'Apart-Hotel' Plan for Site Near Chiswick High Road

Windmill Road residents respond angrily to serviced apartments development

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A plan to build an ‘apart-hotel’ on Windmill Road, just off Chiswick High Road, has provoked an angry response from local residents.

The scheme to create 85 serviced apartments on the site in a block behind the Pain Quotidien café will see a site comprising a disused three storey office building and car park being redeveloped.

The owners of the site, Lamington UK, specialise in serviced apartments and rentals in West London for business and leisure guests. They own and manage similar facilities in Fulham, Brook Green and Hammersmith. An apart-hotel is a hybrid hotel complex that provides for self catering visitors typically business people on short term lets or tourists. In their existing properties approximately 44% were corporate guests and 66% were leisure guests.

Overall, the average length of stay for both leisure and corporate guests across all of Lamington’s room types is roughly 7 nights. It has been calculated by Lamington that over the past 12 months that serviced apartments have been occupied at 93% across all room types.

The building to be demolished on Windmill Road

The building to be demolished on Windmill Road. Photo: Google Maps

Robert Godwin, Managing Director of Lamington UK, said,“We are excited to be bringing forward our new plans for high-quality serviced-apartments to Chiswick. It is a natural expansion of our local business which has up until now been mainly based in nearby Hammersmith. We aim to replace the outdated office building in Windmill Road with an elegant building which includes high quality materials.

“Once built, it will help fulfil the need for more quality overnight accommodation in the area and generate new jobs and apprenticeships. It will also bring inward investment through guests using local shops, restaurants and services."

Artist's impression of what the new building might look like

Artist's impression of what the new building might look like

Local objectors say that the scheme is far too dense for the location it will bring around 170 new ‘residents’ to a road that was previously a relatively quiet stretch of two storey railway cottages.

Alexandria Frenkiel said, "I find it wholly inappropriate for this street. Car parking is already in short supply with 25 homes on Chiswick Common and the sports centre. To outnumber the residents with four times as many short stay densely packed visitors will have a grossly detrimental effect on the street and on our lives."

Other residents say their preference would have been for a previous plan for the site which would have seen six town houses built there. Also the new building will be larger than the existing one and a storey higher. The upper levels of the proposal will be set back from the front elevation which the developer claims will reduce the overall massing.

The car park beyond the one outside Marks & Spencers will be part of the site

The car park beyond the one outside Marks & Spencers will be part of the site. Photo: Google Maps

The site is not located in a conservation area and the building is not listed and has been vacant for over 12 months.

Lamington UK submitted a pre-application request to Hounslow Council just before Christmas. Subsequently a pre-application meeting was arranged with a Hounslow planning officer in January and discussions between the developer and the Council have been ongoing since January focused on height, massing, outlook and parking.

The developer says that an exhibition of the proposals was held in Chiswick Library during July and 500 leaflets were sent out to residents informing them of the plans. They say 37 people attended the exhibition over two days. Some residents of Windmill Road say that they were unaware of the scheme until the planning application was drawn to their attention. This first appeared on Hounslow Council’s web site on 6 August. With the deadline for responses to the proposal only 3 weeks away, opponents of the scheme say this is too short a time for people to voice their objections particularly with many residents away on holiday.

August 14, 2015