Category Archives: Public transport

Introducing Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Labour Party Team for the London Borough of Hounslow Council Elections on 5 May 2022

Mr Aftab Siddiqui, Councillor Unsa Chaudri, Councillor Tony Louki

 

Councillor Tony Louki

Since taking a seat from the Conservatives in 2014, I have attentively served as your Labour Party Councillor for the last eight years.  My presence in and around the Ward (our borough’s biggest and greenest) and an honest and well run campaign improved on that result in 2018.  With the continued support of voters, I would be honoured to maintain this role together with Councillor Unsa Chaudri and Mr Aftab Siddiqui.

 

In 2019, I became the 55th Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, a position held for two years in the time of Covid.  Even with that responsibility, I maintained Ward duties and continued to deliver a heavy, councillor’s work caseload.  During, since and as before, I have represented; resolving issues for individuals, families and neighbourhoods.

Councillor Tony Louki representing at the Syon Lane Tesco Homebase Public Inquiry

Since May 2019, and in the face of derision from some quarters, the Labour Councillors here, in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, have advised, guided, supported and often led residents on how to practically challenge developer proposals which could greatly alter the face of Syon Lane at Tesco and Homebase.  Having sought it, I have been participating at the Planning Public Inquiry since 15 March 2022; presenting on behalf of the three Ward councillors, physically attending to speak for three of the so far nine days.  Aftab Siddiqui also made representations on the first day.

With Greenwood Osterley Archers at Goals Gillette Corner, both of Osterley Sports Network

As an active councillor and for the advantage of the Ward, I always encourage partnership between public services, Hounslow Council, Hounslow Highways, West Thames College and the Ward Police Team for example.  Having established the Osterley Sports Network in 2015, I continue to support sustainability and collaboration between the Ward’s numerous sports clubs and providers including Thistleworth Tennis, Wycombe House, Indian Gymkhana and Old Isleworthians.  I want to see facilities thrive, maintained and not threatened or taken over by developers; sharks will often circle and try to pick off those on their own.

Residents, Police and Hounslow Council checking the Osterley Bowls Pavilion

I tried a number of ways to sustain Osterley Bowls Club but, with an aging membership, it folded in December 2020.  Lately, I have met with residents and been brokering a proposal with the council, police and the Ward’s Police Safer Neighbourhood Panel to use some of the former bowls club pavilion as a Ward Police touchdown base, separate community use associated with Osterley Library and recreation on the bowling green.

With Osterley Library’s Jenny Cox, Clare and local authors Amer Anwar and Khurrum Rahman at a Meet the Author event, October 2019.

Osterley Library is dear to its 30,000 plus users, it is the Ward’s only Council building north of Great West Road.  Although not blatant this time, Conservatives’ usually put out closure scare stories before every election; I and any other Labour Councillor representing here will never allow this. However, it should be said that, despite twelve years of austerity cuts started by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in 2010 where Hounslow Council has lost more than £400 millions of funding, not one of the borough’s eleven libraries has been closed down.

Cutting the ribbon to launch the Syon Lane Station lift , December 2020.

I did lead the campaign to save the H28 bus route via Wood Lane and have continued to advocate for step free (lift) access at our local stations.  I was proud, as Mayor, to cut the ribbon at Syon Lane Station and proclaimed the new lifts at Osterley Station, commissioned by Labour Mayor Khan after Mayor Livingstone’s proposals were scrapped by Conservative Mayor Johnson.  Since 2015, I have pursued lift installation at Isleworth Station and funding is now allocated by the Department for Transport.  Since 2014, I have called and chaired meetings and made written responses on rail franchises, trains service changes and infrastructure consultations.

Hounslow Council traffic engineers, with South Western Railway on the long negotiation to get a cycle short cut from London Road to St Johns Road.

I have also pursued cycle access through Isleworth Station Car Park from London Road to St Johns Road with works set to start this year; a safe and convenient detour to avoid the Sainsbury’s junction.  The three Ward Councillors also submitted a response to Transport for London on Cycleway 9, we are in general support of its passing through our part of London Road subject to provisos of honest consultation pedestrian controlled crossings at St Johns Road, maintaining shoppers parking by the two parades and safe bus stops around Isleworth Station and West Thames College.

