28 July 2020

Presentation by the developer, Berkeley/St Edward (BSE!), to Members of the LB Hounslow Planning Committee

A mammoth 4-hour virtual meeting took place during the early evening on Tuesday, 28 July when BSE presented their plans for the Planning Committee.  

 

10 of the 15 members of the Planning Committee attended the meeting.  Also in attendance were our 3 Ward Councillors (Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri & Richard Eason).  A few members of the local community were allowed to observe the meeting, but only Councillors were allowed to ask questions.
We have not as yet received the slides that were used by the developer at the meeting.

 

For the latest information from the developer, see here

 
Here is a summary of the questions/concerns expressed by the Councillors.  Many of the questions did not receive satisfactory answers.

 

1)    General points which were answered adequately

a)    Green Deal. Will there be any solar panels?  No, but there will be air source heat pumps.
b)    How many of the 650 jobs will be new jobs?  270
c)    Area of current Tesco store and future store?  Current 90K sq ft, future 60K sq ft
d)    How long will it take to complete the project? 15 years (increase from 10 years?)
e)    What is the split of affordable housing between the various types? 30% London Affordable Rent, 30% intermediate rent/shared ownership, 40% tenure rented – to be agreed.

 

2)    General points not adequately addressed

a)    On the front cover of the brochure, the developer can’t even spell Osterley correctly (‘Osterely’!)
b)    What is the point of the meeting?  It should be for Councillors to influence the development, but this is just a preview of the planning applications due to be submitted 3 days later.  It’s a waste of time if Councillors can’t influence the development.
c)    35% affordable housing proposed, which is less than the 40% stipulated by the Council – why?
d)    How have objections expressed during the consultation process been addressed?
e)    Hasn’t the consultation process just been a sham and a box-ticking exercise?
f)    Why haven’t you listened to local residents?  Access Storage listened, they started at 14 storeys and eventually got approval for 6 storeys.
g)    Types of homes?
    10% studio
    40% 1-bed
    40% 2-bed
    10% 3-bed
Too few 3-bed homes, Hounslow needs ‘family homes’.
Council policy is to design out ‘studio’ apartments.
h)    Why can’t BSE produce some 360° views of the proposed developments?
i)    Why can’t BSE organise a proper exhibition?  OWGRA have provided a list of potential internal and outside venues in the local area for an exhibition.
j)    Why is the planning application being submitted this Friday?
k)    Why does the CGI imagery produced by BSE not reflect the ethnically diverse nature of Hounslow?
l)    The PTAL (Public Transport Accessibility Level) is low at between 0-2, so poor-very poor.
m)    Where’s the detail about improvements in transport infrastructure?
n)    The draft Great West Corridor Local Plan Review states that the number of units at the Tesco site should be 900 and at the Homebase site 300, so why is BSE planning for numbers considerably in excess of that (1670 and 480 respectively)?
o)    Why can’t BSE produce a viable development with 6 storeys max? Why can’t you go lower and make it profitable?
p)    Who will these properties be sold to?  Foreign investors in tax havens?
q)    Admit and say it as it is, that’s it’s a done deal with Steve Curran?
r)    The traffic analysis is flawed.  Who says that not many people will use cars post COVID-19 pandemic?

3)    Tesco site (‘Osterley Place’) points adequately addressed

a)    How many ‘blue badge’ parking spaces?  10%
b)    Water features and gardens, who will look after them? Estate management company
c)    How many cycle parking spaces? 2750
d)    Will BSE remain as the freeholder? Yes

4)    Tesco site (‘Osterley Place’) points not adequately addressed

a)    The main tower ‘not conducive to the character of the area’.
b)    Tesco car park currently used as a ‘Park & Stride’ for Nishkam School, what will happen when car park disappears?
c)    Level of service charges?
d)    Overlooking and overshadowing of nearby properties.
e)    Height of tower blocks – what research has been done to see what people want.
f)    Don’t dare take any roadway from the western side of Syon Lane (public realm), take it from the eastern side (the developer’s side).
g)    Who is BSE talking to about a GP surgery and how can we be sure it happens?
h)    What provision has been made for subsidised rent for health services?
i)    What will the licensed hours be of the bars on the site?
j)    What’s the environmental impact of this site?
k)    How allocate 380 parking spaces for 1650 homes?  Will they be sold to the highest bidders and those who are key workers working a long way away won’t get a space?
l)    These properties will be seen for miles around.

5)    Homebase site (‘Syon Garden’s or ‘Syonhill Gardens’ - sic) points adequately addressed

none

6)    Homebase site (‘Syon Garden’s or ‘Syonhill Gardens’ - sic) points not adequately addressed

a)    The design is not iconic, does not reflect art deco style.
b)    It will be a bland and slapdash building (like Athena Court).
c)    The detail for this development is lacking.
d)    The proposed architecture is a blight on the Northumberland Estate, doesn’t have any architectural merit and will have a negative impact on the surrounding area.
e)    You’re not being fair to the residents on the Northumberland Estate.
f)    Syonhill is an appropriate name.  The site is on a hill.  17 storeys is high, even 7 storeys at this location is too high. (Until the Great West Road was constructed in the 1920s this land was occupied by Syon Hill Farm.)
g)    Why are the images shown as just rough sketches?
h)    The true perspective of what this development will look like is not shown.  Why?
i)    How will vehicles access the store?
j)    There will be a queue of traffic along Syon Lane to get into the store car park.
k)    How prevent obstruction caused by delivery vehicles to Tesco? 
l)    The problem of traffic chaos is not being addressed; Planning Officers will challenge it.
m)    How will traffic be managed?  What about the subway under the A4?
n)    What about access into Northumberland Ave?
o)    There will be traffic chaos.
p)    Is this one of the junctions shortlisted by TfL to improve traffic flow?
q)    What is the cycleway provision?
r)    Cycling across the junction at Gillette Corner is a nightmare.  How will it be made safer?
s)    The trains at Syon Lane are already overcrowded, how will that be improved?
t)    What is the long-term sustainability of the landscaping?
u)    Who has heard of ‘courtyards’ on the 5th floor?  Courtyards are on the ground floor.
v)    What is the rationale for having balconies on the A4? What about the fumes from the A4?
w)    How will the community space be used?
x)    Why is the developer talking about the messy pavement and fly-tipped mattresses on the site?  It belongs to their partners, Prudential, who should be looking after the site!!

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