Tag Archives: Tony Louki

Wood Lane Yellow Lines: the council would not do it like that

Not remotely close to the Camden Town earthquake described by Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son but one way or another, the rumblings caused by the coming of the schools to Osterley continue to be felt.

Midway on Wood Lane, Isleworth looking south

The latest wee spat is the yellow lining debacle of Wood Lane, more on that in a bit but first some reminding context.

The Mary McCleod Memorial Academy on Wood Lane is now up and being clad, due to open in a year’s time.

Digging on another part of the site for the £9 million minority sports complex has, these past days, literally caused a stink and rumours of more gruesome finds to add to the earlier commotion caused by the removal of ancient hedgerow and trees on Syon Lane.

A couple of weeks ago, approval was given to what someone described as a “delightful” looking building but what many would confirm as another bland box to become the Bolder (might as well call it the Bona) Academy. Why not pay homage to its location? Doesn’t Osterley deserve a name check with all that has been foisted?

Very few people have difficulty in accepting the new Osterley Comprehensive locating on the former United Biscuits sports ground on Macfarlane Lane; hardly touching the green stuff. Uniquely, in these parts, it will not select pupils based on religions, will accept from both gender and likely not to live as far away as those attending St Mary’s.

With some major planning applications, plenty expertise is often developed by ordinary people who at some point are likely to be affected by the ultimate decision. One common thread in all these (costly) free school applications is how the pupils will be delivered and despatched either side of the school day. The key theme in scrutiny of recent and upcoming (Green School for Boys) planning were and will be traffic impacts and should another school receive approval, there will be five schools, each with over 1,000 students within a mile and a half radius of each other.

The problem that is most likely to occur before very long is that with a local public transport accessibility level of almost zero, there will be more than a temptation to bring children to the schools by car via the already congested Syon Lane and Gillette Corner.

In planning terms there’s always mitigation, soft in most cases. School travel plans are often cited as a salve but as can be seen from the June 2017 Nishkam School West London Travel Plan, 75% of their scholars are taken by car. Travel plans often look good on paper, not able to foresee the future but appear to tick planning boxes. In reality, there is no substitute for spending money on infrastructure but this has been scant in Osterley despite the recent demands for its open space.

When the Bolder omies punted their building proposals at the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association’s open meeting in December 2016, attended by the leader of the council and the head of planning, a second route from Harlequin Avenue via Great West Road was included, understood and appreciated. Despite later citing Grant Way, by the time it hit planning, the only access to the school site would be from Macfarlane Lane via the already and soon to be more strained Syon Lane. The scheme’s architect gave a less than convincing and more than half assed reason as to why the much diminished route would be optimal.

So, what about the Wood Lane yellow lines that appeared with no warning on 4 August 2017? It. Was. Not. Hounslow. Council.

The pooch was actually screwed by the government quango, the Education and Skills Funding Agency contractor, BAM and installed without any local arrangement or discussion with the council. After the event, BAM’s Nishkam School project manager wrote, “I’m sorry for the trouble this has caused you and hopefully it can be fully resolved through the consultation” or in other words, “we messed up, you sort it out”.

The council’s traffic team were prepared to consult on yellow lines for Wood Lane largely due to recent haphazard parking on this narrow width and paved road, reported by residents but BAM stole their bluster.

Proper consultation will shortly take place on this proposal and until this is complete [to avoid damage to the road] the lines will not be touched but neither will they be enforceable. Residents are encouraged to respond and alternative suggestions will be considered.

TL 17.8.2017

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Filed under Education, Great West Road, H28 bus, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parking, Planning, Road works, Roads, Schools, Traffic, Wyke Green

Gillette South: Tower turned down

More than a year on the stocks and eight months since a formal proposal to build a 14 storey block on the corner of Syon Lane and Great West Road, Hounslow Council’s planners have finally turned down the application.

The site known as Gillette South

During 2016, the applicant’s agent hosted a number of exhibitions but declined to arrange, present and explain the concept and plans at a public meeting.

Following the submission of a formal planning application on 5 January 2017, I arranged a meeting at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall later that month. More than 120 residents, Hounslow Council planners and councillors but not the applicants or their agent attended the event. The occasion was previously reported here.

The application was refused for a number of reasons when assessed against current Hounslow, London and national planning policies including its impact on neighbouring properties and the setting of listed buildings as well as the lack of affordable housing.  There were more than 80 objections to the proposal.

