Residents' letter opposing Pier House School

Alpha Plus's Proposed Pier House School back on the agenda as amended plans submitted


(Second) Planning application – Pier House - 85 Strand on the Green

Planning reference 01076/J/P19 :
Address : Stefan Van Vuuren – Case Officer (01076/J/P19)
Planning Department
London Borough of Hounslow
The Civic Centre
Lampton Road - Hounslow TW3 4DN
Telephone: 0208 583 5187

Plans for inspection : building plans for the site and school travel plan can be seen at Chiswick Library 09.30am - 5.30pm Monday - Saturday

Deadline for representation to Hounslow Council Monday August 25 2003

New Application
Hounslow Council Planning Department are consulting on a second application from Alpha Plus (Falcons Schools) for Change of Use for Pier House from business to educational. The new application is essentially as before, except that Alpha Plus has now produced a school travel plan to challenge the congestion and environmental objections on which the previous refusal was based only six weeks ago (see below).

Previous application
As you will know at a meeting held on 26/06/2003 the decision on the original application was FULL PLANNING PERMISSION REFUSED. The conditions/reasons given were as follows:

1. The proposed development would increase congestion and environmental intrusion by traffic using adjoining and nearby highways contrary to Policy T.2.3 of the Unitary Development Plan and Policy T.4.3 of the Unitary Development Plan (Revised).

2. The proposed development would increase environmental intrusion by traffic which would detract from the character of the Strand on the Conservation Area contrary Policy ENV 1.2 of the Unitary Development Plan and ENV- B 2.2 of the Unitary Development Plan (Revised).

3. The proposed brick wall and acoustic fence would visually dominate adjoining gardens and would therefore be detrimental to the amenities of residents contrary to Policy ENV 1.1 of the Unitary Development Plan and Policy ENV- B 1.1 of the Unitary Development Plan (Revised).

Basis of local objections to the first application
A group of most affected residents identified the following major objections to this application :
1. Road / public safety
• Outstanding - review of safety Thames Road/Strand on the Green promised in February 2002 by London Borough of Hounslow at the time of the proposed extension of the 272 bus route from Grove Park to Kew Bridge and beyond – still not published
• Outstanding - review of Junction of Strand on the Green /South Circular at Kew Bridge – scheduled for 2003-4 - awaited
• Potential traffic gridlock and backup in Spring Grove with ambulances, patient pickup and meals on wheels to Melody Court retirement home
• Increased traffic will exacerbate the morning backup of traffic from Thames Road / Strand on the Green to the junction and the narrow `priority' channel under the railway bridge on Thames Road behind the City Barge will have even longer queues in each direction
• Road safety issues for children of this age crossing to and from Kew Bridge station and bus stops : this means increased car drop-off and pick-up (there has already been a fatality on this junction 18 months ago and no changes have been instituted), and safety issues for senior citizens living at The Maltings, Spring Grove.

2. Environmental issues
• Considerably increased traffic movements through the conservation area of Strand on the Green as demonstrated by Falcons School's own Transport Assessment which accompanied the original planning application.
• Coaches will be used to take the children to and from their sports activities at Duke’s Meadows – these coaches will presumably enter and leave from Kew Bridge end. It is unclear how they would get from Pier House to Dukes Meadows given that a large coach presumably could not use the priority system under the bridge at the City Barge: this was the argument used against the extension of the 272 bus route.
• There will also be smaller coaches picking up children who need to be bussed to school. Obviously these coaches cannot turn around on Strand on the Green: the only turning facilities would be using Spring Grove or Waldeck Road, although the latter is not mentioned in the Assessment document.
• Car parking – double parking and traffic gridlock as the parents of +/- 420 children drop off and collect twice each day – this creates safety and pollution issues, and will create parking problems for local residents as spaces in the Pier House car park will be reduced from 45 to 25 cars to enable the remaining area to become a recreation zone.
• Has any evaluation been done on the safety issues of sanitation and sewage provision?
• Litter and graffiti

3. Sustainability of Strand on the Green Conservation area
How many schools can be sustained within a few hundred yards: this area already has Strand on the Green school with approx 350 pupils and staff, with all of the above problems, apart from the fact they have their own playground. The new proposal would effectively double the number of children at exactly the same traffic `pinch’ times, which of course also coincide with the rest of the commuter traffic hours.
• Noise pollution issues for closest residents- almost 50% of the car park will be childrens’ play area. This is still a small space so the recreation breaks for 420 children will be staggered : ie a continuous break period of playground noise.
• Strand on the Green is the oldest Conservation Area within Hounslow Borough and Councils are charged with protecting the atmosphere and sustainability of designated Conservation Areas.

Please give this application your urgent attention and if you have views please contact the Council by the deadline date of Monday 25 August 2003.

Dorothy Boland
Chris Smith
Simon Derry
Julia Philpott

August 16, 2003

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