Chiswick Group Welcomes Boulton House Decision

Advertising signage for tower block refused by Council



Chiswick Councillor Queries Costs Over Planning 'Blunder'

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The West Chiswick And Gunnersbury Society ( WCGS) has welcomed Hounslow Council's refusal of an application for illuminated signage on a Council tower block near Brentford.

The application for advertising on Boulton House residential tower blocks was originally granted by the Sustainable and Development Committee. But following an outcry and legal action by The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the Council refused the application. The grounds for refusal were that it would be detrimental to the surrounding environmental area and would have an adverse effect on local amenities including the Kew Gardens World Heritage Site, Gunnersbury Park Conservation Area, St. Paul's Conservation Area and listed buildings such as Thames Riverside.

The relevant decision notice is available on the LBH planning web site (00506/J/AD1).

Marie Rabouhans, President of the WCGS said;"As you can imagine, we are very pleased with this decision. The reasons for refusal  accord with the views of the Society and other organisations who objected.

"We were also pleased to learn recently that the appeal concerning a freestanding advertising structure in front of the B and Q store had been dismissed."

Ms. Rabouhans added :" The Society is encouraged by these two decisions as it sees the proliferation of advertising aimed at traffic on the elevated section of the M4 as being detrimental to the quality of life for residents in our area. As we have said, high-level illuminated advertisements in this part of the borough only serve to increase the influence of the M4 on the area. People living here do not want the motorway to be the defining feature of their neighbourhood."

Hounslow Council's Sustainable Development Committee approved the controversial plans for the top of Boulton House in Brentford, against the advice of planning officials.

The Royal Botanic Gardens then challenged this planning assent, claiming it threatened its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After obtaining legal advice, the Council then agreed that it needed to seek permission from the High Court to quash the initially defective decision, so that the application could be reconsidered by the Council. The consent was quashed by the High Court.

The West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society was one of several groups to oppose the signage. The original decision by the planning committee to allow the illuminated signage on Boulton House, one of the six 23-storey council-owned residential tower blocks in Green Dragon Lane was made in June 2012 despite objections from English Heritage, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the London Borough of Richmond.

Councillor Liz Mammatt (Conservative Deputy Group Leader, Bedfont) commented: “Labour has finally done a U-turn and bowed to the professionals.”

She described it as a waste of Council taxpayers money on costly legal and administrative "bungled decisions".



April 21, 2013

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