Better Local Government
CHISWICK AREA COMMITTEE – 23 MAY 2002
391-409 CHISWICK HIGH ROAD AND ADJOINING LAND
568-596 CHISWICK HIGH ROAD AND ADJOINING LAND
LAND ADJACENT TO GUNNERSBURY STATION
Report by: Director of Environmental Services
RECOMMENDATIONS1. THAT MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE MAKE COMMENTS ON THESE PLANNING APPLICATIONS.
00248/BY/P1 00248/BX/P1 00248/586-596/P1 (ID)
1.1 A 391-409 CHISWICK HIGH ROAD AND ADJOINING LAND
B 568-596 CHISWICK HIGH ROAD AND ADJOINING LAND
C LAND ADJACENT TO GUNNERSBURY STATION
(TURNHAM GREEN) (01.10.2001 AMENDED 05.04.2002)
2.1 a. Proposed construction of a 28-storey building and a second freestanding 3-storey building. The 28‑storey building is primarily residential with a retail podium incorporating a food store, A1 (shops), A3 (food and drink) at first floor and 4 floors of housing above the podium. The freestanding three-storey building contains retail, community uses and residential. Both buildings front a landscaped public piazza. There are two levels of basement car and cycle parking and a third basement level of bulk-store.
b. Proposed construction of office building with a roof curving from sixth to ninth floor and a three-storey residential building. There are two levels of basement car and cycle parking and a further 6 car spaces. There are additional public landscaped areas fronting the high road.
c. Proposed pedestrian walkway from high road to new station building and including retail and A3 (food and drink) facility.
Drawing nos. 0001, 0002, 1010, 1011, 1012, 1013, 1015, 1016, 1017, 2010, 2011, 2013, 1030, 1031, 2030, 2031, 1040, 3000.
2.2 The proposal consists of three planning applications but are considered together as one scheme. The proposals have been amended and the amended proposals are being reported for consideration.
3.0 SITES DESCRIPTION
3.1 The proposals relate to three sites on either side of Chiswick High Road located some 500m east of Chiswick Roundabout and some 600m west of Turnham Green and Chiswick Town Centre. They have a total area of 1.0924ha.
3.2 Site A 391-409 Chiswick High Road comprises 391/407 (odd) a terrace of three storey shops and upper parts and 409, a two storey double fronted detached villa. At the rear a timber yard and car parking with access of Gunnersbury Mews. To the south of the timber yard is a parcel of scrubland.
3.3 Sites B592, 594 and 596 Chiswick High Road, three two-storey and semi basement Victorian terraces houses with doctor's surgery at number 594. 596/590 Chiswick High Road is the John Bull Public House, a three-storey 1880s public house. 578-584 is a part three/part four-storey office building occupied by Singapore Airlines.
3.4 Site C This site consists of railway operational land including airspace over the track and embankment.
3.5 To the east of Site B is Chiswick Park a 4/5 storey business park in the course of construction, to the north is Silver Crescent a residential street and to the west is Chiswick Gate a 4/5 storey office building. Site A is bounded to the west by residential properties and to the east by the 1960s BS1 office block and its car park.
4.1 No previous applications have been submitted for comprehensive development of the sites.
Existing car parking 105 Proposed car parking 253
5.1 The proposed development consists of five new buildings separated into three main parts.
5.2 On the south of the Chiswick High Road (Site A) is a new high rise building of twenty-eight floors (stepping from a first setback at 22nd floor in three setbacks to 28th floor). This building accommodates single and duplex level apartments (including key worker housing), basement car and bicycle parking, a foodstore (of 1,427sq.m) and other retail elements and is set in a new public piazza. A smaller affordable residential apartment block with an entrance addressing the public piazza is sited on the podium above the foodstore and a new community-uses, retail and residential building, fronting the Chiswick High Road and the piazza, complete the composition. The total accommodation on the south site is 209 apartments (of which 52 are affordable/key worker) and 4025m˛ of retail/health club/ancillary spaces and community use.
