Residents' Objections Overruled

As Council grants permission for retail unit on site of former BMW showroom

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Regardless of the many objections from local residents, Hounslow Council has granted planning permission to change the use of the former BMW showroom on Chiswick High Road into a retail unit.

The site's freeholder employed the services of local planning permission consultancy MZA Associated who told, "Despite objections from local residents and months of appealing we managed to secure planning approval for our client. This is a key site on Chiswick High Road and local residents felt so strongly about its use."

Although Council papers say that neighbouring residents were notified in March 2010, a number of people living in Chiswick Road (which runs behind the former showroom parallel to the High Road) said that they were not aware of the planning application.

Amongst the objections the Council did receive were:

Objection: Large floor area of unit, with a high annual rent. Would not expect that small independent retailers would be able to locate on the site. Would not want larger retailers such as Tesco, Lidl as would detrimentally affect the local feel of the parade.

Council: We have no control over whether a large scale retailer or smaller operator would lease the premises. The change of use to an A1 retail unit would allow either of these uses. This has been taken into account in this assessment and it is considered with appropriate conditions that the proposal would not harm the retail parade."

Objection: Would like assurances made that no changes would be made to the rear elevation as property faces directly onto rear elevation. The application does not include any external changes to the rear elevation. Any changes to the shop front would need to be considered in a separate planning application. Application states that most customers would travel by foot. This is entirely dependent on the type of retail unit.

Council: Chiswick Road is not suitable for large scale or frequent deliveries of goods. The road is narrow, one way with a parking and cycle lane on one side. All deliveries should therefore be made from the front of the property.

Objection: A condition is proposed which would ensure a double yellow line is placed on Chiswick Road. Deliveries should not be made outside of business hours as will disturb surrounding residents. Deliveries cannot be made on Chiswick Road due to the narrow nature of the road and the double yellow line proposed outside the premises. A condition has been recommended which would ensure that deliveries are restricted to Chiswick High Road.

Council: Existing parking problems in the area. Proposal could worsen these. Area is within a Controlled Parking Zone. Accordingly there is no ability for customers to use the surrounding carparks.

October 6, 2010