Hounslow Council Rejects Empire House Criticism
Deny claims that they bypassed proper consultation for the scheme
Hounslow Council has responded to claims made by local residents in Chiswick about the manner in which it handled the planning process for the Empire House development.
Recently Chiswickw4.com reported that a group of residents planned to back a challenge to the scheme on Chiswick High Road. They claimed that the whole process had "effectively bypassed proper consultation and consideration of the sustainable future of the site and the area around it".
Hounslow Council responded today (April 24) stating: "Full consultation of neighbouring businesses and residents was carried out by the council by way of letters and site and press notices. The applicant also held two very well attended public exhibitions prior to lodging their application, having also leafleted the local area in advance.
“The council's decision - following extensive debate at the public Planning Committee meeting at which applicants and objectors were all given the opportunity to speak - was taken with regard to Hounslow's Development Plan, as well as other material considerations relating to the site and the proposal, including emerging policies from the yet to be adopted Local Plan, which is presently undergoing examination.
“Importantly, the applicant did not propose demolition of the existing tall building on the site and the merits of the scheme were assessed on this basis.
“Overall, the development is an opportunity for significant townscape improvements by refurbishing the existing tower block, enhancing the disused shops along the High Road, building quality homes, and resurfacing and landscaping along Essex Place to create a more attractive street.
“The scheme will help create jobs and much needed new homes in Chiswick, including affordable housing, at an appropriate location close to shops, services and public transport links.“The amount of affordable housing was shown to be the maximum viable for the development by an independent assessor. The affordable housing is secured by a legal agreement that requires re-testing of the feasibility of the development, to ensure that if the scheme becomes more viable, more affordable housing or a contribution towards affordable housing in the borough"
April 24, 2015