Full details are in the planning officer’s report here and formal decision letter to the applicant here. Should the applicant decide to exercise their right to appeal this outcome it must be done by 11 February 2018.

The site has permission to be used as a car park until 30 September 2017.

TL 14.8.2017

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Filed under Great West Road, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Planning, Reports, Sky

I B A F on Tour

At Hounslow Council’s Annual General Meeting on 23 May 2017, I had the honour of being appointed to the Chair of the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum for 2017/2018.

Until now, the location of the IBAF meetings have been pretty static, held in Brentford but this year we are taking this bi monthly democratic event on the road and trying as best to give advance notice of items planned for discussion and decision.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be held in Syon Ward at the St Johns Community Centre, 80 St Johns Road, Isleworth then on 28 September 2017 we shall be at the splendid Spring Grove House, West Thames College.  Current proposals for locations and items for future meetings through to March 2018 can be found here.

A special meeting of the IBAF, to mark Local Democracy Week 2017, is being planned for early October 2017 where the focus will be on the current IBAF Action Plan and a Young People’s Open Forum; details will follow when firm.

All are welcome to attend and to contribute via the regular Open Forum agenda item and by submitting written questions prior, particularly relating to matters from the IBAF’s four constituent Wards, Osterley & Spring Grove; Isleworth; Isleworth; Brentford but also other Hounslow Council matters.

TL  26.7.2017

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Filed under Brentford, Council Business, Events, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Spring Grove, Wyke Green

Friends of Thornbury Park

Will meet on Wednesday 26 July 2017 at 7.00 pm by the Outdoor Gym, Thornbury Park, London Road, Isleworth

Grapes and berries in Thornbury Park

Since the reforming of the Friends of Thornbury Park, visitors there will have noticed some better attention paid to this important but occasionally neglected local recreation space.

When we first met in November 2015, there were many ideas discussed and proposed to improve Thornbury Park.  At the time, there was no council resource to help make any of them a reality apart from holding the parks maintenance contractor to their schedules and encouraging the police to up their patrols to address varied anti social behaviour.

I was, however, as a councillor, able to submit bids to the unspent S106 planning gain fund insomuch as historic developer contributions could be applied to a) schemes local to Spring Grove developments and b) for parks type projects.  In 2016 I was teased with an award of £4,200, which, in the scheme of things, was almost not worth getting off the swings for.  Persistence paid off in January 2017 with a second allocation of £75,977 making a total of £80,177 to start to realise some of the November 2015 ideas.

Hounslow Council’s Parks Team and the parks contractor Carillion have now produced proposals and costs for improvements at Thornbury Park over and above the maintenance contract.  Details can be found on the spends spreadsheet here and trees and shrub reduction and new pathways suggestion here.

Readers will note that so far, a proposed spend of only £25,839 has been identified and these are listed on the spreadsheet, leaving decisions to be made for the remaining £54,338 and that is why it would be good to see as many Friends and users of Thornbury Park next Wednesday.

Should anyone be unable to make it to the meeting, please email me with any comments to tony.louki@hounslow.gov.uk

You may also wish to follow Friends of Thornbury Park on Twitter and Facebook.

As always, am happy to discuss.

TL 21.7.2017

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Filed under Events, Leisure, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Parks, Reports, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park

Thornbury Road no left turn: no liked

A lively meeting kindly hosted by Indian Gymkhana, Thornbury Avenue on 7 February 2017 and attended by around 50 of Osterley & Spring Grove’s finest, helped define and add to the result of a recent consultation.

Hounslow Council traffic team's David Wilson and Liam Judge presenting the consultation results

Hounslow Council traffic team’s David Wilson and Liam Judge presenting the consultation results

Hounslow Council had put forward a proposal to ban left turns in to Thornbury Road from the westbound A4 Great West Road and offering a green human pedestrian crossing facility. Traffic officers shared the results of the consultation supported by this presentation.

Whilst rejecting the no left turn idea, many of those attending did, quite rightly, comment more on speed and safety issues on Osterley Road and Church Road, particularly at their junction by St Mary’s Church.

Notes of the meeting can be found here and councillors have asked that alternative proposals be worked on, based on the discussion that took place.

On the subject of roads, traffic and transport, a reminder that Osterley & Wyke Green Residents Association’s next public meeting on 28 February 2017 at Isleworth & Syon School will be dedicated to these issues and details are included in OWGRA’s latest newsletter

Any other comments would as always, be welcomed.

TL 11.2.2017

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Filed under Council Business, Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Roads, Spring Grove, TfL, Thornbury Road, Traffic