Category Archives: Great West Road

Special IBAF on Monday 9 October 2017 for Local Democracy Week

Local Democracy Week runs from 9 to 15 October and gives local people opportunities to be listened to and influence decisions.

Following a well attended Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum at Spring Grove House last Thursday, another will take place on Monday 9 October 2017 at 7.00 pm at Brentford Free Church, Boston Manor Road, TW8 8DW to mark Local Democracy Week.

Special because that evening we plan to focus on the IBAF Action Plan where each councillor has been sponsoring a particular piece of work within our area, an Open Forum devised led by young people from local schools and the input of agencies and council departments delivering in Isleworth and Brentford.

The meeting agenda has just been published and will include updates from

  • Transport for London
  • Hounslow Highways and its Hounslow Council Contracts Management counterpart
  • Hounslow Council Enforcement
  • Hounslow Council Parks
  • Hounslow Council Traffic and Transport.

All residents are welcome to attend and contribute alongside the area’s 12 ward councillors.

TL  30.9.2017

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Filed under Brentford, Council Business, Events, Great West Road, Hounslow Highways, Leisure, London Road, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Parks, Public transport, Roads, Schools, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park, Traffic, Wyke Green

Wood Lane Yellow Lines: the council would not do it like that

Not remotely close to the Camden Town earthquake described by Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son but one way or another, the rumblings caused by the coming of the schools to Osterley continue to be felt.

Midway on Wood Lane, Isleworth looking south

The latest wee spat is the yellow lining debacle of Wood Lane, more on that in a bit but first some reminding context.

The Mary McCleod Memorial Academy on Wood Lane is now up and being clad, due to open in a year’s time.

Digging on another part of the site for the £9 million minority sports complex has, these past days, literally caused a stink and rumours of more gruesome finds to add to the earlier commotion caused by the removal of ancient hedgerow and trees on Syon Lane.

A couple of weeks ago, approval was given to what someone described as a “delightful” looking building but what many would confirm as another bland box to become the Bolder (might as well call it the Bona) Academy. Why not pay homage to its location? Doesn’t Osterley deserve a name check with all that has been foisted?

Very few people have difficulty in accepting the new Osterley Comprehensive locating on the former United Biscuits sports ground on Macfarlane Lane; hardly touching the green stuff. Uniquely, in these parts, it will not select pupils based on religions, will accept from both gender and likely not to live as far away as those attending St Mary’s.

With some major planning applications, plenty expertise is often developed by ordinary people who at some point are likely to be affected by the ultimate decision. One common thread in all these (costly) free school applications is how the pupils will be delivered and despatched either side of the school day. The key theme in scrutiny of recent and upcoming (Green School for Boys) planning were and will be traffic impacts and should another school receive approval, there will be five schools, each with over 1,000 students within a mile and a half radius of each other.

The problem that is most likely to occur before very long is that with a local public transport accessibility level of almost zero, there will be more than a temptation to bring children to the schools by car via the already congested Syon Lane and Gillette Corner.

In planning terms there’s always mitigation, soft in most cases. School travel plans are often cited as a salve but as can be seen from the June 2017 Nishkam School West London Travel Plan, 75% of their scholars are taken by car. Travel plans often look good on paper, not able to foresee the future but appear to tick planning boxes. In reality, there is no substitute for spending money on infrastructure but this has been scant in Osterley despite the recent demands for its open space.

When the Bolder omies punted their building proposals at the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association’s open meeting in December 2016, attended by the leader of the council and the head of planning, a second route from Harlequin Avenue via Great West Road was included, understood and appreciated. Despite later citing Grant Way, by the time it hit planning, the only access to the school site would be from Macfarlane Lane via the already and soon to be more strained Syon Lane. The scheme’s architect gave a less than convincing and more than half assed reason as to why the much diminished route would be optimal.

So, what about the Wood Lane yellow lines that appeared with no warning on 4 August 2017? It. Was. Not. Hounslow. Council.

