Category Archives: Middlesex

Local stations news

At Monday’s (24.8.2020) Labour Listens event, a resident asked of progress to complete level access to the three stations in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward. This item includes updates sought from Hounslow Council’s Traffic and Transport Team

Syon Lane Station lift commissioning

Platform 2 at Syon Lane Station October 2016

The 2012 planning consent for extensive development of Sky Campus at Grant Way yielded £1m for improvements at Syon Lane Station, implicitly to improve the flow of peak use commuters and achieve step free access.

New lift and additional footbridge at Syon Lane Station August 2020

Nearly complete in March 2020, the final pieces of construction were disrupted by COVID.  Works are expected to recommence in September for up to six weeks.  An accurate handover and operation of the new lift and footbridge will be subject to Network Rail inspection; a firmer date should be available by October 2020.

Osterley Station lifts completion and commissioning

Soon after Boris Johnson became Mayor of London in 2008 he reduced the tube stations step free access programme begun by his Labour predecessor; plans for lifts at Osterley Station for the benefit of the disabled and less mobile were in the throes of approval but then abandoned.

Osterley Station, Great West Road

Johnson, however, began to reveal a proclivity to spaff Transport for London money on vanity projects such as the unrealised Garden Bridge, overheated and overpriced toy buses and that cable car from nowhere to nowhere.

Osterley Station lift on eastbound platform under construction March 2020

Following his election, new Mayor Sadiq Khan in 2017 resurrected the lifts programme. Approved and already under construction before the lockdown, the lifts, to each platform at this famous Grade II Listed building, were due to be delivered and commissioned by the end of 2020.  TfL have confirmed that all its step free programmes paused in April have not yet restarted and are expected to be opened six months after construction recommences.

Isleworth Station

Often with its own resources or by securing S106 planning gain, Hounslow Council has a track record back to the late 1980s (Hounslow West Station being the first) for improving level access to stations across the borough.

Where local funds are not identified, the council’s transport team promote the priorities of residents and councillors and bid for funds when opportunities arise.

Isleworth Station forecourt, London Road

A range of lift locations designs for Isleworth Station were developed by previous franchisee, South West Trains and have laid fallow since 2015.  Optimism, however, has been buoyed since the 2019 Department for Transport announcement that Isleworth is on the list of stations for an Access to All programme upgrade.

Isleworth Station, behind Platform 2

Although some disruption togetting this project going has occurred, Network Rail have continued to develop plans for the station and Hounslow’s transport officers maintain dialogue with them and South Western Railway to agree options for step free conversion down to London Road and nearby.

New information on our stations will be shared when available.

TL  27.8.2020

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Filed under Great West Road, London Road, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Public transport, Sky, Spring Grove

Planning application 00819/B/COM1: Telecommunication equipment at Northumberland Avenue

A planning application has been submitted on behalf of Hutchinson 3G UK Limited to erect a 20 metres (65 feet) tall telecommunications pole and associated infrastructure of four varied size cabinets otside the rear garden wall of 27 Roxborough Avenue, Isleworth.

Proposed location of telecoms pole and four cabinets at Northumberland Avenue to the rear of 27 Roxborough Avenue

Residents are invited to examine the proposal; all the application drawings can be found here.

Proposed telecoms kit at Northumberland Avenue includes a Huawei APM 5930 equipment cabinet

Directed by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, local authority powers are limited on these specific matters apart, mainly, from the visual intrusions and their impacts on the character of an area.

Pole on Great West Road opposite Ridgeway Road

Government policy, passed down to planning authorities practically encourages collaboration to support the installation of new technologies.

Following that directive, Hounslow Council’s own policy, supported within the Hounslow Local Plan 2015 to 2030 (Policy EC4, page 225), also describes its approach on infrastructure for high speed broadband and telecommunications.  This does not, however, necessarily mean that all applications of this kind are approved.

