Gunnersbury Station Campaign Gets Long Awaited S106 Funds
One of the few Chiswick projects to receive allocated funds
The campaign to upgrade Gunnersbury Station has received a long-awaited boost with the announcement of over £600,000 S106 funding for measures to improve overcrowding at the busy tube station.
However this is not "new" money - but is the balance of unspent money from planning obligations placed upon the developers of the Chiswick Business Park to improve Gunnersbury Station.
The chair of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society (WCGS), Marie Rabouhans said that while it might seem like a lot of money, it was part of the sum agreed in 2012 as S106 funding from Chiswick Business Park. The WCGS hoped some of this would allow Network Rail to carry out a feasibility study on further improvements to the station.
Chiswick as a whole received a small portion of the £13 million from the S106 funds for nearly 300 projects across the borough announced by LBH. The fund allocated money to CPZ consultations, a six-figure sum to 'countdown' equipment at Isleworth bus stops, and work on parks and recreation grounds across the borough.
S106 agreements are legal contracts made between Councils and developers during the planning process to mitigate the impact of the development in question and the funding is assigned to be used by the Council for providing infrastructure such as community facilities, public transport, roads and schools- if it is not spent within a specific time period, the money has to be returned.
The biggest sum allocated to Chiswick was the granting of £637,500 to assist "capacity and access" at the Gunnersbury station as well as funding towards the pedestrian crossing outsides the station's main entrance. The bus shelter outside is currently being improved through TfL funds. Locals say this has been long-awaited funding.
The Abundance group was disappointed that no funding was allocated to create a mural on the wall near Turnham Green tube station. Other funding approved for Chiswick projects include; £2,374 as requested by the Strand on the Green Association, towards the play area on Thames Road and £17,000 for refencing the west side of the Turnham Green boundary as requested by the Friends of Turnham Green.
Hounslow & Brentford Friends of the Earth complained that that there was not one biodiversity (wildlife and habitats) project in 110 projects in the Brentford & Isleworth or the Chiswick list.
The Council said these requests will be given an answer in June 2015.
Overall Transport, Traffic and Parking - 190 projects allocated over £8 million in S106 funding;
Leisure and Open Space (59 projects) allocated over £2 million; Health projects (3) a total of £633,522; Economic Development (7) allocated funding of £60,000; Employment and Skills (10) allocated £319,000. The overall total funding for 269 projects was £11.4 million.
January 19, 2015