Wycombe House Cricket, Tennis and Social Club – new members and participants welcome
Told by a respectable local, that a “reliable source” told their spouse, “that Wycombe House has been offered £6m for the site”, I had a long telephone conversation with Mr Kevin Grindrod, Honorary Secretary of this, one of the long established sports and social clubs in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, also founder participants in the Osterley Sports Network.
I know that all undeveloped space in our Ward, regardless of its mainly Metropolitan Open Land status, is coveted by developers and their mates. When, as the 55th Mayor, Wycombe House kindly hosted my charity cricket match, one of those mates was keen to learn, “who owns it?”.
To clarify his response to the £6m, I asked Kevin to drop me a line to share with those who had raised this, along with others, and he responded thus,
As per a couple of conversations can I categorically state that no purchase approach has been made to the Club nor has there ever been any intention of selling.
In fact, we’re beefing up our constitution and Trustees to ensure the Club remains as is. I explained this to you. Below is a digest of part of my General Secretary report for tomorrow’s (13.4.2022) Management Committee.
“Finally, I had a call from Tony Louki yesterday who had been contacted to be informed that the Club had been sold. I did assure him that it was completely false. Indeed, the whole point of the project I’ve just outlined above is designed to ensure we remain an independent, volunteer, not for profit unincorporated members’ club. Have any of you heard anything similar?”
I hope this puts various minds at rest. I suspect there’s some pre–election mischief going on?”
Seems like Kevin may have hit the nail on the head. Some folk must be desperate using the development bogey man at a time like this.
Desperate tactics – Silly Mid On
Our residents already know that their Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors will stick our necks out to always support them against the inappropriate.
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Back in the mid 1990s, when people were less enthusiastic about growing their own, the then Acton Housing Association, predecessor of monolith A2Dominion, were permitted to build eight proper family houses on the western part of the privately owned but Hounslow Leisure Services run allotments at Rothbury Gardens.
Former Syon Lane Allotments sign at Rothbury Gardens
The eastern part of the allotments, behind the garages block by Platform 1 of Syon Lane Station, said to be covering buried utilities mains, were to be left alone. It was later occupied by the Eco Villagers, displaced from the former Plough public house, Kew Bridge Road by those Berkeleys.
The Villagers, on an annual licence, set about resurrecting, in their own way, a place to grow organically, welcomed residents to tend to mini plots and offered schools projects. This ended around 2015 when the land was sold, locked up and left to its own natural devices. Apart from the odd rough sleeper, residents raised very few complaints.
Tree felling contractor resticting access to Syon Lane Station and unauthorised use of resident parking spaces.
On 27 January 2020, quite abruptly and without notice to neighbours or anyone else, a local tree felling outfit arrived. Blocking the approach to the Station with unauthorised placing of their trucks and began to rip out trees and scrape other vegetation. What happened to the foxes, no one knows.
Felled trees (allowed as no tree preservation orders nor in a conservation area) January 2020.
Accompanied by a resident, visiting Rothbury Gardens to find out more, we were lied to, as was anyone who asked, that the works were taking place as instructed by “the council” and the disturbance continued. The tree decimation was cleared as was some but not all of the effects of the eco village.
Rothbury Gardens hoardings erected without planning permission,post clearance in February 2020
On 24 November 2021, some residents again contacted me, very concerned about new extensive works carried out by stealth, without any notice to neighbours or Hounslow Council.
Aggregate lorry on Rothbury Gardens without traffic management and Marlborough Scool students navigating an unsafe route to school.
After the first lorry turned up on 10 December to start laying aggregate, allegedly “to suppress any weed growth”, the council’s planning officers were alerted and a planning enforcement site inspection followed on 13 December 2021. I was advised that this activity was permitted but then, on 21 December, a neighbour spoke of further disregard for pedestrian and highway safety, shipping containers began to be placed.
Grab lorry inhibiting pedestrians at Syon Lane Station
At one point Police were called and attended when a grab lorry was dumping aggregate over telephone lines at the eastern end of the site whilst at the same time blocking pedestrian access to Syon Lane Station.
Raising this with the Head of Planning Enforcement the land owner’s agents were written to asking for a proper planning application be submitted to the council by 1 February 2021 to allow for a formal assessment whether the containers may be retained on site.