Telecommunication utility cabinets on Great West Road are a magnet for graffiti, never addressed by their operator.

Residents opposing would be advised to respond at least for those reasons rather than on health grounds which, as things stand, would not be a planning consideration in this context. Neither would citing any impacts of radio waves nor perceived present or future skulduggery of foreign governments.

Pole on Great West Road from Jersey Gardens

Some folk on social media have recently been saying there is no point in making any comments because applications like these always receive permission; not so.

Three recent applications to install new equipment at locations on Great West Road, two in this Ward, were refused planning permission because of their potential visual impact on the character of the area and these are listed below.

Summaries of these applications are shown below but more detail can be found via this link using the location postcode or P reference numbers.

P/2019/2703  Great West Road opposite Ridgeway Road  – Installation of a 20-metre monopole mast, twelve aperture antennas and equipment cabinets, following removal of the existing 14.7-metre monopole, three aperture antennas, redundant equipment cabinets and ancillary development. Refused Planning Permission 17/09/2019

P/2019/1582  Great West Road opposite Penwerris Avenue and West Court –  Prior notification regarding Installation of 17.5m high monopole with 3 no. antenna within upper section of shroud. Proposed 2 no. radio cabinets and 1 no. electrical meter cabinet to be located at ground level along with ancillary development.  Refused 12/06/2019

P/2018/3235  Great West Road corner of Vicarage Farm Road –  Installation of a 15m monopole with three antenna which includes the replacement of one existing cabinet, installation of three equipment cabinets and development ancillary thereto with one equipment cabinet to be removed.  Refused 11/10/2018.

Happy to receive questions from residents of Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.

This is my own brief submission to the planners; to comment yourselves, please write to planning.comments@hounslow.gov.uk

TL 19.7.2020

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Filed under Great West Road, Health, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Planning, Spring Grove, TfL

Rus in urbe: Feather and fur

One of the Ward’s residents self management companies was recently in touch about how to control a localised Ring-necked Parakeet menace attempting to take over parts of their building.

Psittacula krameri

Mr Tony Bull, the London Borough of Hounslow’s Principal Animal Control Officer was approached for this expert control advice; he said that similar problems occur on certain buildings and estates across the borough.

All bird control in England is governed by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and by General Licences issued under it by DEFRA that allow for the control of certain bird species in certain circumstances.  In this case we would be looking at General Licence GL35 allowing certain controls to protect public health and safety.

The Ring-necked Parakeet is not listed on that licence so any control of eggs, chicks or adults can only take place if a Special Licence has been applied for and granted.  Such licence will only be granted by DEFRA if it can be demonstrated that any other methods of non-lethal control have been tried and failed or if they are inappropriate for any reason.  Even then it is likely that a licence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to await the end of the nesting season.

Property owners are therefore left with attempts at exclusion at times when the birds are not nesting.  Methods need to be resilient because the beak of the parakeet is exceptionally strong and as members of the parrot family, they are also very intelligent birds and good at problem solving.

Screens to protect cavities from intrusion need to be of decent grade steel and screwed into place; repair of tile roof or block and cement wall needs to be with high grade materials to help prevent further problems.

Without Licence proofing of vulnerable areas with high grade materials during times when the birds are not nesting is the only available solution.

Foxes are not specifically protected like birds but they do enjoy the general protections of other animals in the UK.  Tony Bull kindly gave advice on this matter too.

Vulpes vulpes with columba livia domestica

Foxes cannot be legally poisoned or gassed, they can, however, be trapped or shot.  Once trapped they will need to be humanely despatched rather than released elsewhere otherwise there may be contraventions of Animal Welfare legislation. There are problems with both methods of control in that trapping could see cats and or other wildlife trapped instead of foxes and the problems of shooting are obvious in an urban environment.

Foxes are highly territorial and their numbers are high and if foxes are removed from a territory then it will quickly become reoccupied due to population pressure from adjacent areas.  Attempts to reduce numbers is costly and must take place over a very wide area for a sustained period in order to be effective.