5.3 All the buildings on the south site will enjoy frontages to the new public piazza, which will reinforce the boulevard-like atmosphere that already exists along the Chiswick High Road by continuing the planting of semi-mature plane trees along the site boundary. High quality landscaping and outdoor seating will encourage retail uses such as coffee shop/restaurant that can contribute to enlivening this space through use of outdoor tables and service.
5.4 To the north of Chiswick High Road (site B), buildings include an office building of 10834m˛ with basement car and bicycle parking and a residential building of 17 Key Worker apartments. The office building has a curved roof falling from the ninth floor adjacent to the existing office park to six floors as it faces toward Silver Crescent. At the western end of this site the building is further set back and curves toward Silver Crescent.
5.5 Adjoining the office building and fronting Silver Crescent a smaller scale Key Worker housing building is proposed with at grade car parking to the rear.
5.6 To the south-east of the main apartment building the existing Gunnersbury Station (site C) will be improved, and a new access provided. This link will provide a presence on the High Road. The access way incorporates a retail pavilion, improved lighting and street furniture and bicycle parking areas.
5.7 An Environmental Impact Analysis and a Transport Assessment have been submitted
6.1 The applications have been advertised and site notices displayed as departures from Development Plan and as major/significant proposals.
6.2 Consultation letters have been sent to about 600 local occupiers and 136 replies have been received objecting to the proposals. Reconsultation is being carried out on the amended proposals Issues raised in the initial consultation include the following which will need to be considered when a decision is made on the applications:
Comments 1. UDP ENV 1.1 requires that a development is compatible with and seeks to enhance, the character of the area in terms of size, scale, materials and design. Also to avoid any sunlight being prevented from reaching adjacent properties. The 30 storey block plus its plant and lift machinery levels on top fails to conform to these policies.
2. The Schatunowski Brooks report states that "The new office development will affect the daylighting to the adjacent and opposite premises in Silver Crescent whilst the new residential block on the south side of the tower will affect the whole of the eastern elevations of Reubans Court". The analysis of shadows by that consultant for 10am in March/September shows that the BSI block affects the first six properties in Silver Crescent. The proposed tower, 70% taller, affects many additional properties including more in Thorney Hedge Road as well. In December the proposed tower would shadow all of the houses in both roads through the late morning period. The applicant's own evidence shows the effect would be unacceptable.
3. The Council's policies (in IMP.4.2) require that any proposal for a new building should take into account LPAC's Guidance on high buildings and the effect on adjoining residential areas, parks and gardens, strategic and Thames views and Metropolitan Open Land. The height and position of the proposed building would result in it spoiling local views and it would be oppressive to nearby residents.
4. UDP IMP4.4 covers the scale, design and mass of a proposed scheme and its effect upon the local area. The 'Chiswick West' tower block does not meet the policy objectives.
5. UDP ENV1.2 requires the protection of Conservation Areas. The proposed tower block would be visible as a blot on the landscape and skyline from all eight conservation areas in this part of the borough and others nearby in the borough of Ealing. The areas of Strand on the Green and Gunnersbury Park Estate would be affected particularly.
6. UDP ENV b 1.3 and ENV 1.6 reinforce that local views are intended to be protected by the Council's development plan. The tall building would not conform to those policies it is on a small site, is not related to the surrounding area, would adversely affect the amenities of surrounding sites and would mar the skyline from many open spaces. It would be visible in views for which the three local authorities in the area have UDP entries to protect on a mutual basis.
7. The required plot ratios for new buildings as specified in the UDP, would not be met.
8. UDP ENV 4.11, ENV N 1.16, ENV N 1 seek to protect the views from historic parks and gardens. The proposal for the tower block does not respect those policies.
9. The report that accompanies the planning application states that "in terms of the strategic locality, it is accepted that there would be some adverse effects". These effects have not be minimised by the architect before this application was made.