Containers located at former allotment site on Rothbury Gardens late January 2022
Bank holidays excepted, between before Christmas and until 25 January 2022, despite numerous relaying of residents’ almost daily reports and photographic evidence of, often unsafe, activity there, works continued without any commmunication with neighbours, construction management and vehicle access plan, plus other safeguards ahead of this now retrospective submission.
Unfortunately, this appeared to be an example of interests playing an austerity affected and under resourced neighbourhoods planning system, often and increasingly stacked against communities and less likely to be operating at full capacity over the holiday season.
A planning application has now been submitted, along with accompanying documents.
It is described as a, “Retrospective application for the temporary change of use of the land to open storage and associated works for 3 years.”
The application can be found online via the Hounslow Council Planning pages, and accessed using either System Reference P/2022/0388 or Planning Reference 00965/B/P13, Land at Rothbury Gardens, Isleworth, TW7 5JG.
I have asked the Area Planning Manager to ensure that all households in Rothbury Gardens, Hexham Gardens and others nearby in Warkworth Gardens are sent letters offering the opportunity to comment.
After reading the submitted planning documents, anyone wishing to make individual representations on this application please send these quoting System Reference P/2022/0388 to firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Secretary of State has written advising that he has decided to call in both applications. This means, that under the 1990 Planning Act powers, they shall be referred to him for decision instead of being dealt with locally.
The Secretary of State has ordered a local inquiry with arrangements for holding it to be made by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. He particularly wishes to be informed about,
the extent to which the proposed developments are is consistent with Government policies for conserving and enhancing the area’s historic environment
consistency with the local plan for the area
any other matters the Inspector considers relevant.
Where permitted, Ward Councillors will contribute to the Inquiry and continue to support residents on these matters, consistent with our approach since early 2019.
Numerous neighbour representations regarding impacts of post lockdown goings on at the Osterley Park Hotel and its Terminal Six bar (bad parking, fireworks, noisy departures) placed this venue back on the council and police radar.
Osterley Park Hotel: 5 squad cars and ambulance at Wood Lane. Photo by KA via NextDoor
Despite approaches led by Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillor Unsa Chaudri, proper action, prompting this variation application, only really ramped up after Police were called following alleged serious wounding of two victims (with one potentially life changing injury) related to an event at the hotel Terminal 6 Bar, early morning on Sunday 3 October 2021.
Neighbours of the site have received invitations to a meeting to learn more about this application, how to make representations and to raise other matters. The meeting will take place at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 16 November 2021 at Nishkam School, 152 Syon Lane, Isleworth, TW7 5PN to be chaired by Councillor Unsa Chaudri. Residents would be welcome.
For information and use for making representations, the following can be found by clicking,
The deadline for representations to the Licensing Team is Friday 3 December 2021.
An item on an earlier licensing application from this website, published on 7 January 2018, can be accessed here.
Osterley Park Hotel: Unauthorised concreted over garden, August 2021
Other, as some have remarked, jungli activities, (unauthorised car washing, concreting green space for car sales, forming a vehicle access to Syon Park Gardens, waste container storage) continue to be raised by residents and, on whose behalf, councillors have passed to the council’s Planning Enforcement Team for processing and resolution.
Osterley Park Hotel: Badly managed waste storage
The London Borough of Hounslow Environmental Enforcement Team has issued the hotel operator a Community Protection Notice prohibiting the letting off of fireworks. A Fixed Penalty Notice of £120 for not controlling its waste storage was given on 11.11.2021 and a warning that next time there would be a fine of £400 plus further prosecution under section 47 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
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It is exactly a month since passing on the office of Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow to my colleague, Councillor Bishnu Bahadur Gurung, a member for Hanworth Park Ward. It is also a couple of weeks since I fulfilled an earlier request to speak at the annual general meeting of the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association, on the subject of, Your Councillor as Mayor. What follows, is pretty much what I said.
It’s a great pleasure to be here albeit online at the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association, an organisation with which I have spent a fair amount of time with when first a councillor in the 1990s and also these past seven years.
Glad you’re thriving and happy to support this continuing.
I have had an interesting and fulfilling two years as the 55th Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow. The capital city’s widest borough where I had the honour of wearing the current as well as historic chains one of the three different predecessor councils at each of the 340 rendezvous I was privileged to attend, almost totally within our boundary.
