on 14 October 2021, as they did on 22 June 2017.”

The planning reference is P/2020/4292. You can find further details of the application by visiting this page.

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October 8, 2021

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