Sadiq Khan backs council's approval of the twin developments
Protestors against the plans including Cllr Tony Louki at City Hall. Picture: OWGRA
Local campaigners have reacted with disappointment to the news that the Mayor of London has given his approval to the massive Tesco/Homebase developments.
There had been some hope that Sadiq Khan would overrule Hounslow Council on the scheme and the Osterley & Wyke Green Residents’ Association (OWGRA) and others including local councillor Tony Louki held a protest outside City Hall last week to show their opposition to the scheme.
OWGRA has issued a statement saying, "OWGRA is extremely disappointed in the Mayor of London’s decision of 7 September 2021 to allow these developments to go ahead (subject to any action that the Secretary of State may take).
"The approval by Hounslow Council to grant planning permission to redevelop the Homebase site at Gillette Corner and the Tesco site in Syon Lane is contrary to the spirit and letter of the London Plan."
The redevelopment would involve the demolition of the existing Homebase store and the building of a new Tesco store on the site with 2 levels of parking above, plus 473 flats. The intention is to build a residential development on the Tesco site of 1,677 homes once the existing Tesco store is demolished. There would be 17-storey tower blocks on both sites. Some residents say these will be inappropriate in a low-rise area where public services are already struggling to cope. OWGRA says that the current population of around 13,500 in Osterley & Spring Grove ward would increase by over 40% to around 20,000 once the development is fully completed.
The London Assembly Member for South West London, Nicholas Rogers, said, “I’m incredibly disappointed that this decision has seen the Labour council and the Labour Mayor completely ignoring local concerns, with zero intervention from the local Labour MP.
“The development plans fall well short of the high-quality local residents deserve. Not only will the 17 storey towers be in total contrast to the low-rise nature of the area, fewer than 2% of the housing units would be family houses. This area needs affordable homes for families, not more high-rises with box-room apartments.”
Conservative candidates for next year’s local council election in Osterley & Spring Grove ward have also reacted with concern over the Mayor’s decision. Jason Harcourt, who grew up and lives said, “Sadiq Khan’s decision is totally shameful and it ignores the concerns we share with many residents and community groups across Osterley.
“We want to see new, spacious and affordable homes in Osterley, not the inappropriate and cramped tower blocks that the Labour Mayor and council have just given the go-ahead for. We will now be fighting for this decision to be called-in by the Secretary of State for a full public enquiry.”
“I am very concerned to see Sadiq Khan back these totally inappropriate proposals,” said Maneesh Singh, another Conservative candidate for Osterley and Spring Grove. “The plan will put huge pressure on local schools, health services and transport infrastructure, causing chaos for our community. I was proud to join residents at City Hall last week to protest the council’s decision.”
Opponents of the scheme are now hoping that the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, will ‘call in’ the application and make it subject to a public enquiry before final approval can be given.
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September 9, 2021