Although, being Mayor of this lovely borough, whatever anyone may say about its politics or sometimes less than shiny and occasional pockets of disdain, I have seen great examples of community, enthusiasm and ambition when visiting from west to east and stopping there and in between at those many engagements.
A few times, I have been asked how I became Mayor and, very recently, there have been some assumptions that I would be standing again for that office during the London Mayor and Assembly elections that took place on 6 May 2021. It doesn’t work like that, all up elections for the London Borough of Hounslow are scheduled for 5 May 2022.
Common with other councils who have a mayor, it is mostly the prerogative of the Majority Group, running the council, to choose from among their selves who the first citizen should be.
I did fancy the role, and made it known that I should like to give it a go and received the support of most (although not all) of my Labour administration colleagues.
Formally nominated and seconded by my friends Councillor Guy Lambert and Councillor Unsa Chaudri, I became the 55th Mayor on 21 May 2019, the first to be inaugurated in the new Hounslow House at a ceremony attended by family, friends, councillors, bigwigs and representatives of the two charities I picked to support and raise awareness and funds for.
I have supported the development of Our Barn Community since 2014 when I first encountered organisers and participants tending the allotments at Osterley Park and later supported their acquisition of a building there. At this and other locations, Our Barn deliver activities for people aged 16 and over particularly with autism type diagnoses mainly but not exclusively in sports and other team work which lead to skills for work and life.
As Mayor, I adopted Our Barn Community to help acquire additional equipment for their Buddy Bike project also located in Osterley Park. The aim was to raise money to at least purchase a Velo Plus bike that is built to carry a wheel chair and also a hand trike.
I was also due to reach the tragic age of sixty that year so decided to support another active local charity, the Hounslow Seniors Trust, to help enhance practical and intergenerational arts, sports, dance and cultural events from West to East. This charity, run by its borough resident participants, have been delivering the Older People’s Festival since the summer of 1993 and I wanted the Mayor’s Fund to support additional activities at other times of the year.
Having been around enough, familiar with local government and how it operates, I felt pretty comfortable with what I could and could not do.
Unsurprisingly, there were a handful of detractors. Having taken on the role, I had the odd colleague comrade attempting to compound that they always know better by trying to call the shots. The Mayor is meant to be separate from the leadership.
One or two other councillors who ought to have known or should have learned to be better would often childishly try it on at one or another of the thirteen the full Borough Council meetings chaired by the Mayor.
I was, following the July 2020 planning presentation meeting on the Tesco Homebase proposal, the subject of a formal complaint to the council’s Chief Executive by a Hanworth resident and their out of borough sidekick. A couple of white men were upset that I said that the Berkeley Homes brochure for the proposed developed appeared racist. I felt that the publication was aimed more at overseas investors and said so; its illustrations did not reflect the real diversity of the area (nor, it subsequently worked out, the developer’s true ambitions). Following a time wasting inquiry by an external investigator, I was exonerated.
Having kept to my word of avoiding a chauffer driven limo, I used the cab account on two or three occasions with the furthest journey to a civic service at St Pauls Cathedral with Councillor Mel Collins who tends to get rowdy when using the Central Line.
Other out of borough visits only extended as far as Ealing, Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham and Richmond Upon Thames as the guest of their Mayors. At each, and every other function, I availed myself of the Zipcars located at the council offices, my own 1980 Ford, public transport or on foot.
Due to circumstances, I and some of my counterparts had the unique honour of maintaining the Mayoralty for an additional year, offering the rare experience of insight, knowledge of process and the confidence to deliver this favoured position.
Unfortunately, however, the opportunity to extend was borne of the health disaster affecting so many of our compatriots as victims but also as saviours and supporters of our fellow citizens.
The pomp of office has been nothing compared to the sacrifices made by the borough’s key workers in health, emergency services, refuse collection, road maintenance, public transport, education, carers at home, carers in other settings, parks maintenance, public protection, child and family protection.
The innovation, effort and effectiveness of ordinary citizens, some already retired, others cruelly discarded, many just wanting to do something to help relieve the non health impacts on families, lonely neighbours, those homeless.