St Mary’s Crescent Gate at Jersey Gardens June 2016. Neglected by the Conservatives; fixed through Councillor Tony Louki’s efforts.

Since 2014 Councillor Unsa Chaudri and I, have played an active part in reviving the Friends of Jersey Gardens and Friends of Thornbury Park, bidding for and securing resource to make improvements, repair infrastructure, fix and renew equipment and to plant new trees, see here.  Whether intentional or not, the previous non reporting of repairs in parks, on roads or pavements by Conservatives makes it appear that a Labour run council neglects its assets, when all that needs to be done is submit casework.

June 2014. Previous Conservative ward councillors did not appear interested in ridding Clifton Road’s trade waste and flytips. Following Tony Louki’s pursuit and LBH help it is now a very rare occurence here and other parts around London Road shops.

I regularly walk Osterley and Spring Grove and can honestly say that our Ward is the best kept in the whole borough.  Also encouraging others to do so, I report flytips, litter, A4 subways graffiti, dead trees for replacing, broken paving, potholes and all the rest to Hounslow Highways via https://fms.hounslowhighways.org/.

Genuine living rent housing at St Johns Road on the former Moore Brothers site.

Whichever way analysed, what your Osterley and Spring Grove Labour councillors work on to improve their residents’ immediate happiness and wellbeing do reflect their party’s ambitions and values.  Whilst proud of my own achievements here, I am delighted with my part in helping to secure those with a big impact too such as rehousing individuals and families as well as supporting policy compliant planning applications in the borough that would deliver homes at proper council rents.

Councillor Tony Louki with residents of Wood Lane, Syon Lane and Wyke Estate, 28 April 2015. The day Mary Macleod MP spilled the beans on her long hidden secret on the Conquest Club proposals, and then, a few days, later got booted out of office.

I am also very much aware that, since joining as a kid in 1978 (nine Leaders and counting), I have been formed of the Labour Party.  There are several voters in Osterley and Spring Grove who, possibly as conditioned, would otherwise not choose us.  I do know, though, that because of my and my colleagues’ approach to representative Ward work, people appreciate what they see and what we do in this part of the borough and continue to lend us their vote these past eight years.

Please look at the archive here at www.osterleyspringgrove.org, follow my Twitter account, https://twitter.com/tonylouki or look at the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/councillor.tonylouki  to learn more.

 

Councillor Unsa Chaudri

 

The last two years have been some of the most difficult we in this country will have faced for many years. However, both Hounslow and our community in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward have come together to support and care for those most in need.

I have been fortunate to have been one of your three Councillors during this time, working closely with residents, our community groups, and statutory services to ensure Osterley and Spring Grove is able to thrive once the pandemic is behind us.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri with residents and planning officers examining an application from Access Storage to permit articulated trucks on site via Northumberland Avenue (yet to be determined at 1.5.2022).

I have been active in the local community for over ten years, narrowly missing out in 2014 before helping to secure three Labour seats for the first time ever in 2018 in this now marginal ward where we know that we have to work to earn your vote.

Working closely with Ward colleagues, we have been able to fight for our community, elevating their voice to even national level on matters such as the Tesco/Homebase development. Locally, I challenged and publicly scrutinised the Leader of the Council’s proposal to buy flats off plan from the then yet not even submitted for planning Homebase proposal.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri at the Ward Councillor arranged Tesco/Homebase public meeting. St Francis of Assisi Church, 20 November 2022

Through regular surgeries and canvassing activity, I have come to know our community intimately and this shows in the hundreds of pieces of casework I have handled for residents from housing challenges, abandoned horses right through to anti-social behaviour and reviewing the licence of the Osterley Park Hotel.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri at a residents meeting to explain a Osterley Park Hotel licence variation application. Nishkam School 16.11.2022

However, being a councillor is not just about addressing problems, it is about finding solutions. I am proud we have managed to deliver step free access at Syon Lane and Osterley stations, I am proud that Jersey Gardens has reclaimed its prestigious green flag and I am proud that we have been able to prioritise pothole and pavement repairs for our roads.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri with Hounslow Parks Team’s Sonia Ferdousi and West Thames College Vice Principal Michael Michaelides planting the Thornbury Park Orchard, January 2018.

