Council Plans to Spend £200,000 on Tesco/Homebase Legal Costs

Drawing on contingency funds to support development plan

Visualisation of the new Tesco store on the Homebase site
Visualisation of the new Tesco store on the Homebase site


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Hounslow Council has spent over £200,000 on legal fees in relation to the massive Tesco/Homebase development.

The dual scheme by developer St George’s was approved by the council but then ‘called in’ by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Housing. Secretary of State’s concerns included “the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with Government policies for Conserving and enhancing the historic Environment” and a potential lack of consistency with the wider development plan for West London.

This means that the applications relating to the proposals will be subject to an enquiry and it is understood that most of the extra cost relates to the need to employ private sector law firms to represent the borough at the enquiry. An additional £50,000 is likely to be needed to pay towards planning consultants.

Hounslow Council’s Chief Officer made the decision to fund the council’s legal defence using £275,000 from its corporate contingency budget to “fund the financial pressures around the Tesco and Homebase SoS Inquiry.”

Sukhy Bahia, Jason Harcourt and Maneesh Singh, Conservative candidates for Osterley and Spring Grove ward, have issued a joint statement against the decision, “It is, quite frankly, insulting that Hounslow Labour is forcing Osterley residents to fund the legal defence for the controversial Tesco/Homebase redevelopment plans through their council tax.

“We’ve stood alongside local groups to oppose these damaging plans to build 17 storey tower blocks in this predominantly low-rise area, which would cause a 40% reduction in light for locals living near the site. It is wholly inappropriate that Osterley residents should be forced to pay for Hounslow Labour’s decision to back these plans.”

The full public inquiry begins on the 15 March, and will last for eight sitting days.

If approved Homebase site at the junction of Syon Lane and the A4 would become a mixed-use development, comprising a large supermarket and associated car parking as well as 473 flats, 35% of which would be classed as affordable. The new housing would sit above a podium containing the supermarket and car park, in a series of tall buildings that range in height from 4 to 17-storeys.

This proposal is linked with the concurrent scheme for the redevelopment of the existing nearby Tesco Osterley site with a mixed-use proposal providing up to 1,677 flats, 35% of which would be classed as affordable, commercial uses and new public spaces. The Tesco Extra store at this site would be relocated to the Homebase site


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February 25, 2022

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