Chiswick Curve (Hounslow Council ref P/2015/5555 and 5560 and APP/F5540/H/17/3173208)
We are pleased to see that the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have also been granted Rule 6 status to appear at the appeal hearing. Historic England submitted its Statement of Case against the development on November the 9th.
This appeal has now been called in for decision by the Secretary of State, This means that instead of writing a decision, the Planning Inspector will prepare a report and recommendation, which will be forwarded to the Secretary of State. Our request to participate in the pre-inquiry hearing under Rule 6 (6) has been accepted. The pre-inquiry hearing with the Inspector is now scheduled for 20 March 2018 and the decision is likely to be made in June 2018.
Zac Goldsmith MP has objected as has Ruth Cadbury MP (Brentford and Isleworth),
The developers, Starbones Ltd, are now appealing the decision of Hounslow Council to turn down their application. We are considering further representations for the appeal inquiry which may last 3 days or more.
The application (Hounslow ref P/2017/1361 or 00505/EY/P19) for 2 large LED screens on a single tall pole on the Chiswick Curve site was fortunately turned down by Hounslow on 31 May 2017. Starbones may yet appeal as they have done for the refused “on-building” LED screens earlier refused for the Chiswick Curve application.
Although slightly revised by the developer after their initial 2015 application, the proposal for a massive twin tower (32 storeys – 120 metres high) skyscraper at Chiswick Roundabout has at last, unanimously, been turned down by Hounslow planning committee. The project would have involved over 320 residential flats, offices, retail/restaurant units with 3 large electronic advertising displays, all on a tiny site at the entrance to B & Q. The structures would have towered over west London impacting the views from both Kew Green Conservation Area and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Local amenity societies north of the river were also active in their opposition and Barbara Weiss of the “Skyline” campaign spoke against it at a public meeting against the project coordinated by the societies, including The Kew Society. This may not mean the end of adventurous proposals for this site, but at least there may be a pause for thought.
This application is to be considered at Hounslow Council’s Planning Committee on 12th January. We understand that the recommendation from Council officers is for refusal.
An amended application has been submitted slightly reducing the number of flats and reducing the large LED advertising screens from 4 to 3.
Public meeting held 27 April 2016
A public meeting was held on 27 April to discuss what is now being called the Chiswick Curve. Here is an audience photo of the well-attended and lively meeting. Hounslow Council are still considering the application.
Attached is a draft press release of the proceedings.
Public Meeting, Wednesday 27th April 7.30pm at St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park, Chiswick. W4 1TT (close to Turnham Green Tube Station). Andrea Lee, a Healthy Air Campaigner with Client Earth will speak on Air Quality and Barbara Weiss, the architect and co-founder of the Skyline Campaign will speak on Tall Buildings. The meeting will be chaired by Rowan Moore, architecture critic of the Observer.
Come to this meeting to hear from key speakers and express your views on this 32 storey residential skyscraper proposal. See poster for more details
We have submitted our objections to this development, including the proposed illuminated advertising on the building facades. You can see what we have said on the tower blocks and the advertising below;
We are very pleased to see that Richmond Council has also raised strong objections. You can read their letter here.
Remarkably, and unlike most Councils, it is not possible to view on Hounslow Council’s website all the comments made on planning applications. We know that many objections have been made on the Chiswick Curve – at least 400 in fact we have been told by Hounslow Council.
Surely this lack of transparency should be addressed by Hounslow in the interests of proper community engagement. The community has a right to know the issues being raised and the strength of the arguments made on which, presumably, the Council will base its decision.In the meantime local amenity societies have agreed to coordinate copies of their objections so they can all be seen publicly on the Brentford Community Council website: http://www.brentfordcc.org.uk/
A planning application has now been submitted for 31 and 24 storey tower blocks at a site opposite the B&Q on Chiswick roundabout. We will be objecting and liaising with other community groups in Hounslow. Hounslow Council’s website is far less transparent than Richmond’s in that it does not show comments made on applications – something we have suggested community groups in Hounslow raise with their Council. You can however see the application here.
Potential skyscrapers in Brentford
You may have seen the recent press coverage of proposals for a new skyscraper near Chiswick roundabout to rival some of the tallest buildings in London. We contacted Hounslow Council to ask what was proposed here and how any such proposal could be considered compatible with the Council’s policies on appropriate developments sensitive to the character of local surroundings. We have also involved our local MP, local ward Councillors and Richmond Council officials. Hounslow have advised that no application has been made as yet but that the developers have sought confidential pre-application advice. We have made the point to Hounslow that if the developer considers this proposal is in any way acceptable in this area, the Council should look again at its draft Local Plan to reconsider the clarity of its statements on the need to respect the character of the area and the impact of high rise buildings on vistas from the Thames foreshore, Gunnesbury Park, Syon Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens as well as other heritage sites in the area.