Professionally, I work with local authorities across the country to support them in improving services for residents. I use this experience in Hounslow as firstly a ward councillor and secondly as a Deputy Cabinet Member to ensure our services are constantly developing.

I attended the Green School and until recently was a committed Governor there and at present I am a Governor at Heston Primary School.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri and Osterley Library’s Jenny Cox in the meeting room where Councillors’ advice surgeries take place.

My values are also driven by my union background. I am a member of Unison and working as a work place representative and assistant branch secretary, I successfully fought for the rights of library and parks staff here in Hounslow.

In politics though nothing stands still and it is easy for us to rest on our laurels. It is vital that councillors are able to be held to account, and that is why I pledge that if reelected I will:

Councillor Unsa Chaudri with Ward Police after an open air joint meeting for residents at Spencer Road in 2021.

  • Ensure we put pressure on developers to deliver the affordable homes and infrastructure we need in a way that is sensitive to our community
  • Campaign for South Western Railways to reverse their cut to services at Isleworth and Syon Lane
  • Remain a strong critical friend ensuring Council policy is right for our community and enshrined in our Labour values
  • Work with council officers to improve our vital parks and green spaces
  • Develop a series of roving surgeries to ensure we are constantly listening to residents who are less engaged in the political process

 

Mr Aftab Siddiqui

 

I have lived in Roxborough Avenue, in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, for over 15 years with my wife, and three children who attended Marlborough and Green Schools.

Aftab Siddiqui is an expert on alternative energies and was delivering at the European Energy Conference in Vienna, March 2022.

Working in the finance and environment sector, I am responsible for developing strategies to help price sources of energy including hydrogen and other environment friendly fuels.  I am an MBA and an MSC and in my free time, I play squash, cricket and write on economic and political issues.  My finance and environment background helps me to being more in-depth knowledge and to better represent residents’ views at the council.

As well as the Labour Party’s wider manifesto for this 2022 council election, my personal, side platform here in the Ward is, simply, the Three Es, Education, Environment and Economics.

Aftab Siddiqui, residents and Hounslow Police on Great West Road after a tour of ASB locations around the Northumberland Estate in 2019

I know, from close experience, that we have many families in the borough unable to secure nearby places for their children with special educational needs.  Numerous children have to travel far to get the required education and I will work and campaign to increase local education provision.

Aftab Siddiqui on Great West Road at Leigham Drive by one of the six new trees planted for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward by Transport for London.

We have lovely green spaces and parks; however, we need more.  This will help improve air quality whilst increasing outdoor activities provisions.  I want to foster park usage by raising the standard of facilities available to families.

We have numerous independent shops and businesses in the area and I want to support their owners to run them in a more friendly and peaceful environment, actively attending to anti social behaviour.

 

Published and promoted by Conor Hill on behalf of Labour candidates in the London Borough of Hounslow, all at 367 Chiswick High Road W4 4AG

 

TL 4.5.2022

Comments Off on Introducing Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Labour Party Team for the London Borough of Hounslow Council Elections on 5 May 2022

Filed under Brentford, College Road, Council Business, CPZ, Education, Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Hounslow Highways, Housing, Leisure, Licensing, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Parks, Planning, Public transport, RAs, Reports, Roads, Sports, Spring Grove, TfL, Thornbury Park

Healthy Streets – Hounslow and Brentford: OSG Ward Councillors’ Response to TfL

This is what we sent to Mr Fraser Macdonald, Local Communities and Partnerships Team, Transport for London on 16 February 2022 as a response to the first Healthy Streets consultation for between Kew Bridge and Hounslow Town.  Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councilors focussed on the London Road (A315) in our Ward.

