Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ballymore's "Anytown" Design for Brentford Waved Through by LBH's Planning Committee

Despite the meeting having inexplicably drifted on for several hours when Ballymore's bland design for Brentford High Street was discussed, the application was waved through as expected by majority party councillors on the London Borough of Hounslow's Planning Committee acting dutifully upon officers' recommendations. Few if any meaningful concessions were made to the Community Vision which had been painstakingly drawn up by residents and councillors. Typically the assumption was that the officers and planners understood the complexities of the planning process, whilst members of the Brentford community didn't.

Of them, only Councillor Mel Collins (Brentford) had the courage to break ranks, expressing the view that more could be done towards making the application acceptable to local people and proposing deferral pending more work on the design. Sadly he received no backers and was destined to remain the lone abstention amongst the majority party (Labour) councillors.


Some 200 local people in the public gallery made their disappointment known, with comments such as "Shame on you!" being directed at the unrepentant Committee members.

Although this outcome is a setback for the people of Brentford, there is still much to play for. Only approximately 40% of the design was approved outright with the remainder being outline approval, with full approval still to be given. With a concerted effort residents and traders still have a chance to limit the damage.

It is worth noting that very recently a former Hounslow Conservative councillor who had been a party to approving the infamous 2009 Mogden planning application by Thames Water, which resulted in a predictable (to us) increase in odour rather than the claimed reduction, made an unsolicited intervention on a local community Internet forum to scoff about the fact that he and his family had now moved away from the area and therefore no longer had to live with the consequences of his decision. One wonders whether the Labour councillors who so nonchalantly imposed this appalling eyesore on the people of Brentford will in a few years be similarly in a position to taunt their victims from a faraway country retreat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was quite disgusted by this fiasco