Michael Gove 'calls in' both planning applications for further scrutiny
Visualisation of the new Tesco store on the Homebase site
There is to be a public inquiry next year into the linked planning applications to develop the Tesco and Homebase sites in the vicinity of Syon Lane.
Hounslow Council and the local ward councillors have received a letter from a civil servant at the Department for State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities which now has responsibility for planning matters informing them that the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, has decided to ‘call in’ the two developments meaning that a public inquiry into both will be held in Bristol next year.
This means that the final decision will now be with the Minister rather than the local authority which had approved the scheme along with the Mayor of London. In his letter it is stated that Mr Gove has particular concerns that the developments are consistent with Government policies for conserving and enhancing the area’s historic environment and Hounslow Council’s own local plan.
A petition was presented to the Minister back in September and the Labour councillors representing Osterley and Spring Grove wrote to him outlining their concerns about the massive developments.
In the letter they said, “There could be alternative and more humane schemes to submit but these have not been considered by the applicant nor suggested or encouraged by Hounslow Council. These developments are still not ready and if, as applied for, are not refused on grounds of non-compliance with the current and operational National Planning Policy Framework, Local Plan, amenity, impact on neighbouring properties, inadequate and unguaranteed traffic and transport management; no direct contribution to rail improvements; lack of amenity and inadequate alternative space, then they should be.”
Location of the two planned developments
Nick Rogers, Conservative London Assembly Member of South West London said, “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has called-in Hounslow Labour’s disastrous decision to ignore the concerns of local residents and approve these plans.
“I’ve been working with community groups such as OWGRA, as well as our Conservative candidates for next year’s local elections, to raise awareness of the flaws in the proposals put forward for the area, which were in total contrast to the character of Osterley as well as failing to offer the affordable family housing units that our city desperately needs. I look forward to continuing to champion residents in the area and working constructively with Central Government during the public consultation to reverse the council’s decision and secure better plans for homes.”
“The decision to call in Hounslow Council’s green light for the planning proposals follows months of campaigning by community groups. In September, Osterley’s Conservative candidates for next year’s local elections Maneesh Singh, Jason Harcourt and Sukhy Bahia wrote to Michael Gove asking him to call in the decision, stating that the proposals did not meet the needs of the area and were opposed by “hundreds of residents as well as community groups such as the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association (OWGRA)”.
The Homebase site at the junction of Syon Lane and the A4 would become a mixed-use development, comprising a large supermarket and associated car parking as well as 473 flats, 35% of which would be classed as affordable. The new housing would sit above a podium containing the supermarket and car park, in a series of tall buildings that range in height from 4 to 17-storeys.
This proposal is linked with the concurrent scheme for the redevelopment of the existing nearby Tesco Osterley site with a mixed-use proposal providing up to 1,677 flats, 35% of which would be classed as affordable, commercial uses and new public spaces. The Tesco Extra store at this site would be relocated to the Homebase site
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November 25, 2021