Dear Mr Macdonald

Healthy Streets – Hounslow and Brentford

Cycleway 9 – Hounslow to Brentford whole route

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Transport for London’s proposals for cycling and walking in the part of the borough that includes Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.  London Road in the Ward runs from Isleworth Station to Thornbury Road at the Milford Arms and, unless indicated, our comments will focus on that length of the A315.

Subject to final proposals, following this and the next consultation, we do not have any whole scheme objections; considered change to infrastructure, however, is important.  Whilst supporting improvements for safe cycling, our observations focus on pedestrian safety and access, reducing bus travel delays, car access to shops, active consideration of green infrastructure.

Thus far, there is no discernible Equality Impact Assessment within this initial consultation but a thorough report of such analyses would be expected at the next stage.

Pedestrian safety

Unprotected pedestrian crossing: Sainsbury’s Junction at London and St Johns Roads

A long-held concern for many residents using the shops and other services on London Road is that there is a need for a full pedestrian phase crossing at the St Johns Road junction (Map 8).  Widening of the junction would not be sufficient to compensate for westbound, left turn, blind spots but, if addressed, would negate the requirement for a dog leg pelican crossing by 489 and 466 London Road.

Cycleway 9 Isleworth Station and St Johns Road

The sheer numbers of unregimented school students, (Isleworth and Syon, Gumley, Green Girls, Green Boys) at home time, using this location, particularly westbound, needs to be carefully examined.  Isleworth Post Office users attempting to meet last collections adds to the melee.  London Road bus boarders from College Road/Isleworth Station and St Johns Road should be re-examined with a view to offering either an alternative design or a route around the shops.

Hounslow Council is about to implement its long-proposed cycle route from London Road, through Isleworth Station Car Park to St Johns Road and this would act as a safe substitute to what is proposed between 459 and 489 London Road.  The proposal to relocate the current Isleworth Station bus stop to outside Isleworth Post Office at 477 London Road would, therefore, not be necessary.

Bus routes efficiency

Removal of bus lanes from London Road would limit the ability of buses on the five routes, through Isleworth to Brentford and Hounslow, to catch up from delays caused elsewhere.  The taking out of these important priority devices would affect people in low paid jobs who rely on buses for long commutes, bus borne residents, those naturally less able to cycle or walk the distances between centres.  The next consultation should quantify journey time impacts of removal of bus lanes as well as justify any lack of alternative approach to their retention.

Trees

It is not clear as to how many mature London Plane trees from the whole of the area in focus would be proposed to be removed along the route and these should be astutely detailed at the next consultation, preferably explained to neighbours even earlier.  Removals should be avoided with infrastructure and cycle lanes safely built around specimens wherever possible.  Replacement trees should be the largest size available for planting in order to achieve maximum impact from the get go.

Shopper parking

An effort to recognise vehicle usage to access businesses on and off London Road, including the last remaining bank between Hounslow and Chiswick at number 468 is appreciated and, subject to local consultation, we would suggest that alternative shopper parking bays be installed on College Road, Avenue Road and Thornbury Road to compensate for those which may be removed locally, elsewhere on the A315.

There is an older demographic in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward who do and would walk to patronise services in the neighbourhoods around the London Road.  However, a number of our residents also have carer responsibilities and also chauffer less ambulant friends, neighbours and family members to appointments and local shops; we would want them to retain this liberty with sufficient car borne access and facilities.

Residents and businesses, locally would wish to be listened to and very much considered when designing this next phase of Cycleway 9.  As Ward Councillors, we would be happy to support as well as facilitate wider discussion and also meet Transport for London and local traffic professionals to walk the London Road in Isleworth.

Yours sincerely

Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri, Richard Eason

Labour Party Councillors for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward

Copied to:  Mr Jefferson Nwokeoma, Assistant Director of Traffic, Transport and Parking, London Borough of Hounslow

Added by TL  1.3.2022

 

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Filed under Hounslow Highways, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Public transport, Roads, Spring Grove, TfL, Thornbury Park, Traffic

Tesco Homebase: Ward Councillors’ Letter to Michael Gove

The Right Hon Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations

Councillors for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward have not stinted in their efforts to try to represent their residents nor to advocate for this, the largest and greenest in the whole of the London Borough of Hounslow. At all times when there have been pressures on our delicate environment in this part of Isleworth we have never neglected our responsibility to attend and advise at residents’ action planning meetings putting our people’s interests forward.

