Homebase, Syon Lane from the steps at Firestone
Lately, the Conservative candidates have been giving or residents false doorstep assertions that, should they be successful here in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward after Thursday’s council election, the Berkeley Homes Tesco Homebase proposals will be turned down. Sadly, this would not be the case. It’s nonsense and gives cruel, false hope.
Since May 2019, no other candidates have done more to battle the development proposals than Councillor Tony Louki, Councillor Unsa Chaudri, Aftab Siddiqui. We have faced derision and criticism and attempts made to prevent our participation but we have persisted and pursued in a way that no other local politician (actual or wannabe) aiming to represent our Ward has..
This will never stop and, the three of us shall continue to encourage the Secretary of State do dismiss these out of place and overbearing developments. Should he do the right thing and the developer decide to apply again, we will advocate for and pursue humane, socially viable and environmentally appropriate developments in Osterley and Spring Grove. Not just on Syon Lane but also elsewhere in our Ward.
There will soon be a change of leadership at Hounslow Council and, by having three provenly independently minded Labour Councillors representing you, residents would be assured that our influence would be fully maintained in a most likely majority Labour Council, after Thursday.
Together, we have been behind our residents, 100%, and have played the active part that our constituents have come to expect in all Ward matters here, and not just planning. We have shared intelligence, given advice, called public meetings, questioned the developers, challenged decision makers, sought information, spent many hours in meetings and, even during a busy election campaign, continue to participate at the Planning Inquiry. Despite their assertions, the Conservatives have been notably absent from the nitty gritty and the fights.
In a recent campaign leaflet, the Conservative Party candidates say that they will work closely with residents to oppose the Tesco Homebase development. There has been little sign of that close working over three years of the campaign. Two of them have separately turned up to a couple of demonstrations against the development; one held a placard for half an hour and left, the other passed the time chit chatting, the third was nowhere to be seen. The Labour Councillors have been a part of the campaign, attending meetings, and demonstrations, along with speaking and writing on the issue. We also note that one of the Conservative councillors on the Planning Committee bizarrely supported the Tesco development but not the Homebase one.
The following, however, is our record.
20 November 2019 – Labour Ward Councillors appraised 100+ residents of the Berkeley/Tesco/Prudential proposals at St Francis of Assisi Church which we organised and paid for.
21 January 2021 – Councillor Unsa Chaudri forensically challenged council leader Curran and planning boss Matthews at formal scrutiny of a proposal to buy 164 properties off plan at the as yet unapproved Homebase scheme.
8 April 2021 – All Labour Ward Councillors, Louki, Chaudri and Eason represented their residents at the Planning Committee.
12 April 2021 – Councillors advise OWGRA to start its petition to higher level decision makers.
12 May 2021 – Councillor Tony Louki accompanies OWGRA and the 4,332 signatures petition to City Hall for presentation to the Mayor of London.
2 September 2021 – Councillors attend and lobby the London Assembly Meeting at City Hall.
28 September 2021 – Ward Councillors write to the Secretary of State asking for a Planning Inquiry.
13 January 2022 – Ward Councillors submit their case to the Planning Inspector.
15 March 2022 – Planning Inquiry commences and Councillors and candidates participate, present and represent. Watch Councillor Tony Louki and watch Aftab Siddiqui. Read Tony Louki’s script here.
At all times, these past three years of this saga, we could not be further away from being NIMBYs. We know that the borough needs housing but it should match the housing need (just 14% of the proposed units are three bedroomed), be appropriate for the location and on a humane scale. We are with our residents and remain staunch despite the efforts of others to prevent and curtail our continued proven success in representing here in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.
Crocodile tears though, as usual from the local Conservatives. Since former Chancellor George Osborne’s Slums of the Future planning “reforms” of July 2015, Conservative legislation has put developers into a stronger position against councils and it is increasingly difficult and costly to refuse poor applications to develop. They say nothing of that in their literature, nor of property developers’ regular and hefty contributions to Conservative Central Office; Russian oligarch proportions.
At this critical stage wherever any embedded political loyalties may be, please maintain the investment of experienced and honest voices speaking up for everyone in Osterley and Spring Grove.
Don’t encourage their nonsense.
Vote for Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri, Aftab Siddiqui
Thursday 5 May 2022 from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm
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