Public Inquiry Into The 32-Storey Curve Concludes

Closing submissions from interested parties were heard on final two days

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The Public Inquiry into the 32-storey Chiswick Curve concluded this Friday (6 July), at Brentford Free Church, with closing submissions from parties concerned.

The submissions distilled the four weeks of evidence, cross-examination and re-examination of the Inquiry and summed up the positions of the Council, Historic England, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Kew Society and the appellant, Starbones.

The Inspector conducting the Inquiry, Paul Griffiths BSc(Hons) BArch IHBC will report back to the Secretary of State who will make the final decision on the matter.

All the submissions from the relevant parties can be read here.

Counsel for Hounslow Council said that if the appeal (by Starbones, against refusal of planning permission) was allowed it would "drive a coach and horses" through the schemes envisaged by the Council in the area.

Marie Rabouhans chair of the West Chiswick & Gunnersbury Society, who has attended the whole inquiry, said, on behalf of local residents that if the the development went ahead, it would 'seriously diminish' the quality of life enjoyed in Chiswick and Kew.

The 'public benefits' of the Curve, as argued for by the appellant, were of limited value and the cumulative impact would be baseline creep, leading to an erosion of heritage value.

Earlier she told the Inquiry that the Curve would be "alien and alienating - demeaning and belittling the intimate, human scale of our neighbourhoods and destroying our sense of place in Chiswick".

"WCGS disagrees fundamentally with the overall position of the appellant (Starbones) that the development would deliver public benefits that would outweigh the harm. What is at stake is what will be lost, -an open skyline, a river view- or diminished-the essence and spirit of a place-and these will be lost or diminished forever." You can read the full submission of the WCGS.

Submissions were heard during the Inquiry from other Chiswick groups including Strand on the Green Residents Association, Cllr Joanna Biddolph, resident Ruth Mayorcas, and James Wisdom on behalf of the Friends of Gunnersbury Park. You can read our coverage here.

A view from the A4
A view from the A4 of rejected scheme

Historic England, The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and the Kew Society also spoke against the develoment. Much of the submissions centred around the 'harm' caused to heritage assets by the height and density of the proposed development. Starbones in its opening submission, claimed that it would be a public benefit and this would outweigh any 'harm'.

There are two parts to the appeal, the first is against the planning refusal, and the second is against refusal for the advertising.


July 7, 2018

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