Since first revealed in May 2019 and before the debacle that was the rushed and badly choreographed Planning Committee of 8 April 2021, to Councillor Tony Louki’s recommending a petition and presentation of its 4,400 signatures to the Mayor of London at City Hall on 12 May 2021, attending, staying and participating at the demonstration outside the Recovery Conference at Holiday Inn Brentford on 22 July 2021 and the lobbying of the London Assembly on 2 September 2021, we have sought reviews and reconsideration of these ill thought, overblown, out of character and harmful schemes.

The councillors for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, should like, for and to add to the record, the sharing of their letter to the minister who is in the uniquie position to call a halt and order a more humane proposal for this put upon part of the capital city.

Our letter

Dear Secretary of State

Request to Call In – Homebase, Syon Lane [00505/H/P19] and Tesco, Syon Lane [01106/B/P137]

We are Councillors for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward in the London Borough of Hounslow and have arranged meetings, followed, pursued and worked with individual residents, residents’ associations and amenity groups since sponsors of the two developments publicly revealed their intentions in May 2019.  By that time proposals appeared to have been well advanced with numerous pre planning discussions with senior staff and leadership at Hounslow Council alone and not communities.

In terms of public consultation, what followed, under the cloak of lockdown, was a series of scant and motherhood and apple pie letterbox brochures misrepresenting developer and council intentions.  There were also mostly misleading social media surveys where results were never revealed at Planning Committee, mainly because the non phony responses vastly outweighed the bona fide and analytical from genuine respondents with locus.

Councillor Tony Louki with OWGRA when showing their scale model and presenting the petition to the Mayor for London

The developer promised scale models but these were never delivered thus leaving it to the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association to spend its meagre resources on commissioning an accurate piece.

For those who have taken a close interest, those who properly know and represent local communities in this part of the borough, feel that they have seen no more than 0.00095% change in the proposal since the applicants’ delayed and shambolic Planning Presentation event in July 2020.

We have tried to comprehend the hurry to approve these schemes, particularly because these applications are the largest we have ever seen in such a relatively small geographical space, anywhere in the borough.  But also, the developer and council jumped the gun before the ink on the draft revisions to the Hounslow Local Plan are hardly dry and, we believe, the Secretary of State has yet to appoint an Inspector to lead the public inquiry.

The virtual Planning Committee meeting on 8 April 2021 was rushed, premature and questionably chaired with comments made by officers presenting appearing, as many since described, as professionally compromised.  The balance on presentations for and against the developments were one sided with no opportunity for opponents comment on officer explanations because these were not delivered at the outset.  Neither the same with the applicant because they were allowed the last word without challenge.  Ward Councillors were given five minutes each, totally inadequate on such large scheme proposals.

Like residents, Ward Councillors are not averse to development in this area but we do have numerous concerns with these two, naturally linked planning applications.  We have serious questions and genuine worries about infrastructure, traffic, transport, housing heights, size, mix and design and felt that we made it clear but the long running ‘we need housing’ mantra at whatever cost prevailed for the misinformed and blinkered that night.

Transport and infrastructure are significant concerns for this site.  We understand that it is within an ‘opportunity area’ and welcome some form of development but the balance in this situation is askew.

We know that Transport for London have assigned a Public Transport Accessibility Level rating of just above 1 in Osterley, compared to above 4 in Feltham and 6 in Hounslow.  The planners’ report wrongly stated most of the site is at PTAL 2 and will at best after many unfunded and descoped projects be a 3.  With regards to the vaunted West London Orbital, TfL has no money and this scheme featured in no election manifesto.  The proposed Southall Link to Crossrail also has no money and the time frames set out are clearly pie in the sky.  With such proposed density, we would not, in the least, regard this a sustainable development.  The number of cycle spaces are all well and good but apart from fairly average tracks along the Great West Road, the road is not safe to cycle on through well used and already dangerous junctions with poor air quality to boot.

