Admits plan will cause 'moderate harm' to Kew Gardens and Strand on the Green
Housing Minister Robert Jenrick has given his approval to a major housing development in Brentford.
The plan to develop five tower blocks on the site of the Citroen car dealership at Capital Interchange Way had initially been rejected by Hounslow Council planners in 2018 over concerns about the impact on heritage assets such as Strand on the Green, Gunnersbury Park and Kew Gardens. They also cited the significant proportion of one and two bedroom units in the plans.
The letter to the developer informing them of the decision says that, although it is accepted that the scheme will cause harm to Kew Gardens and will be visible from the Orangery, this is ‘moderate harm’ which will be outweighed by the benefits provided by the extra housing.
It goes on to say, “The Secretary of State has had regard to the Inspector’s analysis of potential impacts on the Strand-on-the-Green Conservation Area and its associated listed buildings ... For the reasons given he agrees that the scheme would have a harmful effect on the contribution the settings make to the significance of the group of listed buildings.”
Despite this, as with Kew Gardens, he concludes the benefits outweigh this harm.
The towers in the scheme will be 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18 storeys in height and the project will contain a nursery.
The intervention of the government’s planning inspector last year came after the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan overruled the council after persuading the developer L&Q to increase the affordable component of the 441 new flats in the scheme.
An inquiry was held by planning inspector David Nicholson which concluded in favour of the scheme, a decision which has now been endorsed by Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Development of the site must start within three years
Last year Hounslow Council gave permission for a development of 420 units by Redrow and Catalyst on an adjacent site. This plan is for three tower blocks with a maximum height of sixteen storeys on the site which is currently a scaffolders’ yard opposite the Citroen garage.
September 12, 2020