10. The office block on Site 2 fails to conform to several of the policies above. Although it has a curved roof profile that leads to a lower side of the building where it is alongside the Chiswick Park offices, it fails to relate to those and to other offices along the north side of Chiswick High Road. That is contrary to UDP ENV B 1.1 which would require it to relate to its siting. The block is probably two storeys too high for its location. If it was lower, the adverse impact described above on nearby homes would be reduced.
11. The Housing Strategy of LB Hounslow, and the UDP H 4.1 policy for affordable housing are not met by this proposal. The GLA sustainable development guidelines specify that at least half of the development should be of that type. Those are 35% social rented and 15% intermediate and key worker. The height of the tower block should be reduced and these percentages then achieved in the final total configuration. There should be affordable housing in whatever the tower block is revised to be , to meet the GLA mixed development principles.
12. UDP T1 requires that sustainable development should reduce the need to travel and UDP T4 relates to the reduction in the use of the private car. This development would introduce over 230 parking spaces and it is important that the facilities that its inhabitants need are within easy walking distance. That would require a supermarket on the ground floor of the proposed tower block and related retail and service facilities on the floor above. Part of the ground floor of all other proposed buildings. A whole parade of shops from 534 to 546 Chiswick High Road was replaced recently by new housing and a parade of shops is lost in this proposal. The amount of retail in the development should be increased. This will meet the Council's Shopping policies in its UDP and the retail aspects of PPG6.
13. Conditions should be applied in the case of any eventual planning approval to ensure that the A1 units are available in an on-going basis at affordable rents, related to other out of town centre locations. Change of use from A1 to A3 should be discouraged in whatever way that the Council can achieve.
14. PPG13 requires that local authorities should revise parking standards to allow for significant lower levels of off-street parking. The developer is proposing a number of car parking spaces that appears to be within the Council's standards but LB Hounslow should consider if recent GLA planning principles should not reduce that further for the residential duplex apartments. This would allow for some key worker and social housing parking, instead of the surprising figure of zero, as proposed in the application.
15. Facilities for parking by disabled persons will need attention.
16. The car provision for patients visiting the doctor and dentist consultation rooms is below the Council's standards. This should be reconsidered. There must be adequate provision also for vehicles used by medical staff for their off-site visits and trips.
17. UDP T2 requires that car traffic and the demand for road space should be reduced. This would necessitate that residents in the 'Chiswick West' development are not allowed to purchase parking permits for the West Chiswick Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). This has been done in the case of a development in Putney.
18. This development of over 300 homes (plus the hotel, which is badly needed) would lead to a high level of demand by residents' visitor for Pay & Display facilities in nearby residential street. The parking predictions indicate that the spaces underneath the office block on Site 2 are full by 11am. This does not allow much flexibility for business visitors. This visitor and business commuter parking demand must not be provisioned by a reduction in the amount of kerb space in the nearby CPZ streets for existing residents. Any such effects would make this development unsustainable.
19. The demand for road space is of concern with regard to vehicle movements into and out of the sites and the potential conflict with traffic entering and leaving the Chiswick Business Park. The flow of traffic heading east on Chiswick High Road could be restricted by the right turn into Site 1. The queue of eastbound vehicles waiting to enter the Chiswick Business Park in the mornings could further delay other traffic if the slip road allowed for them is of insufficient length. The main entrance to the office building is at the same point, attracting inevitable short wait delivery and collection vehicles (UDPT5).
20. The local road network is wrongly reported in the application by Buchanan in their transport assessment. The road into Chiswick Park does not provide access for all traffic to Bollo Lane. That was prevented by a condition in the approval for the development by Stanhope plc. Buchanan also stresses the importance of gaining approval for building over the tracks of the District and North London lines to provide the necessary rebuilding of the station and its new entrance, ticket hall and accessibility facilities.
