Whilst the free 30 minutes ‘Stop and Shop’ parking (1 hour at South Street) has not been abandoned at London Road and Thornbury Road shopping parades, Hounslow Council has begun to remove the pay and display machines that dispense the paper stickers.
Parking advice change at London Road, Isleworth
Traders at Osterley Village on Thornbury Road, north of Great West Road first brought this to Osterley and Spring Grove Ward councillors’ attention when the signs began to go up late May 2022. Residents and traders around London Road followed suit and OWGRA also received correspondence.
Shoppers are now asked to record their arrival on a previously downloaded mobile phone app, including the free parking period. For the technology savvy, this would not be hard to do but our Ward does have a larger proportion of older residents, often carers, using their cars to reach local pharmacies, the launderette, supermarkets, Osterley Bookshop for a greeting card or stamps, the paper shop, Memories of India for a takeaway for example.
To an extent, one of our (retired) residents does agree with the new approach and wrote, “for the avoidance of doubt, I believe that the digital solution being adopted by the council makes sense for all except those who have less ability to access or use digital tech.”
Clarity on the new policy was sought from Mr Jefferson Nwokeoma, the chief officer whose department runs parking and were advised that a cashless system provides savings in machine maintenance and repair costs and secures the income received. Conscious that, for some, the cashless system remains a challenge, councillors were advised that officers would provide information and communicate to enable residents to adapt to this change.
Osterley and Spring Grove Ward councillors are seeking an equitable solution which understands the demographic and some of the unique services available in our area. The matter has been raised and discussed with council’s cabinet member for parking, Councillor Salman Shaheen. He has asked officers to identify and work with one or two parades traders who would be able to provide an alternative free ticketing option and will get back to us.
The planning officer managing an application submitted on 4 February 2022 (reference P/2022/0601), has just published a report explaining their reasons for refusing the scheme.
Vine Lodge from Osterley Lodge. Photo courtesy D Pavett Esq
The proposal was to demolish a prime and liveable house in the Spring Grove Conservation Area, and replace it with a pair of new ones. Parts of the original property, Vine Lodge, date from as early as 1804, probably the only surviving workers dwelling known within the former Davies Estate.
Whereas the Davies Villas (a number still survive around The Grove) were built for the rich, Vine Lodge was originally a pair of gardeners’ cottages built for those who toiled and their families.
Vine Lodge, Church Road: Refused proposal
The officer’s refusal letter clearly outlines the council’s concerns, saying that the proposal is “bulky, obtrusive and incongruous within the Spring Grove Conservation Area”. She went on to declare that it would be, “an unneighbourly form of development which would negatively impact the enjoyment of neighbouring properties”.
Thanking the many residents who pursued and made contact with their Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors on this matter.
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A couple of weeks ago when the Chair of Hounslow Council’s Labour Group released a statement on violence against residents in East Jerusalem, one correspondent on social media asked whether councillors didn’t have any local work to address.
A colleague, Councillor Salman Shaheenresponded with a whole rake of items that he had been working on for his residents. Salman’s retort prompted me to sincerely flatter the comrade from neighbouring Isleworth Ward.
I’m no David Frost, neither can I sing it like Millicent Martin let alone want to like Lance Percival, but here are some highlights from That Was The Week That Was from the currently longest serving councillor for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward. Fresh out of the 55th Mayoralty, allow me to explain.
A more than an occasional issue at the wee Tesco on Spring Grove Road where delivery cages take up pavement space for often beyond the visit of the big trucks. Particularly tiresome this time was the storing of these contraptions right up against one of the newly planted liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon or Sweetgum trees. This was reported to Hounslow Highways for enforcement via Fix My Street and am assured that this will not happen again … .