Hounslow Council’s position has been to advise on how to minimise nuisance and in the form of this leaflet.  If a particular fox is causing a problem that cannot be tolerated then there is scope for action to be taken. This would generally be through a specialist company with trained and licensed shootists.

TL 8.7.2020

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Filed under Council Business, Health, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Spring Grove

Black Lives Matter: Brentford 28 June 2020

As the Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, I was asked to attend and speak at the Black Lives Matter event taking place today at Market Place, Brentford today but during the current health crisis, I did not feel confident keeping physical distance. Had I have been there in body, what follows is what I would have said,

Welcome to the politically significant town of Brentford, because this is where, until the early 1800s, elections for the county of Middlesex parliamentary seat, covering 734 km2 from Staines up to Potters Bar across to Tottenham and down to Westminster, would take place.

At the 1820 General Election, only around 7,500 property owning males from a total population of around 1 million in the county took part in the vote.

It wasn’t until 1929 that anyone over the age of 21, male, female, poor had won (because we know it was fought for) the right to vote, an entitlement to participate.

Although, by then, the establishment, hierarchies and elites had begun to consolidate their own infrastructure, which in many respects is still maintained; access to it by outsiders remains pretty well regulated.

One of the highlights during my time as Mayor was early last October learning about the achievements of (the late) Jessica and Eric Huntley with the Friends of the Huntley Archive at a Black History Month event at Brentford’s Gunnersbury Museum.

Eric Huntley at Gunnersbury Museum, October 2019

The West Ealing based Huntleys not only pioneered improvements to black children’s learning through supplementary schooling but also founded the Bogle-L’Ouverture publishing house and a bookshop off the Uxbridge Road in W13 which was attacked with regularity by racists.

Mr Huntley after one of the regular late 1970s racist attacks on the Bogle-L'Ouverture Bookshop at Chignell Place, West Ealing
Mr Huntley following a regular late 1970s racist attacks on the Bogle-L’Ouverture Bookshop at Chignell Place, West Ealing

Their first publication in 1972 was, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Dr Walter Rodney.  At that time, this was a rare modern perspective on the legacy of the four hundred years old imperialist sacking of that particular continent.

My own view is that progress can be made and lives can be changed if people want it to.  To this effect we need to be equipped with a confidence that comes from knowledge.

I would expect, that a large number of people here today have, since the death of George Floyd or the removal of the late 19th century statue of the mid 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, have been conducting their own research, learning stuff never previously considered.

Many have seen criticism of Black Lives Matter protests, some of it appearing selectively focussed on sensation, small pockets of affray and violence.  This is not what I have deduced (nor would I condone) because people of even just my generation have seen lazy reporting, on similar occasions, particularly on many matters of race during the past forty odd years of my own social and political awareness.

Not being there, I cannot tell how many citizens are present but would encourage peace, safety and comradeship here, now and beyond. Demonstrating for something you believe in is no shame but please keep a physical distance.

From Dr Rodney’s book, I leave you with my personal perspective on why I believe, today, that black lives matter too,

“to move slowly while others leap ahead is virtually equivalent to going backward”.

Dr Walter Anthony Rodney 1942 – 1980

Don’t go backward.

Thank you all for attending and am particularly grateful to Brentford’s Sharidin Mumuni for her effort in encouraging this awareness. Have a good afternoon.

TL 28.6.2020

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Filed under Brentford, Events, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods

Adini Building, 891 Great West Road: now up for sale

891 Great West Road, Isleworth

 

Following previous meetings with residents when the company emphasised its commitment to Isleworth should its planning applications come to fruition, the building, with planning consents for both commercial and residential is up for sale, with planning permission.

From the marketing site for the Adini Building, 891 Great West Road

Asking price is £6,000,000.

 

TL 20.5.2020

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Filed under Great West Road, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Planning, Wyke Green