Presentation of Homebase/Tesco redevelopment plans described as a sham
Visualisation of the Homebase site
A local residents’ group has failed to be persuaded of the desirability of huge plans for the redevelopment of sites around Syon Lane and Gillette Corner.
OWGRA (Osterley & Wyke Green Residents’ Association) continues to have serious reservations about the scheme and has described the plans as ‘Manhattan Comes to Osterley’.
The developer Berkeley/St Edward presented their plans for the Homebase and Tesco sites to ten Members of the Planning Committee and the three Ward Councillors at a virtual meeting on Tuesday evening (28 July).
In total the presentation and follow up questions lasted four hours. Councillors pointed out that the usual purpose of these Planning Development meetings was to allow them to influence the development, whereas this was just a preview of the planning application which was due to be submitted a mere few days later.
Cllr Tony Louki described the presentation as a sham and said, "You think this is a done deal just because you speak to (Council leader) Cllr Curran…You've gone ahead with what you've discussed down in Cannes (MIPIM, world's biggest property market event) or wherever else you do your deals round the back with. I'm not saying you've done the deal particularly anything nefarious but the discussions prior to come to this…"
Potential New Tesco development on Homebase site
In their response to the presentation OWGRA said they remained concerned about overdevelopment with 1670 units proposed for the current Tesco site, a Tesco store and 480 units on the Homebase site, contrary to what they say are the allocations for these sites (around 350 and 340 units respectively plus retail space at each site) in the 2019 draft of the Great West Corridor Local Plan Review.
They also question why the developer is proposing a scheme with tower blocks as high as 17 storeys in an area which is predominantly made up of two storey houses as well as the listed Gillette Building. They ask why the developer can’t come up with a financially viable model for a development of maximum 6 storeys.
They also raise concerns about the low level of affordable housing, the number of studios and lack of family sized homes and insufficient parking space.
The design of the buildings is also criticised as well as the lack of an environmental impact study.
Drawing of Homebase site from developer
A spokesperson for OWGRA said, “Why has the developer not listened to the numerous grave concerns raised by residents over the last 9 months? Has the consultation merely been a box ticking exercise? Why won’t the developer organise a proper final exhibition with 3D models of the sites in a local venue with social distancing and COVID-19 precautions?
“We are led to believe that decisions will be made within the context of the Hounslow Local Plan (2015) and, to a much lesser extent, the provisions of the 2019 draft of the Great West Corridor Local Plan Review (GWCLPR). The proposals are clearly contrary, on multiple grounds, to policies in the 2015 Local Plan. With regard to the GWCLPR we understand that amendments may have been made to the 2019 draft and that this will be approved In October prior to submission to the Secretary of State. Whilst the developers may be privy to these proposed amendments, local residents’ associations are not. We are therefore in a position where we have limited knowledge of emerging planning policies for these sites and for other sites in the Great West Corridor.”
Three local residents’ associations, OWGRA, BCC (Brentford Community Council) and Brentford Voice say they are gearing up for the task of reading and assessing the implications of these two planning applications on their communities in the next few months.
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July 31, 2020