No Plans for a Skyscraper on the GSK Sports Ground

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

January 26, 2024


Don't Travel Down the Irrawaddy in a Crocodile Canoe

Back to the Grindstone in Earnest After the Holidays

Fortnum and Mason Tight-lipped on Its Plans for TW8

A Magnificent Market, a Feisty Forum and Good(ish) News on Windmill Road

A Secret Mission to Silverstone with a Possibly Fake Keir Starmer

Is the Horse Power on Santa's Sleigh Sufficient?

Secret Gardeners Spruce Up Whitestile Road Planters

Take Care on the High Street and More Morrisons Annoyance

An Unpleasant Surprise in the Post After Morrisons Shop

Why There are Definitely Not Too Many Flats in Brentford

Sign up for our Brentford newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Well, Thursday’s calendar which I always consult in an effort to work out I had been doing a week ago – yesterday is often a struggle – was rather vacant.

It wasn’t quite as vacant as I think, because I had booked for an online course to improve my tech skills with the OneNote app. However, we are talking tech skills and I fell at the first hurdle. I couldn’t check into the course. I cried for many minutes, but then I bucked myself up and got back on the metaphorical horse and went into my next online meet, which was with our cabinet secretary chap who asks me what I’m up to. Not much, apparently.

Friday was a different kettle of fish and I was off to Harrow with the quarterly meeting of the West London Waste Authority. Actually I’d had a brief call with the MD on Thursday to talk about a few things we agreed to progress and much as I detest the journey to Harrow I actually enjoy the meetings.

Like everything else around here, the costs are up, up, up mainly because the largest chunk of costs we collectively incur is the fuel to make the incinerator work. The obvious (well not all that obvious!) way to reduce costs is to get more of the food waste recycled. It seems that all 6 West London boroughs have more or less the same problem – roughly 2/3rds of what we could recycle is actually thrown in a black bin, despite pretty well every home in Hounslow (other boroughs are not as advanced) has recycling facilities. Somebody told me on the doorstep that there was no way she was going to recycle food because of the smell when it rots. I did suggest that if this rotting mess was put into a food bin and taken away every week it would smell less than if put in a large bin and taken once a fortnight. My persuasive powers are obviously on the same level as a 2 week old rotting mackerel. We’ll still try to persuade.

On Saturday morning Lara and I were supposed to meet a resident but we had a message that it was too cold so we just met each other and talked about the ward and what we might do to make it better and help out our residents. Of course being councillors we actually talked about what unpopular ideas we could get on with, impose it on residents and make a few quid from bribes. But I’m afraid the cupboard of scams was empty so we had to think of something useful, or try to.

Several years ago somebody asked me what was the story with the GSK sports ground. What GSK sports ground? I asked. The one that is between Swyncombe Avenue and The Ride, they answered. I said the council was trying to get our hands on it and build a 34 storey block of flats but I decided I’d better find out about it. It’s amazing after about 6 years as a councillor for Brentford, wonderful as it is it does not rival Russia for territory, so you might think I had noticed there was a (mainly) cricket field with a pavilion and tennis courts hidden away. Well, there it is, next to a school playing field that belongs to a private school from Ealing. I know about that because I have helping them get their coaches a place to stop safely for their urchins (obviously urchins, they are from Ealing).

GSK sports ground brentford

It turns out GSK had given it to a charity called Fields in Trust who look for someone to maintain them. It seems a well-known sports body is looking to take this on and we’re waiting this to be agreed by the committee, and the council also needs to be a partner in this. I have been chasing an answer (just as various residents have been chasing me) but we are close to a conclusion, so a bit of good news, fingers crossed.

In the evening we had a meeting of the Labour group to look, mainly, at where we are in setting a budget for the year starting April. Far from being easy but as a group the Labour councillors are together in their views and that helps a lot. A bit of history: The first slide shows what’s happened to government support (shrunk) business rates (shrunk) demand for services (grown) and council tax which has had to fill the gap as we try to protect services.

The second slide reminds us for several years council tax didn’t go up at all. We then clawed back a bit of the loss of income (though not nearly enough to deal with increasing demand) but last year with inflation out of control the gap widened again.

