Resident groups picketed conference organised by Hounslow Council
Some of the placards used in the protest outside the Holiday Inn Brentford
The organisers of a resident-led protest against overdevelopment held outside the Holiday Inn on Friday 23 July described the turnout for the event as ‘good’.
They were demonstrating outside a conference organised by Hounslow Chamber of Commerce and Hounslow Council. The Regeneration & Recovery Conference included presentations from the developers including Berkeley who are behind the massive scheme to redevelop the Tesco and Homebase sites.
Members of the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents’ Association (OWGRA) were joined by protestors from the Hounslow Gurdwara who are unhappy about a proposed development on their car park. They were particularly welcome as they brought food and refreshments for the assembled crowd.
The venue was picketed throughout the afternoon as the conference delegates arrives and then a larger gathering took place at which a speaker from OWGRA addressed the crowd about the Tesco/Homebase redevelopment at Gillette Corner. Following that a member of the local Green Party spoke about issues to do with pollution, sustainability and reduction of carbon emissions and then there was an address from The Isleworth Society about its struggle with Northumberland Estate which is proposing to build on the Park Road allotments.
Protestors came from across the borough
OWGRA said afterwards in a letter to its members, “Why is the Council pandering to developers and ignoring residents? Developers are offered the services of the planning department to help them get their applications accepted. Why are there no services offered to residents who pay the council officers’ wages? The balance is all wrong. These greedy developers that won’t take responsibility for the mistakes they’ve made with building unsafe blocks of flats because of substandard cladding. Developers who sit back and watch as leaseholders have to pay thousands for additional insurance, waking watches and can’t sell their properties.
“We need answers to our questions from Hounslow Council. We know they have homebuilding targets but that doesn’t mean that they should pander to developers while ignoring residents. They should treat us as stakeholders not as the opposition.”
Protestors heard speeches from a range of local groups
The association is urging local MP Ruth Cadbury to take a position on development in the borough and some of the placards at the event were urging her to ‘get off the fence’.
OWGRA has dismissed her claim that the council’s hand is being forced by central government policy saying that the council changed its own rules to allow dramatically greater housing density.
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August 5, 2021