Residents of Chiswick’s Barrowgate Road and surrounding streets are up in arms over planning proposals submitted by the AFN garage to build ‘four-storey car storage decks’ on the site of their current forecourt.

The plans submitted are for a metal clad structure that will extend the full length and breadth of their ground level car parking area and reach a height greater than 34 feet. The final building will extend for 70 metres along the Great West Road .

Those residents who will be most severely affected if the plans are approved are those on the south side of Barrowgate Road whose gardens back on to and are adjacent to the site. The new building would effectively hem in their homes blocking a considerable amount of daylight and sunlight for these houses and gardens. The new building will be out of character with the surrounding Victorian residential buildings, as is the existing showroom and workshop.

Even more galling for the residents is the fact that AFN claim the new building is necessary because of the imminent introduction of controlled parking zones on Barrowgate Road and the surrounding streets. AFN’s claim that this increases their requirement for additional parking areas for staff and customers is firmly rejected by the residents. They feel that one of the main aims of the residents’ parking restrictions is expressly to reduce the amount of commuter parking and to encourage people to use public transport to travel to and from work. The AFN claim flies in the face of this and would set a worrying precedent if it were to go ahead.

The Barrowgate Road area is easily accessible by public transport, with two London Underground stations and two main line stations within a ten-minute walk, not to mention the numerous bus services along Chiswick High Road.

As well as objecting to the size of the building, because of the detrimental impact on light and outlook, the residents also feel that the use of the building will be cause additional nuisance. The building will apparently be used for storage and parking of AFN’s vehicles, including an open roof car park , with access via a car lift. Residents are worried about the potential for invasions of privacy in their gardens and homes from staff, and possibly also from customers, accessing the open roof. They also object to the increased number of AFN support vehicles which will block their road.

An additional concern for the residents of the properties facing the AFN garage on the opposite side of the Great West Road (Cedars Road) is the potential for light pollution from illumination of a building double the size of the current property as well as their loss of view.

The residents of Barrowgate Road are writing to the council to express their considerable concerns and would urge any other Chiswick residents concerned about the expansion of this site to write and register their own objections to the case officer Colin Woodward at The Environmental Dept at Hounslow Council . The deadline for letters to reach the council is February 21st. For more information email

Fintan Coyle

Discussion of this matter on the forum