21. If insufficient area over the tracks is allowed for development it may also be possible to increase the footprint of the affordable housing and increase the number of such units.
22. The wind effect analysis in the application papers warns that there will be strong down winds caused by the height and shape of the proposed tower. The consultants recommend a horizontal canopy running around the sides of the tower at an appropriate level to deflect the winds. Even then it is implied that there will be turbulence in the open space between the buildings. There is a further recommendation that the microclimate around the base of the tower needs to be tested with a scale model in a suitable wind tunnel facility. However it is of concern that such risks are inherent in this design of a tower block above the platforms of an open station and near to private housing and gardens. The necessary modifications with canopies and ledges on the profile of the main building could result in an unacceptable design.
23. There is no assessment yet of the effect of the proposed tower block on television, radio and cellphone reception.
24. LB Hounslow should specify in its report on this application the facilities required for the 'Community Facility' and the impact of this proposed development on local school places, resources and facilities. There should also be an assessment of the availability of play space, leisure and sports facilities in the area to meet the needs of up to seven hundred adults and children in this new 'Chiswick West' site.
25. At 100m high it is too high. The building is out of proportion compared with the area and the neighbouring buildings.
26. A tall building would just be too much, detracting from the mostly residential character of this part of Chiswick.
27 The car parking facilities are inadequate with no car parking provided for the affordable housing. It will overload the already overloaded local services.
28. It is an extremely dangerous plan in these times of terrorism.
29. Other current proposals will provide more than ample office space.
30. The proposal will result in loss of John Bull P.H and attractive Victorian houses.
31. Local shops will be demolished.
6.3 Two replies have been received supporting the proposal for the following reasons:
Redevelopment of the sites are long overdue.
Another tallish building alongside the existing BSI building would enhance the area.
It is designed by a proven firm of world class architects.
It would be the last piece in the jigsaw in terms of greatly improving area of West Chiswick that only two or three years ago was very run-down.
The facilities provided in terms of a mix of apartments, affordable housing, Key Worker homes, health centre, shops et a big increase in the value of residential property nearby, a feeling of well-being generally, would far outweigh any overlooking to some properties.
6.4 A Petition has been received signed by about 780 people objecting to the proposal for the following reasons:
"We cannot accept that a 30 storey tower consisting of a hotel, housing units, health club etc, a 7 storey block of 45 housing units and a 3 storey retail centre on the Chiswick High Road together with a further 10 storey and 3 storey block at the end of Silver Crescent enhances the local environment.
We consider that the surrounding residential streets will be destroyed by this development. We the undersigned also consider that the proposed application for Chiswick West does not meet the requirements of Hounslow's Unitary Development Plan and therefore request Hounslow Council to reject this application outright".
Observations of Chiswick Protection Group
6.5 This federation of resident, amenity and civic societies in Chiswick objects strongly to the proposed tall building in this development. Our members and many residents in the vicinity of the site are appalled that a colossal structure could be contemplated. The location is a sensitive one, with conservation areas to its north and south. It is surrounded by residential houses and any tall building would adversely affect the setting of those homes, of the Royal and public parks, of the locally listed building and of the protective views from and across the Blue Ribbon Network of the Thames and its local waterways. The proposed tower block is not in accordance with LB Hounslow's UDP policies.
The regeneration of the area would be most welcome but it cannot accommodate a building 70% taller than the BSI office block, which itself probably not be allowed if proposed now. The development would remove a parade of shops and a popular public house yet offers inadequate replacement. Even where a few retail units are proposed they are marked as 'Retail/A3'. The kind of retail that the people in over 300 new living units will require is A1 shops, not A3 café/restaurant places, of which Chiswick has almost fifty now.