While the developers may talk about low level car parking for their sites, the sheer number of units combined with the poor PTAL will force occupiers to park in neighbouring streets impacting on existing residential amenity.  It is neither acceptable nor correct that current residents should have to experience long hours controlled parking zones in a few years’ time because of poor planning today.

Reviewing the traffic studies, the report talks of much longer queues to access sites and the Great West Road than observed at present and suggests that the impact on the local road network may be significant.  We cannot really call this a green recovery when greater congestion will happen if this scheme is approved, the responses from Hounslow Cycling seems to agree.

This is also one of many issues with the traffic element for the proposed replacement food store on the Homebase site and it is more than worth telling that TfL do not believe nor trust the developer on their suggested number of servicing trips for this site, leaving us with potentially illegal and dangerous on-street servicing of the store.

The developer speculates that Covid outcomes may reduce transport usage.  TfL already predicts transport numbers to be in excess of the pre-Covid baseline in 2025; that this scheme, if approved, would start to occupy at that point yet the planners’ report to committee did not consider this modelling.  Yet on the flip side, the significant increase in driving has not been adequately modelled

Our Ward currently has just over 13,400 residents, this combined, proposal will almost increase this by 50% without the required capacity to cope.  The developments are too big, the equivalent of landing something with a population the size of Bagshot here in Isleworth.

Travelling by tube in a normal year from Osterley or indeed Boston Manor, commuters are familiar of waiting at the platform trying to board London bound Piccadilly Line train, with each one passing at full capacity.  Now imagine that base line with an increase of 4,000 people trying to get on; similarly, travelling towards Waterloo from Syon Lane.

A more than 15 minute neighbourhood

We accept some form of development at these sites however, we have not been presented with any idea of the infrastructure required to support these large scale developments.  The developer cites the 15 minute neighbourhood without any proper nor researched evidence.  Osterley tube 22 minutes away, Boston Manor 32, the nearest doctors 25-30, the nearest dentists 18 and these are all over subscribed.

In 2025 we would not honestly be able to tell our constituents why they cannot get a GP appointment or school place because this inadequate scheme was approved without the proper infrastructure.  The planners’ report relies on the goodwill of the developer to provide a surgery at some point, something neither offered or guaranteed.

The developer proposes and planners accept the significant under provision in communal amenity space at the Homebase site of just at 4,928 sqm, significantly below the benchmark standard.  This huge under provision is considered acceptable purely because of the need to fit in a supermarket.  Too much in too small a place, to the detriment of future occupiers.  2,370sqm of play space should be provided for 240 children, yet just 500sqm less than that.  To add further insult this is not proposed for on site.  The developer considers it acceptable and planners agreeable to make up provision over half a mile away on the other side of the railway track, and into Brentford in the Leader of the Council, the lead member for Planning’s Ward.

We should also add that there has been absolutely and bizarrely no discussion with Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors nor our residents on any amenity or suggestions for legally agreed community provisions arising out of these developments.

Even after the Hounslow Council and Mayor for London determinations, the report submitted still shows that this scheme is not right in its current form.  The Secretary of State should insist that the developers and authorities have to make the time to go back and get it right, most people are now in the market for bigger units to allow for working or recreating from home.  This proposed scheme was developed long before this shift in work life.  To date Hounslow Council has not published verifiable data for housing need nor numbers of accepted homeless.  The proposed high density at this location needs to be justified and balanced in the context of recent new builds and pipeline approvals elsewhere in the borough.

Public transport use at present is at a record low, and more people are driving, please send this back to the applicants and get them to truly engage with the community.  The planning committee were urged to place a Grampian Condition, similar to other large development proposals such as at the Old Kent Road sites which cannot be fully built out until the Bakerloo Line extension starts, this was discussed by planning committee members because it was not commented upon by the council’s planners or traffic professionals.