The Thornbury, London and Spring Grove Roads Triangle had been a badly regulated domestic and fly tipping hotspot for a long time before 2014. Premises above shops were once accommodation for the family or staff running a business below but for many years the space has been sub divided and often short term tenanted. This creates problems for household waste storage leading to outdoor mess. The council’s recycling and waste team issue purple bags for waste from flats above shops and have placed a number of coffers at close proximity for their containment until twice weekly removal. An improvement but mainly black bags still get dumped on pavements, added to by casual or opportunistic fly tippers; I always report this stuff to Hounslow Highways for removal via Fix My Street. Occasional placement of cctv cameras does help identify perpetrators who are pursued and fined by the council.
Visited Our Barn at Jubilee Lodge in Osterley Park to drop of some items commissioned for them to sell on behalf of the two charities (Our Barn and Hounslow Seniors Trust) chosen to profile and fundraise for when I was the 55th Mayor. Their garden is looking lovely because members of the community have been busy maintaining it throughout and I got given rhubarb that day.
Following an earlier shout, was at Oaklands Avenue, within the Osterley Park Conservation Area. Calling on neighbours either side who are concerned that improvement works next door had dragged for more than two years and not entirely as permitted. The additional impacts of having an empty and unfinished house close by including rodent attraction, disconnected drainage and other fails in the property were getting them down. A member of the council’s planning enforcement team is pursuing the owner to regularise and is already communicating with residents.
On Syon Lane with contractors, Hounslow Council and Hounslow Highways back in December 2020, I noted that a pedestrian crossing included as a traffic condition for the Bolder Academy planning permission was missing and suggesting that it was dropped. No way Joseph! Happy that it was added in April for safe pedestrian access although it seems that the solar powered Belisha beacons require sunshine, reported but with the proviso that no trees are damaged in order to facilitate.
I was the guest speaker at the annual general meeting Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association talking about my time as the rollover Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow. Tales of two years, some of the 340 events attended, 13 Borough Council meetings chaired, two Remembrance Sundays each at 10 war memorials, still making time to do casework and to try to represent my residents. It was also a good reminder of the longevity of OWGRA with which I first developed a relationship during earlier planning events on the then United Biscuits site as well as working together on nonsense ambitions for other land in the Ward.
A flurry of discourse on a social media site that will not be named resulted in a few visits and chats with residents the previous week with copious amounts of pictures taken, reports made to Hounslow Highways via Fix My Street and emails to the Director of Environmental Services. The director, Mr Wayne Stephenson, already familiar with the issues rendezvoused for a whistle stop to locations from the Northumberland to Thornbury Road.
We met at Albury Avenue and on behalf of colleague Councillor Unsa Chaudri, who is currently engaged with residents on the state of pavements there. The footways, a victim of pavement parking but moreso HGVs and skip lorries delivering on this narrow crescent these past 30+ years, will be focussed on as a result.
A drive in my motor via College Road to show Mr Stephenson the loss of integrity of half its 1992 vintage speed tables since a new road coating a couple of years ago; raised by a resident who scientifically measured and compared the differences. On the ones affected by resurfacing, the current and previous speed limits were easily busted, the matter is, therefore, still live.
On to Borough Road where the previous week, more pictures of marked and unmarked road and pavement defects had been submitted after residents had been in touch. I had visited in response to folk writing, some had been fixed but wanted to show the general state before a proper response from council officers managing the Hounslow Highways contract.
Quick visits over at Thornbury Avenue and The Grove to look at other surfaces reported and then to Weston Gardens, a cul de sac with a dozen properties and equal number of defects. I had found with St Mary’s Crescent that the more a road’s potholes are reported and fixed, the further down the list a road goes for complete resurfacing; done now but it took five years since the first promise. I introduced Wayne Stephenson to my resident contact there and agreed that while the space currently appears messy, Weston Gardens is very likely to get the full treatment soon, what little pavement and carriageway it actually has.