The site is alongside the station, which is a location given positive guidance by the GLA for additional homes. However, the station cannot accommodate more trains per hour due to track bottlenecks on both the North London Line and the District Line. These restrictions are acknowledged in the planning application. There are no projects or proposals in the London Mayors published Transport Strategy to address these problems in the next twelve years. Gunnersbury station will have to cope with an extra 7,000 passengers in peak hours due to other developments in the area which have planning permission. The additional Impact of 'Chiswick West has to be considered against that transport situation.
Observations of West London River Group
6.6 We are writing to suggest that this proposal must be treated as though it were in the Thames Policy Area even though it is not, because of its height. Although it would be about 800m from the River, its excessive height demands that it be treated as a Riverside building. Its visual impact would spread for miles in all directions, and would adversely affect strategic views of, along, across and from the River.
The Strategic Planning Guidance for the River Thames (RPG3B/9B) sets out statutory recommendations for dealing with such proposals, in particular in sections 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.15, 3.17, 3.18, 3.22, 3.23, 3.24, 3.26, 3.27, 3.28, 3.31 and 3.40. If this proposal is assessed in the light of the Strategic Planning Guidance, from 3.11, which refers to a development's scale and quality, and to its relationship both to the River and to other buildings, to 3.40, which deals with the natural environment, this Riverside proposal fails to contribute positively to the River and its hinterland in the ways which all relevant development should. More than this, it is likely to do positive harm to the River and its hinterland because of its excessive height.
The existing BSI building (19 storeys high), and the tower blocks (23 storeys high) beyond Kew Pumping Station, are all visible from the Fulham Riverbank 4.5km (2.8 miles) away. This will help you access the devastating impact of this proposal. The existing tall buildings do enough damage to the skyline in this sensitive area, without making it any worse.
We are therefore writing to ask the Council to REFUSE this application because (among other reasons) the proposal fails to comply with the statutory requirements of RPG3B/9B, Strategic Planning Guidance for the River Thames.
Observations of Chiswick House Friends
6.7 We are surprised that such a proposal has even been made: we though there was widespread acceptance now of the view that an isolation high rise building (dwarfing the neighbouring BSI tower which should never have been built) does not belong in an area of predominantly low level development.
This building is high an prominent, and would be completely out of place with its surroundings. Chiswick is an area with some fine and delicate period architecture, of which the Palladian villa of Chiswick House is the crown. The housing developments around the river an Chiswick Quay have been sensitively designed and executed, and bring a modern note which is very much in harmony. Chiswick High Road, even with all its traffic, is developing a nicely continental atmosphere.
The 30 storey residential block can only detract from all this. It is out of keeping in style, and will over-load the already inadequate public facilities, especially transport. it will ruin a number of residential, High Road and park views. The fact that parking spaces are being limited to 231 just means that residents and other users will park on neighbouring streets where space is already at a premium.
We would support a well-designed low level scheme for development of this area.
Observations of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew6.8 We wish to object to this application, as it is clear to us that this scheme, if approved, will be detrimental to the visual amenity of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The design statement by Michael Aukett Architects contains a photomontage from the Royal Botanic Gardens (taken to the right of the Orangery) which shows the new building clearly visible above the tree line, standing in front of the BSI building.
In reality, we suspect that the tower will be more prominent than is shown on the photomontage, as the tower appears to be too low in relation to the BSI building. We hope that you will commission your own studies of the proposal.
This is a particularly sensitive time for us, as the Royal Botanic Gardens are currently shortlisted from nomination as a World Heritage Site. Our management plan is being drafted at the moment, and out proposal will go forward for consideration later next year.
The current proposal is wholly unacceptable from our point of view.
Observations of English Heritage6.9 We support the Council fully in seeking to secure a substantial reduction in height of proposed development on this site with a view to establishing a satisfactory relationship with the prevailing modest domestic scale of the area and, urge that such proposals be placed within a clearly defined and coherent 'masterplan' embracing the adjoining Railtrack/Silverlink/London Underground Station and the B.S.I (former I.B.M.) Building.