In terms of gestation and the size of these schemes, these have seen less pre decision making exposure than the Ballymore Brentford Project which, in itself, is a bona fide regeneration plan, long in discussion and consultation.  It is bigger than the Brentford Community Stadium scheme and its associated blocks but with fewer local facilities and impacting more established residential neighbourhoods.  Drawings and ideas for this part of our Ward were shared with planners, council chief officers and council leadership a number of years ago but only came to light in 2019.

Despite Member consultations on the development of the Hounslow Local Plan Review where the consensus was no developments higher than six stories by established 1930s developments or more than 10 stories within the Great West Corridor proper.  The final publication was a bulldozered draft unrecognisable from the expected outcome.  This does not appear to be a new idea and a number of critics have suggested that the recently submitted Draft Local Plan for the Great West Corridor was tailored to help pave a path for this and similar applications.  We would hope that, as a new Secretary of State, you will be your own man and agree with what many other ordinary folk do that very high buildings do not make for sustainable and peaceful communities.

It has been suggested the Community Infrastructure Levy will help pay for the services required to compensate for shortfall in transport, health and recreational provision over and above the meagre elements offered within the applications.  This is nonsense.

At paragraph 11.5 of the Homebase site report, the CIL amounts quoted for are, £11.1m for Hounslow and £4.2m for London.  Never, ever enough to pay for a safe, healthy and sustainable neighbourhoods.  The second report quotes an estimated £21.2m for Hounslow and £9.3m for London for the current Tesco site but this will be piecemeal and not guaranteed.

How ever presented, these developments would be an adjunct to the Northumberland Estate, Syon Lane and Oaklands Avenue, not the eastwards facing Great West Corridor as, because of its largely residential nature, it has little in common with the rest the stretch to Chiswick Roundabout.

The published documents were not user friendly, perhaps a symptom of the rush to get them to committee although there is no explanation for this imperative apart from wanting to obfuscate.  Each report contained at least 175 pages, none numbered, making it difficult for members of the Planning Committee to follow references.  Paragraph 8 of the Homebase report had 501 sub paragraphs.  There are numerous comments and objections from a number of parties from paragraph 6.5 onwards, all themed, but not grouped nor appear to have been or shown to be fully assessed.  The report did no justice to the 830 residents individually writing in.  There were no comments from the London Ambulance Service which uses Syon Lane to the Hospital nor, despite numerous requests, Hounslow Highways.  There was complete disregard for the comments from Historic England and all other heritage organisations that took time and made effort to put their professional cases forward.

At paragraph 6.5, Transport for London maintained its reservations on both, but particularly the Homebase scheme.  This was highlighted to the committee by objectors but not clarified by transport and planning officers on the night suggesting only one other blinkered imperative.  The developer proposed cleaning the Gillette Corner Subway lights as an enhancement which is no substitute for pedestrian safety and convenience that residents and workers at Sky HQ have clamoured for safe surface crossings here for years.

The report at paragraph 8.163 appeared to brush aside Hounslow Council’s independent Design Review Panel’s assessment, critical of both, not least the Homebase scheme, even having looked at it twice.

They said to planners, “we are still certain that the footprint of Tesco is compromising your ability to provide public realm that is good enough in character or scale for this quantum of new housing.  We would have liked to see a clearer vision for the two sites and commitment to delivering the at grade crossing, which is the first essential piece of the wider masterplan.”  They maintained their concerns about limited and unmanageable amenity space and safety, particularly concerned with how potentially unsafe these cut throughs between blocks are likely to be.

Half of semi dual aspect must be single aspect

The Design Review Panel also spotted the strange description of “semi dual aspect” flats, but half of dual is one, resulting in no through draught in a location where in summer it will get hot.  More than 27% of the units on the Homebase site would have this feature; just one window on just one aspect, whichever way it’s looked at.  The second aspect would be towards a solid brick wall.

We are very concerned about the existing 20 properties at Northumberland Gardens, opposite Homebase.  Each maisonette will be overshadowed and each will have windows affected, all by at least 20% and some by as much as 40% and over.  Along with limiting light to more than a quarter of potential new properties, the height and bulking of this development will darken the living rooms and bedrooms of our existing residents.