Our last stop was at Banksian Walk, part of the former carriageway to Spring Grove House, nicely planted with an avenue of yews but currently suffering ivy creep over neighbouring boundaries and the resident had been in touch. Mr S agreed, more pictures taken and submitted with a service request to Hounslow Highways to manage the landscape plus one other to remove some graffiti on the wall there.
Sidmouth Avenue and Crawford Close, near where Thornbury Park meets the railway and a neighbourhood that has sought council support for their projects and ambitions since 2014; residents, naturally, receive my assistance. Excepting 2020, Saturday’s was the sixth annual neighbourhood tidy up and in seven years we’ve gone from a beyond brim skip to just 15 or so sacks of picked including from beyond these two roads, no longer any long term fly tips.
On the way home via Kilberry Close to check, on Councillor Chaudri’s behalf, the occasionally abused estate based recycling facility there where the council’s Recycling and Enforcement Teams have been making efforts to “educate” and “encourage” residents and managing agents alike. It’s Unsa’s case so I took pictures for her to share with the council teams.
Tuesday 25 May 2021
There. Done for now. Plenty more not to bore readers with but will be back with TW3.02 before too long. I will, naturally, welcome comments from Osterley and Spring Grove residents.
There will be a meeting of the Friends of Thornbury Park at 7.00 pm to 8.15 pm on Tuesday 12 December 2017
in The MusicRoom, Spring Grove House, West Thames College, London Road, Isleworth, TW7 4HS
Following the successful bid and award of £80,000 for improvements, we now have proposals for works for parks contractor Carillion to reduce some shrub areas, clear dead trees and also proposals for volunteer days in early 2018. plans for the works can be found here, here and here and description of the works here.
Another idea discussed previously, is for the planting of a new linear orchard supported by the Mayor for London, Trees for Cities, Hounslow Council and the Heathrow Community Fund. Trees for Cities will attend this meeting to describe the proposal and how it would work.
We will also be examining the long awaited ideas for playground improvements.
It is also a pleasure to announce that after two years of banging on about it, works took place this week to clear the privately owned site of the former Harvard Hill Tennis Club, some pictures of this task can be seen here.
Looking forward to seeing as many of you on Tuesday evening.
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The charm of Osterley and Spring Grove Ward is that there are many contrasting neighbourhoods developed in different ways these past 400 years, all continuing to adapt to the delights of the early 21st Century.
One of the first meetings I attended during this stint on Hounslow Council was the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum back in July 2014. On that agenda was an item looking at parking and traffic within the south Spring Grove triangle bounded by London, Thornbury and Spring Grove Roads.
Clifton Road June 2014
Around that time I was approached and met with residents of Thornbury, Clifton and Villiers Roads and Pembroke Place to learn of and assist with tackling other environmental issues. The most annoying was the relentless flytipping taking place behind shops on London Road. Here, for some bizarre and historic reason, Hounslow Highways allowed traders to keep commercial waste bins on Clifton Road that attracted additional opportunist deposits almost daily which the same firm had to collect as flytip.
Clifton Road August 2017
Today, however, this anti social behaviour at Clifton Road is rare but this did not come about without numerous tooth pulling episodes. It was resolved by one of those now common, three way collaborations between determined residents, hard pressed but hard working Hounslow Council staff and this councillor persisting and trying to maintain momentum.
For nearly two years, no flytip went unreported to Hounslow Highways, LBH Enforcement Officer, Ian Mole encouraging traders to revise their commercial waste contracts and my continuous lobbying of council cabinet members to focus on this hot spot.
Culminating in December 2016, the installation of Hounslow Council CCTV watching this corner coincided with the removal of the last commercial waste bin magnets; the rest is history.
There is still much work to attempt to resolve the mess resulting from poor disposal of domestic waste from flats above shops on London Road affecting there and around the corner where Pembroke Place meets Thornbury Road.
Another change for this neighbourhood is a live proposal to close Clifton Road at the junction with Spring Grove Road. This idea came about from residents affected by the impact of shoppers parking at the recently opened Tesco store.
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/.