• Current Brentford town centre proposals: Our views

last modified May 8, 2013 by andrewdakers

You may have received a leaflet through your door in the past few days.  This is where you can help the campaign for improvements to Ballymore's proposals for Brentford town centre move forward....High Street image

TAKE ACTION

1. Sunny Desai, Development Control (address below) or email sunny.desai@hounslow.gov.uk (ref. P/2012/2735 00607/BA/P2 ...2736 00607/BA/L1 ... and 2737 00607/BA/CA1 – write & object by Weds 21 November 2012.)
2. Hounslow Chronicle at:  robertcumber@trinitysouth.co.uk and BrentfordTW8.com at:  editor@brentfordtw8.com
3. Council leader Cllr Jagdish Sharma jagdish.sharma@hounslow.gov.uk and your ward Councillors: 
Syon ward: steve.curran@hounslow.gov.uk   theo.dennison@hounslow.gov.uk  jason.ellar@hounslow.gov.uk
Brentford ward: ruth.cadbury@hounslow.gov.uk  mel.collins@hounslow.gov.uk matt.harmer@hounslow.gov.uk

4. Local MP Mary Macleod mary.macleod.mp@parliament.uk    

 

MEDIA/ ONLINE COVERAGE

Hounslow Chronicle - 13 Sept 2012

BrentfordTW8.com - 11 Oct 2012

Brentford Chamber of Commerce - 6 Nov 2012 

The Irish Times - 8 Nov 2012

Blog posting by Andrew Dakers, Chair, Brentford High Street Steering Group - 9 Nov 2012

Hounslow Chronicle - 20 Nov 2012 

Building Design Online - 22 Nov 2012

The Irish Times - 22 Nov 2012

BrentfordTW8.com - 23 Nov 2012

Hounslow Chronicle - 29 Nov 2012 

KEY CONCERNS

Ballymore’s ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ shows an inadequate and piecemeal response to residents’ significant concerns regarding building height and the need for designs that respect local identity.

Community involvement has led to some changes to past plans on issues such as: environmental sustainability, retention of some historic buildings, a possible new location for Watermans and access to the waterside through a series of historic yards.  However the current designs do not offer the world-class development and responsible investment for Brentford that successfully incorporates the past and looks to the future.  

1. PROPOSALS IGNORE PUBLICLY AGREED PLANNING POLICY

The Council agreed a planning policy in 2009: “The overall height… should take account of building heights in the surrounding character areas, which are generally up to 4 storeys and take full account of the impact on retained buildings and the waterside setting.” 

Ballymore’s plans extend as high as 11 storeys, more than double what was agreed, threatening the Kew Gardens World Heritage Site Status. The Council owns part of the site and must take a leadership role, following its stated policy. 

2. OUT OF CHARACTER AND SCALE

The Prince’s Foundation report (2010) recommended: “New development should pick up on local clues… and develop places of subtly different character that marry well with heritage and function of area.”   

Instead Ballymore proposes a brutal, minimalist industrial design.  Exactly what most engaged local residents DO NOT want.

Ballymore’s Design Approach report has minimal consideration on reducing the impact of the massing proposed for the site.  Instead it is packed full of photos that mislead with architectural ideas shown but not in the final designs.

The result is buildings (notably “Block C” designed by architects AHMM) with a height, bulk and ultra-bland building cladding that is totally out of character with its low-rise neighbouring buildings and conservation areas. 

3. TOO MANY SMALL FLATS AND NO NEW INFRASTUCTURE

929 flats for over 1,500 new residents will be packed in at very high density.  Less than 10% of the properties will have 3 and 4 bedrooms. Only 10% might be affordable housing.

In c.20 years Brentford’s population is doubling with little increase in corresponding infrastructure.  This development will put pressure on already overstretched GP surgeries, dentists, schools, sewage, police, West Middlesex Hospital, community facilities and transport services.  What provisions are being made to meet this increased pressure?

4. NO CLEAR PLAN FOR COMMUNITY FACILITIES & SMALL BUSINESSES

There is no plan for delivering community facilities.  Whilst the developers indicate support for moving Watermans Arts Centre to the town centre, nothing has been committed to a legal agreement.  No provision is made for intergenerational community space. Where is the transitional support for small traders on the south side of Brentford High Street? 

 

FURTHER READING

Background to Brentford's Regeneration Challenge (Nov 2012)