What’s Happening in Brentford (and Not Happening)

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

February 3, 2023


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This is to be a slightly different flavour of my blog – less about what I’m up to partly because I am taking a few days away and partly because a slightly different approach might be useful, and a change is as good as a rest – not for me, my nose to the coalface as always (and still a politician so take my claims cautiously).

What’s happening in Brentford (and not happening)

Rumour has it that the developer is looking to proceed with the redevelopment of our dearly loved Police Station and create a new home for Watermans and homes for a lot of people who need homes, probably from a Housing Association.

After that, Watermans and Max Factor will be demolished and replaced by some blocks of flats. The good news – Watermans should get a sustainable home (plus a lot of people without one) and we should be able to see the river more, including a usable water side path.

Dubiously, there is currently (yet) any plan to span Smith Hill, this neglected and stepped path at the end of Ealing Road, which we need for the step free riverside path which I want to see from Strand on the Green to, ahem, part of Brentford Dock. I’m rather aereated about this and will be fighting to try and make it happen, some way.

The bad news is that the casual (meanwhile) area, currently occupied short term by the likes of Studio Flox, will have no real long term affordable solution (again, working on it).

Something is supposed to be happening on Griffin Park but it has gone quiet as has the Duffy site next to Lionel Road.

The redevelopment at Morrisons will be, I suppose, in the summer or at least the undevelopment will start as soon as Morrisons move into their new home, supposed to be July. The demolition of Heidelberg proceeds day by day and they have almost finished (as far as I can see) the blue warehouse bit at the back. I heard today of some concern about silver birches have gone. I believe this is inside their site and always expected and agreed but if they try to attack the trees on Timber Wharf Walk some of which I spent last summer trying to save it may get very messy.

There’s rumour to be a development coming on GWR at 127 Great West Road (I always think of it as Sega or Agfa Gevaert, who probably left 15 years ago) and its logically numbered neighbour 1053 Great West Road. Given Brentford’s habit I’m surprised it isn’t called 36b Ealing Road. They are apparently likely to be combined and redeveloped as a terrace of thatched cottages, or possibly a 50 storey block of flats, time will tell.

Something’s happening on the West side of Capital Interchange Way (don’t understand it was called that rather than Pepys’ Waye or something more Hounslow) but I don’t know what they’re building there, but I noticed saying Peabody which makes me think of Housing Association.

Sunley’s Island at the bottom of Lionel North – I heard a rumour it might become an electric filling station but I’m not putting any money on it. Nothing happening on the NW corner of Ealing Road/GWR although a chap with a Rolls Royce chatted us up a few years ago and we gave permission for an office but nothing happened, nor did the old Alfa Laval tower bought for a showroom by Hyundai several years ago followed by a change of mind. Guess, nothing has happened.

The small site on the NW corner of Brook Lane North, constructed a hoarding that cut off the pavement, very helpfully and were told to take it down, then took down. Surprisingly, in this perfect professional fly tipping mecca there has been very regularly fly tipping despite a sign saying ‘don’t’. I find something similar happens when a sign goes on my bottom saying don’t kick me.

That’s all that comes to mind on the developing (or not) other than the application to develop something much bigger between Church Walk and the Boston Café has been turned down by the planners.

The slow process on these sites is something I find very frustrating. People blame the planning system but there is plenty of approved planning (take the Ballymore car park as an example) and not much happening (or in case of the car park, enough energy to develop it into an eyesore but not to finish it!)


No news on someone to run the café in Boston Manor but I heard last week that some bloke called Jimmy Choo is starting a training place in the outbuildings at Boston Manor. I had heard there was a plan for space provided for creative activities several years ago but heard no more until I saw a press clipping from the FT, wot I read each day obviously.

jimmy choo

Anyway, Kal of Studio Flox made a loyal positive story about the new facility, though as far as I can see it is quite small and focused on teaching and unlikely to help much with the dearth of affordable workshops or studios to our lovely local artists/artisans, which is something I worry about.

It’s a bit disappointing that I found this out in a newspaper but that seems to be the way it goes, sometimes. Anyway, I understand Mr Choo is nothing to do with trains but some kind of upmarket cobbler. He is famous in some quarters and apparently is quite a catch.

Meanwhile work goes on in Watermans where the most visible impact is to completely mush up the central verge between the cycle lane and footpath. Something is going on behind the veil, where I hope works are proceeding both to provide our new boardwalk (for all of us) and starting to provide the marina for the new residents which I hope we will soon welcome into our floating bit.

That’s all for this week, because I’m now out in rural Somerset (or Dorset or something) for my few days away. Woken up by bird song (not green parrakeets I think) and it’s one of those places to get any connection is a big challenge. There is plenty more happening but you’ll have to sort them out for yourselves

Councillor Guy Lambert

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