CONCLUDING

There could be alternative and more humane schemes to submit but these have not been considered by the applicant nor suggested or encouraged by Hounslow Council.

These developments are still not ready and if, as applied for, are not refused on grounds of non compliance with the current and operational National Planning Policy Framework, Local Plan, amenity, impact on neighbouring properties, inadequate and unguaranteed traffic and transport management; no direct contribution to rail improvements; lack of amenity and inadequate alternative space, then they should be.

CONDITIONS

Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors’ proposed planning conditions

Should the Secretary of State be mindful of approving these applications, very much preferably amended, in this very sensitive area more stringent conditions are required, not least in great need for bringing forward the Access Review before any further work is done.

Revisions sought would include,

  1. No occupation of either site until the completion of public transport improvements and renewals in the Great West Corridor Opportunity Area.  We ask that this is tied in to, 1 the Piccadilly Line upgrade, 2 the West London Orbital, 3 Great West Road bus improvements, 4 the Southall Rail Link.  We believe that this will protect our current and future potential residents by ensuring the infrastructure is in place before development is built out.
  1. Installation of TfL and Hounslow Highways junction works at Gillette Corner, Wood Lane, Busch Corner and Thornbury Road.
  1. A Construction Plan which would not disturb residents on Northumberland Estate, Syon Lane, Wyke Estate and Great West Road.
  1. A legal agreement to make an endowment fund of not less than £3m to support an independent Osterley Sports Network CIC, to develop and maintain sports and recreation in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, significantly absent from these applications.
  1. This development will impact the area like no other for decades to come. It has to be done right.  There are too many clear indications that these developments are inappropriate by a large margin.  Will the Secretary of State wish this on the local population?

As Ward Councillors, we are not against any development, but are against schemes that are not fit for the area or for the needs of the local residents.  We should expect the best for our residents and the future occupiers of these homes.  We should not settle for less, so how can we, you, agree to support a development in a location where the infrastructure is simply not there to achieve it?

Finally, we ask the Secretary of State whether he is 100% sure that as this development stands, it is appropriate?  If there is any doubt, then we ask you to reject or defer these schemes until more suitable schemes are put forward.

Happy to have you over for a closer look, should you have the time.

Thank you.


Yours sincerely

Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri and Richard Eason

Labour Party Councillors for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward

cc via email

Tom Mills

Senior Planning Technical Officer

Planning Casework Unit

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

2 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6EH

Tom.Mills@communities.gov.uk

Rachael Beard

Senior Planning Manager

Planning Casework Unit

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

23 Stephenson Street, Birmingham, B2 4BH

Rachael.Beard@communities.gov.uk

TL 28.9.2021

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Filed under Great West Road, Hounslow Highways, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Planning, Public transport, RAs, Roads, TfL

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

Osterley Station flats proposals exhibition

Really, please, as always, don’t shoot the messenger.

The developer’s latest idea for building above the car park at the Grade II Listed Osterley Station

After a number of months waiting for someone to get in touch with even the slightest idea of what was being proposed for the car park area of the Grade II listed Osterley Station, we have news.

Ward Councillors have not been involved in any discussions but were advised that there would be an exhibition of proposals prior to the submission of any planning application by the Transport for London development partner, Apartments for London.

This will take place over two days, at Indian Gymkhana, Thornbury Avenue, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4NQ between 2.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 December 2018, more details are on this flyer.

Many people should be aware by now of the reduction of government support for a large number of public services including transport and there is a demand for real affordable housing London.

The Heaps and Holden Osterley Station tower

The idea of building on TfL sites is not unreasonable but in sensitive locations, all efforts should be made to properly consult and take serious comments and residents’ observations into account before assuming that anything will do.  This is one of the first forays into building over station car parks and will be the subject of intense scrutiny.

Osterley and Spring Grove residents are encouraged to attend the exhibition and Ward councillors would welcome your early views as Unsa Chaudri, Richard Eason and I intend to informally meet the developer’s representatives in the New Year.

 

TL 7.12.2018

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Filed under Events, Great West Road, Housing, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, Public transport, TfL