Chiswick Business Park plan tower block

Approval being sought for 12 storey offices close to Bollo Lane


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One of London's biggest office developments is set to get bigger if the owners of Chiswick Business Park have their way.

They are asking the Council to consider proposals which would expand the total size of the scheme by increasing substantially the height of some of the towers in the northern part of the development. When the project was initiated Chiswick Business Park was the second largest office development in the UK after Canary Wharf; this new plan would expand the total floor space by 28%

The application is for two buildings in Phase 3 of the project which will be at the end of the development closer to Bollo Lane. One of them will be twelve storeys high significantly higher than the existing 5 storey offices in the part of the project that is completed. Chiswick Business Park already has permission for an 8 storey building in the area.

According to the Acton Green Residents' Association, who are opposed to the plans, the building would seriously affect the privacy available to the rear of properties in Ivy Crescent, Bollo Lane and Weston Road. Overshadowing is also a concern - in the winter months, according to the applicant's assessment - gardens in Ivy Crescent will be in shadow from 3pm. In addition the 'wind tunnel' effect of having such large buildings is felt to have not been sufficiently investigated.

38 letters of objection to the plans have been received with only one letter in support. One local commented "Residents of West Chiswick do not want any tall buildings in the area, even if they are on the Business Park. Furthermore we are fed up with developers attempting to use the BSI building (17 storeys) as a yardstick for what is acceptable."

Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve has objected to the proposal on the grounds that it would mar the skyline and be detrimental to the movement of wild life in what is a designated green corridor.

Many residents are concerned that although there will be significant increase in occupation of the development the new plans actually reduces the number of parking spaces on the development. Even with the project less than half completed substantial local parking problems have developed.

The applicant's proposal claims that the existing transport infrastructure would be adequate to deal with the influx of new workers. However, an independent assessment commissioned by Hounslow Council and undertaken by ARUPs concluded that improvements would be necessary to cope with extra demand from the scheme.

The plans are to be put before the Chiswick Area Planning Committee next Wednesday for comment, and the decision to approve or reject will be taken by the Sustainable Development Committee of Hounslow Council, possibly at their meeting on December 23rd.

November 21, 2003