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Alsop urges mayor to step in on 550-home west London scheme


Will Alsop has questioned Sadiq Khan’s decision not to challenge Hounslow Council’s refusal of his 550-home Brentford scheme, after the mayor of London intervened on an adjacent proposal.

The local authority rejected the three-tower plans from Will Alsop’s practice aLL Design at 1-4 Capital Interchange Way in west London just before Christmas. The mayor decided at a meeting on 12 December that he was ‘content’ for the decision to stand.

However, when notified last week that the same council was minded to refuse consent for a 427-home Hawkins\Brown scheme on an adjacent site, Khan decided to intervene by taking over planning powers for the application.

Alsop told the AJ it was ‘odd’ that the mayor had intervened on one scheme but not the other.

‘In terms of housing numbers and heights they are similar,’ he said. ‘It is a missed opportunity. These jobs and houses are well needed.’

Alsop urged the mayor to take a fresh look at his practice’s 69,471m² scheme, saying: ‘He can change his mind.’

The project was initially hailed as a major part of the renaissance of the Golden Mile, an industry-lined stretch of the Great West Road running west through Hounslow from the boundary with Chiswick.

Alsop said recent planning decisions meant the reality in Hounslow was ‘falling far short’ of this Golden Mile vision.

Khan will consider the Hawkins\Brown scheme at a representation hearing at City Hall later in the year.

A planning report from the mayor’s office on the aLL Design scheme noted: ‘There are no sound planning reasons for the mayor to intervene in this particular case.’ 

A Hounslow Council decision notice said the aLL Design towers ‘by virtue of their location, scale, and design would cause serious harm to the significance of a range of designated heritage assets including listed buildings and conservation areas’.

The Hawkins\Brown scheme for developer L&Q features towers of up to 18 storeys, while the aLL Design scheme, for Facilitas Technical Engineering Services, has buildings of up to 20 storeys.

Brentford hawkins and alsop

Brentford hawkins and alsop


Readers' comments (3)

  • For heaven’s sake, look at the pictures. Only a blind Mayor would approve these “sod-the-locality” designs.

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  • Which locality? The elevated section of the M4? Self Storage? B+Q? The proposed Brentford FC stadium and flats? Brentford Fountains Leisure Centre? Gunnersbury Cemetry?

    The Mayor hasn’t intervened because he can’t be seen to be supporting aesthetically challenging and innovative private sector flats, albeit above a bus depot. He prefers much needed 70s looking Council housing blocks which are 40% affordable. But we need a wide range of provisions to resolve the housing conundrum?

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  • SevenLamps

    Given the proposed scale of the buildings, an assessment of 'locality' needs to include areas further afield, where you might just find a locality which includes one of the finest riverside conservation areas in London: http://www.panoramaofthethames.com/pott/strand-2013/vill-strand-on-the-green-2013

    One which would arguably not be preserved, enhanced or better understood by the imposition of something that makes no attempt to respond to the character of its wider context: http://www.brentfordtw8.com/info/images/ciwsotg.jpg

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