Author Archives: loukit
Protected: OSG Ward Report May 2023 attachments
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Filed under Neighbourhoods
Syon Lane: Seccombes, Scaffolding and Signals
Since the incident of 6 February 2023, enquiries have been made on behalf of residents and updates received from the company, Hounslow Highways and the Police as to when repairs will start on the damaged building and consequential traffic delays between Great West Road and Tentelow Lane ended.
Last week, the company’s Managing Director, Mr John Seccombe, advised,
“Despite repeated pleas to them [the insurers] to move as quickly as possible, the insurance process has been painfully slow and methodical, frustrating a quick resolution. Our contractor has finally been given go ahead to start peeling back the damage on Tuesday 11 April in order to access hidden parts of our 200+ years old building. This will ensure the structural engineers have a full understanding of the task ahead.
“These ‘enabling works’ are critical but will lead to ultimately having the scaffolding removed. It is still unclear as to how long this stage will take but we are sure we will finally be seeing some visible progress. We will update you all again when the Engineers have completed these final tests and we have a working timescale.
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Filed under Events, Great West Road, Hounslow Highways, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Road works, Roads, Traffic, Wyke Green
Spring Grove Conservation Area Demolition: Part II
The builder attempted, by pleading guilty, to take the entire rap for last year’s jungli style demolition at 18 Grove Road, when he and the owner appeared before Uxbridge Magistrates Court last November. Not only did he and his firm, UK Landmark Construction Limited, cop over £8,000 in fines, costs and victim surcharge, building company director, Mr Sayeed Naveed Akhtar, acquired a criminal record as a result.
The property owner, Mr Mohammed Ali Khan, of Thornbury Road, had pleaded not guilty on 18 November 2022 so waited until 3 February 2023 to return to the Uxbridge court to be tried for his part in the illegal demolition of 18 Grove Road. Hounslow Council was represented by lawyers with ready to participate witnesses from its Building Control Services and a neighbour impacted by the demolition.
The defence decided not to call any witnesses. However, it is felt that the presence of a number of individuals ready to testify for the council resulted in the defence changing their tactics by agreeing to Hounslow’s evidence as full facts.
After a long deliberation, the magistrates returned to find Mr Khan guilty of demolishing a building without notifying the local authority. They adjudged that Mr Khan had instructed his contractor to demolish the building and was, therefore, ultimately responsible for failing to notify the council of the demolition as required by section 80(2) of the Building Act 1984.
Proceeding to sentence Mr Khan, the magistrates imposed a £3,360 fine for the offence, £2,493.34 prosecution costs and victim surcharge of £190, a total of £6,043.34. A collection order was made in the event that he defaults on these payments.
It is the Department of Justice that sets the fines tariffs per type of crime that courts dispense. What was meted appears chicken feed but, as a result of being found guilty, Mr Khan is now a criminal as well as his builder.
Whilst this concludes the demolition prosecution, it does not resolve the issues on site. There is still a dangerous structure notice in place and this will remain until the front façade is allowed to be removed or the house is rebuilt.
A new application needs to be approved for the construction of a new house (in the style of the previous). Neighbours and Ward Councillors are keen to see this happen but, based on their thus far experiences with the owner, are seeking maximum legislative and planning policy safeguards. Hounslow Council Planning, Planning Enforcement and Building Control are aware of this through recent meetings following the submission of new planning application, P/2022/3149. Residents are keen for protection via planning conditions.
Copyright, no publishing or copying without the author’s permission.
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Filed under Events, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Planning, Reports
Borough Road War Memorial: Two new additions
A new plaque was unveiled at Borough Road War Memorial on 3 March 2023 by the 57th Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, Councillor Raghwinder Siddhu. He was accompanied by residents, pupils (including talented bugler, Max), staff and trustees of Isleworth and Syon School, former Borough Road College lecturer, John Hunter, and Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri and Aftab Siddiqui.
It records the names of former Borough Road College staff and students who gave up their jobs and education to take part in World War I and World War II, killed and never returned.
The installation features an engraving and faces Lancaster House, the main college building vacated in 2006, nine years after its takeover by Brunel University, and crest of the college.
I raised the idea for this new plaque in 2018 because the names of those who perished were not visible locally as Brunel University had previously removed an indoor memorial to its Uxbridge campus. During 2015, Brunel had made approaches to Hounslow Council to completely relocate the whole, almost 100 years old stone memorial too but this failed as it was strongly resisted by all Ward councillors at the time.
This memorial project also coincides with the installation of a rediscovered and then refurbished lamppost of the former Heston and Isleworth Borough Council, restored and recently installed by Hounslow Highways.
The names of the dead were shared by the Brunel University London Archives whose 2014 research is available via a QR code present on the plaque allowing access of detailed biographies of those named.
I am grateful to Miss Helen Bowman, Conservation Officer at the War Memorials Trust, whose sound advice helped us bat away Brunel’s cheeky claim; Vanessa Bevilacqua and colleagues from the Hounslow Council Transport Team for procuring the plaque; Sabeel Khan of the Hounslow Council Highways PFI Team for overseeing Hounslow Highways’ renewal and connecting of the light column; Hounslow Council Communications Team’s Mr Yagnesh Nakaraja for sharing pictures.
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Filed under College Road, Events, Hounslow Highways, Neighbourhoods, Schools, Spring Grove, Traffic
The Grove to be resurfaced
Pursued for a number of years and the subject of numerous meetings and correspondence, The Grove is about to get a proper fix.
I had, recently, stopped reporting potholes on the eastern stretch of The Grove, with an assumption that if not patched further, the surface would get to such a state that it would eventually fail inspections and, it seems, this may have worked. Last week, I received an email from Mr Sabeel Khan, the council’s Head of Highways PFI [Contract], containing the following,
“Early in 2022, we met and walked about the south section of Osterley and Spring Grove Ward. We specifically spoke about the carriageway condition of The Grove, particularly the section from London Road towards the green near Harvard Road. The road was not in the best condition at the time. We spoke about not carrying out localised repairs as the road was scheduled to receive a treatment under the PFI for 2024.
I am pleased to inform you that based on the 2022 surveys, the section of The Grove will be treated this year in March 2023. Hounslow Highways have prepared the attached resident notification letter which will likely reach doors next week. Advance signage will be placed at various points in the road and on street cones supplemented by the Traffic Order will be placed soon. Once the treatment has been carried out over the two day period, a line marking crew will remark the road.”
Although not done yet (works are scheduled to start on Friday 10.3.2023), I salute everyone’s patience as it has only taken almost six years to get to where we are.
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Filed under Hounslow Highways, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Road works, Roads, Spring Grove