Battle Begins Against The 32-Storey Chiswick Curve
Local groups unite against the plan with protest meeting planned
The Chiswick Curve from Strand on the Green
Local residents' groups, councillors, and members of the community have joined together to organise major protests against the proposed 32-storey Chiswick Curve, with the first step a meeting at the Chiswick Memorial Club, Bourne Place, W4, Wednesday 27th January, between 7:30 and 9:30.
One local councillor has described it as a 'life and death' struggle against the development which would tower over the skyline in Chiswick as the tallest building in west London. A petition will be set up and a rally organised.
Representatives of the developers (Gailliard) gave presentations to the Chiswick and Isleworth & Brentford forums last week where they received a frosty reception from local residents.
A spokesperson for Chiswick High Road Action Group (CHRAG) said that local residents are deeply upset at the new proposal.
"It is far too high - at a greedy 32 storeys it is far higher than anything for miles around. The building will dominate - blight - views in all directions.
"The transport infrastructure cannot cope with the traffic disruption this (in addition to other developments in Brentford) will bring. Chiswick Roundabout is already at a standstill many times a week. Gunnersbury tube station is already over-crowded, to the point where residents have been asked not to use it at rush hours. Kew station is little better."
The 96 "affordable" homes would not be within the price range of local people in real need of accommodation and the public realm improvements which the developers had put forward at the CAF meeting were "trivial."
"A roundabout that already has one of the highest pollution levels in Europe is not a suitable place for living, let alone for the a playground." The building would add few advantages to the local area but much damage.
The chairman of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society (WCGS) Marie Rabouhans, who will speak at the meeting on Wednesday, said that they opposed the development for a number of reasons;
"All these issues are relevant to current consultation on the Great West Corridor. The Chiswick Roundabout is the gateway to Chiswick town centre. What we need at the end of the "Golden Mile" is a full stop not an exclamation mark!"
Turnham Green ward Councillor Adrian Lee has described it as "a life and death issue" for both West Chiswick and the wider community.
"We are determined to fight this proposal via every peaceful means. This is not a party political issue as it affects each and every one of us. We hope that the community will come together to save the special nature of Chiswick and Gunnersbury.”
Councillor Samantha Davies has described the proposed building as "a game-changer" which would "permanently scar the Chiswick skyline forever."
Cllr. Peter Thompson said: “How on earth is the current local infrastructure going to cope with all of these new residents and employees, especially coming on top of the massive Brentford Football Club enabling development just down the road? We are talking about literally thousands of new residents in this corner of Chiswick. Where are new schools and health-centres to serve these people? What would be the impact on our roads and public transport?
The tower at Chiswick roundabout will contain up to 320 new apartments with 1-3 bedrooms and an expected 800 new residents. There will also be 50,000 square feet of commercial space including offices and restaurants which is anticipated will accommodate 400 staff. The second one will be 25 storeys high and linked to other tower at the lower levels.
The Curve from Kew Bridge
A formal planning application was submitted by Starbones Limited to Hounslow Council on 21 December 2015. If planning permission is granted, the resulting skyscraper would be the tallest building in West London, higher than Trellick Tower in Paddington.
Letters have now been sent by Hounslow Council to hundreds of homes in Chiswick asking for comment. The deadline for residents to make comments is 1 February, although comments received after this date will still be considered if a decision has not been made by the Council.
Planning applications are evaluated against the Council's planning policies as set out in the Local Development Plan.
The Curve outside Gunnersbury station on Chiswick High Road
Another view from Strand on the Green
From Chiswick streets near Wellesley Road
A view from the A4
Looking north from Strand on the Green
Skyscraper viewed from Chiswick Roundabout
The developers claim that an outward facing design approach and 'public realm strategy' will overcome the severance effect of the M4 flyover. They are also promising an improved pedestrian and cyclist environment beneath the M4 flyover.
Skyscraper viewed from the south of Chiswick Roundabout
January 23, 2016