Tuesday was a busy day, starting with a meeting by the bridge to Lot’s Ait, with Dan Bowring (this is mainly in his ward!) with a whiskered (not the women) crowd of river lovers to walk many of the banks in Brentford (banks of the river and canal, not the money banks as there aren’t any anyway). We have been approached to consider setting up Brentford as a Heritage Harbour. There are a few of these around, though currently none in London and we all thought it would be good to get that going, though there’s a lot of thinking and planning to be done before we get to a conclusion.

There’s a lot of history with the rivers and canal, but of course it’s complicated with the Port of London and the Canal and River Trust owning lots of the river/canal waterways and various private landlord owning the landlubber bits. Anyway, was good to get this started and it was heartening the number of locals who want to be involved.

Then we had a Lampton Services board. Most of the company continues to go well but there are still things to attend to in the part where we maintain council properties. Still working with the housing team to get this to a conclusion! Everything else is going well and I was very happy to hear this week that the people building the commercial waste business have been supported by one of the Conservative councillors in Chiswick, leading to new business being one and some problem contractors being replaced. We are looking to do more of this in other wards and it’s good to see us working well over political divides.

In the evening, an informal cabinet session. This was mainly about the Local Plan – a formal planning thing which has to eventually be agreed with the Department for Levelling Down, Housing, Communities, Tom Cobley and all which is a turgid process. I suppose it may be completed within my lifetime. Well, at least in the lifetime of people currently at St Paul’s primary school. Or maybe not. Anyway, we are progressing and actually having a non-agreed version does help us to take some control over development.

On Wednesday, after a brief visit to the Fountain Leisure centre to agree a fitness programme, I was off to the wild border area between Ealing and Hounslow.

I spotted these two recycling boxes in the car park, which I wasn’t previously aware of. Handy to get rid of your old clothes and radios etc. Leaving an old TV on the top is technically flytipping but I forgive this one.

There are allotments just over the border between Boston Manor Road and Ealing and people who live in the ward are revolting because (in their view) nasty brambles and other triffids are invading their gardens from the allotments. The people in the allotments have something close to being the opposite view so we have to try and find a compromise so the disputed alley between the two is cleared. We held some peace talks on site and I think we are close to agreeing a DeMilitarised Zone, like the one between North and South Korea though I’m not suggesting Peter Mason leader of Ealing is a clone of Kim Jong Un.

In the evening I was supposed to be going to the Labour General Committee (sounds a lot more grand than it is) but my foot has developed a pain called Plantar Fasciitis and it occasionally is extremely painful, so I cried off. Fortunately this doesn’t last long but people who have had it say it continues off and on for months or years. A month ago I’d never heard of this and this seems to be true of many people I talk to, perhaps Kim Jong Un is spreading it via footwear from 73 Gunnersbury Avenue where he has his embassy.

Something else to blame on Ealing.

Thursday was a packed day, starting with a Teams meeting with the MD of the Lampton Group at 8.30 ( for an evening person) moving rapidly to a 9am discussion at the Digital Dock with the people behind the Canal Festival which will proceed in the summer. They are keen to modestly expand the area they use to run the festivities.

Then I was off to Hounslow Highways to prepare a video with them and their versions on Bunuel.

Then from the sublime to the ridiculous: I was off to Mogden for a periodical update they give us. The main discussion is about the controversial plan to take our Thames water and send it off to the riviera in Suffolk where they are short of water and replace the water in the Thames with recycled stuff from Mogden, which they insist is water recycled out of Mogden. I am still getting my head around this, which brings out they cynical in me when they told me the recycled stuff is pure as driven snow, or at least better than what’s already in the river, which is probably a low bar, given all the stuff Thames Water already pumps into it.

I often have two senses when I visit Mogden: one is the sense of wool over my eyes and the other is being blinded by science. Either way I can’t see a lot but good to hear they are creating gas to feed back into the gas supply. Actually, citizens, it is you who are contributing the gas so son’t skimp on tour lavatory duties.

Then it’s home for two sessions on the team, both with Cllr Tom Bruce. The first is about trying to persuade me and officer colleagues to fix a road in his ward. We’ll think about it – it’s one that missed the pothole pledge and there’s no money left in that pot! The second is much more positive – it’s the consultants second go at the Brentford Town Centre plan. A number of local councillors were present and we are all happy with what has been prepared, which is a relief. I can’t say much about it yet because still in draft but we’re keen to see a finished version very soon.

Off to Cranford in a minute for a Holocaust day event. See you soon


Councillor Guy Lambert


Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.

Bookmark and Share