Already addressing hunger, poverty and other impacts of austerity, the humbling by food banks, impromptu open kitchens and the establishment of new charitable enterprises by (extra)ordinary people turned what could have otherwise been a disaster into an example of unrealised humanity. I was privileged to meet the good people of the Chiswick 7th Day Adventist Church Foodbank, Feltham Foodbank, St Pauls Hounslow West Foodbank and the Brooks of Life Foodbank as well as those stalwarts running and volunteering for the Open Kitchen on Jersey Parade.
I won’t be there to see it in the same way but I look forward to learning that the good and generous ladies of the Millan Women’s Group, the 55th Mayor’s first event, who meet at Isleworth Public Hall, will reconvene. Theirs was my first community event and unexpected but impromptu cash collection, the almost literal widow’s mite. The Singing for the Brain folk of St Mary’s Osterley will be back in fine voice. The volunteers and supporters of Chiswick Age Concern will be putting on another Christmas dinner for the 80 or so older members there in Oxford Road North. The borough’s firefighters may even deliver another one of their non stop runs to raise money for emergency service charities as they did last summer at Feltham Fire Station, organised by Isleworth’s then station officer, Lucy McLeod-Cook. All events that I had the honour to be invited to and attend.
During the Mayoralty I was honoured to celebrated my birthday on event days, with cake on each occasion. The day of my 60th in 2019, a Saturday and prior to a family celebration, coincided with an official engagement with the Osterley Lions who arranged the carers’ thank you at the Indian Gymkhana. Downhill from there for the 61st with residents and staff at Atfield House, St Johns Road.
I went there to Gift a Geranium, a way to help recognise the importance of care settings not just during Covid but throughout the year.
There is plenty more to follow up with that initiative so that we, as a community, can better appreciate carers wherever they deliver a service.
I was most chuffed to have spent time with schoolchildren in the borough. Highlights included, an in tune performance of Aladdin by the Drama Club at Oak Hill Academy Feltham was particularly impressive. There were great discussions on separate occasions with the School Councils of Grove Park Chiswick and Orchard Road Hounslow at theirs and Ivybridge Primary in the Mayor’s Parlour.
I helped honour the Feltham winners of the London In Bloom Competition as the guest of the Victoria Road School Gardening Club.
Thanking, again, the young artists and staff from both Kingsley Academy and Bolder Academy Schools for offering me choices for the Mayoral Christmas cards for both 2019 and 2020.
I helped support, along with the borough’s Royal British Legion branches and the Greater London Deputy Lieutenant, plan two years of commemorations at the ten local war memorials.
Time, tonight, prevents me from elaborating on the many Centenarian plus birthdays I attended, such as the celebration for 103 years old Vera Ward. Mrs Ward, who in the early 1980s, came out of nursing retirement first to work with refugee Vietnamese Boat people at Campion House and to later care for sufferers of AIDS at West Middlesex Hospital.
Or the Mayor’s numerous community events, connections with the borough attractions such as Kempton and Brentford steam museums, Chiswick House and Gardens (where I remain a trustee)the Musical Museum, Watermans Christmas Light Parade, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Paul Robeson, the classic car show at Hanworth where I chose the worthy 1960 Mini as winner, being very well looked after at the properly choreographed Kids in Care Awards, apple tree planting (a Feltham Beauty) at Gunnersbury, Rotary London Music Concert at the Royal Festival Hall, various Jack Petchey events for young People. Plenty, plenty, plenty more, I’ll produce a list another time.
I had a great comrade and colleague, Councillor for Bedfont Ward, Raghwinder Siddhu who as Deputy Mayor gave unstinting support, filling the voids and standing in when I could not attend events and a lovely Mayoress, Talia Louki.
I feel that I can also say that my residents of Osterley and Spring Grove Ward were not neglected. I maintained my casework and ward walks reporting the various environmental nonsense and trying to keep it at a low level. I still responded to residents’ requests for advice and assistance, attended the Ward Police Safer Neighbourhood Panel, Friends of Jersey Gardens, Friends of Thornbury Park, the OWGRA, Spring Grove and St Johns Residents associations meetings among others.
That’s about it. Happy to take questions and also catch up with more of you in person before too long.
I am still around and will continue to try to represent.
Hounslow's streets and street services are having a major make-over. If you have problems or questions concerning any aspect of this work then please contact <a href="https://fms.hounslowhighways.org/.