The pooch was actually screwed by the government quango, the Education and Skills Funding Agency contractor, BAM and installed without any local arrangement or discussion with the council. After the event, BAM’s Nishkam School project manager wrote, “I’m sorry for the trouble this has caused you and hopefully it can be fully resolved through the consultation” or in other words, “we messed up, you sort it out”.

The council’s traffic team were prepared to consult on yellow lines for Wood Lane largely due to recent haphazard parking on this narrow width and paved road, reported by residents but BAM stole their bluster.

Proper consultation will shortly take place on this proposal and until this is complete [to avoid damage to the road] the lines will not be touched but neither will they be enforceable. Residents are encouraged to respond and alternative suggestions will be considered.

TL 17.8.2017

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Filed under Education, Great West Road, H28 bus, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parking, Planning, Road works, Roads, Schools, Traffic, Wyke Green

Gillette South: Tower turned down

More than a year on the stocks and eight months since a formal proposal to build a 14 storey block on the corner of Syon Lane and Great West Road, Hounslow Council’s planners have finally turned down the application.

The site known as Gillette South

During 2016, the applicant’s agent hosted a number of exhibitions but declined to arrange, present and explain the concept and plans at a public meeting.

Following the submission of a formal planning application on 5 January 2017, I arranged a meeting at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall later that month. More than 120 residents, Hounslow Council planners and councillors but not the applicants or their agent attended the event. The occasion was previously reported here.

The application was refused for a number of reasons when assessed against current Hounslow, London and national planning policies including its impact on neighbouring properties and the setting of listed buildings as well as the lack of affordable housing.  There were more than 80 objections to the proposal.

Full details are in the planning officer’s report here and formal decision letter to the applicant here. Should the applicant decide to exercise their right to appeal this outcome it must be done by 11 February 2018.

The site has permission to be used as a car park until 30 September 2017.

TL 14.8.2017

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Filed under Great West Road, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Planning, Reports, Sky

Thornbury Road no left turn: no liked

A lively meeting kindly hosted by Indian Gymkhana, Thornbury Avenue on 7 February 2017 and attended by around 50 of Osterley & Spring Grove’s finest, helped define and add to the result of a recent consultation.

Hounslow Council traffic team's David Wilson and Liam Judge presenting the consultation results

Hounslow Council traffic team’s David Wilson and Liam Judge presenting the consultation results

Hounslow Council had put forward a proposal to ban left turns in to Thornbury Road from the westbound A4 Great West Road and offering a green human pedestrian crossing facility. Traffic officers shared the results of the consultation supported by this presentation.

Whilst rejecting the no left turn idea, many of those attending did, quite rightly, comment more on speed and safety issues on Osterley Road and Church Road, particularly at their junction by St Mary’s Church.

Notes of the meeting can be found here and councillors have asked that alternative proposals be worked on, based on the discussion that took place.

On the subject of roads, traffic and transport, a reminder that Osterley & Wyke Green Residents Association’s next public meeting on 28 February 2017 at Isleworth & Syon School will be dedicated to these issues and details are included in OWGRA’s latest newsletter

Any other comments would as always, be welcomed.

TL 11.2.2017

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Filed under Council Business, Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Roads, Spring Grove, TfL, Thornbury Road, Traffic

Syon Gate Garage Site Meeting: Report

It became a standing room only event at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall on Isleworth’s Great West Road, the last Monday night in January.

St Francis of Assisi Church Hall, Isleworth, filling up nicely with Osterley's finest

St Francis of Assisi Church Hall, Isleworth, filling up nicely with Osterley’s finest

Hounslow Council planning experts, Robert Coomber and Melek Egren were present to help clarify the application and suggest more confidence in the process that may, perhaps, have been brought in hall prior to the start of the meeting.

The 120 people present have received a summary of the evening but for those not there, the notes can be found here.

TL  6.2.2017

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Filed under Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Housing, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Parking, Planning, Reports, Roads, Schools, TfL, Traffic