Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Ballymore's Bland Proposal: a Letter from Andrew Dakers - Chair, Brentford High Street Steering Group
As you will know, since 2006 I have chaired Brentford High Street Steering Group, the town centre regeneration charity.
Tomorrow night is without a doubt a milestone in our town's history. Fifteen years after the last plans were presented, Ballymore's proposals go to planning committee (7.30, Civic Centre, Hounslow). On one level I am glad to see a scheme with many of the elements needed to move forward. However, I am bitterly disappointed that so many of the ideas put forward by the community for less density and more beautiful buildings (respectful of the town's historic waterside location) have been ignored.
Brentford is a suburban market town, not Oxford Street!
You can watch a video produced by Cat Berry and Tom Keane here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpRVquj12Ww (It's had over 1000 views in just 5 days!)
My personal view, and the steering group's, is that more work should be done on:
* the 'Design Code' and the aesthetics of the detailed scheme over the next six months;
* clear plans should be set out for how and when Watermans will move into the town centre; and
* independent traders should be supported through the transition.
Ballymore and the Council have time that can be used constructively to make these improvements: it will take at least a year to complete Compulsory Purchase Orders on some parts of the site, and raise the funds to move the scheme forward.
Local residents' concerns are well expressed on: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brentford-High-Street/153798158085687 Twitter: https://twitter.com/brentfordhighst
Whether or not you can make the meeting please email the members of Planning Committee in the last few hours to remind them of the importance of getting these details right. You can get their fifteen (!) email addresses from http://tinyurl.com/lbhplanning
If you can make it tomorrow night - we need all the support possible to make sure that the regeneration keeps moving forward, but with the attention to detail that our wonderful town deserves.
With best wishes,