Observations of L B Richmond
6.10 The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames OBJECTS to the proposal on the grounds that the development, by reason of its design, height, scale, massing and bulk, would be intrusive to key views from this Borough along the river towpath, in particular to the Strand on the Green Conservation Area and important listed buildings, and to key views from Kew Gardens and Sawyers Hill, Richmond Park. Furthermore, that whilst the amount of car parking for the proposed offices regrets that it is not being relaxed further by virtue of it being a town centre site, next to a rail and tube station, and highly accessible by public transport. This comment is made in the context of local and National policy to reduce reliance on the car for travel.
Observations of West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society
6.11 The Society states
In our opinion is totally unsustainable no matter what improvements are made to Gunnersbury Station.
We recommend that Hounslow Council should not even entertain a proposed 10 storey development in a residential street (Silver Crescent) never mind a 30 storey tower on Chiswick High Road, which contradicts what we believe Hounslow in trying to achieve in their Unitary Development Plan – to enhance the character of areas and allow for sustainable development.
Observations of Chiswick Area Committee
6.12 Members strongly opposed the scheme on a range of grounds. A 30 storey building would be too high for the High Road to sustain and was unsuitable for the area, 'dwarfing' other buildings such as the BSI building. It was considered that the development would overshadow local properties and would be too close to a residential area. Although it was not a planning issue, concern was expressed that such a prominent building could be a terrorist target.
It was considered that the balance of employment to residential development had been struck with the Chiswick Business Park. This presented a variety of buildings, with landscaping. Transport links would not cope with a further large scale development, that the infrastructure of the local area would suffer and there would be no benefit to the local community. Members noted the commercial pressure for such development and emphasised the need to be firm in opposition.
It was noted that the scheme provided for some key worker accommodation and proposed that whatever was built on the site should include key worker accommodation.
Members were unanimous in rejecting the scheme for the reasons given above and asked that all the comments, including those of the petitioners, should be put strongly to the Sustainable Development Committee.
7.1 The following Unitary Development Plan policies are relevant to this application:-
ENV.1.1 All New Development
ENV.1.2 Conservation Areas
ENV.5 High Buildings or Structures
ENV.1.6 High Buildings or Structures in other areas
ENV.1.6A Views and Landmarks
ENV.1.8 Environmental Improvements
ENV.1.11 Public Art
ENV.3.1 Access and Facilities for People with Disabilities
ENV.3.2 Safety and Security
ENV.4.7 Protection of Metropolitan Open Land
ENV.4.11 Historic Parks and Gardens
ENV.5.7 Environmental Impact Assessment
E.1.1 New Employment Uses of Land not in Class B Use
E.2.1 Environmental Criteria
E.3.1 Disabled Access
E.4.1 Local Residents
E.4.2 Under Represented Groups
E.4.3 Childcare Facilities
S.5.1 Large Retail Development
H.1.1 New Housing Development
H.1.2 Housing Standards and Guidelines
H.1.8 Residential Mix
H.4.1 Affordable Housing
T.1.2 Public Transport Infrastructure
T.1.7 Applications for Development
T.2.3 Development Unsuitable for Adjoining Highways
T.2.5 Parking and Servicing for Developments
T.3.3 Bicycle Parking Facilities
T.3.4 Pedestrian Access
T.3.6 Road Safety
IMP.3.1 Planning Obligations
7.2 Relevant UDP Revised Deposit Policies are: -
IMP.1.1 Integrating patterns of land use and the provision of transport
IMP.6.1 Planning Obligations
ENV.N.1.5 Protection of Metropolitan Open Land
ENV.N.1.16 Historic Parks and Gardens
ENV.B.1.1 All New Development
ENV.B.1.2 High Buildings or Structures
ENV.B.1.3 High Buildings or Structures in other areas
ENV.B.1.5 Environmental Improvements
ENV.B.1.6 Public Art
ENV.B.1.8 Access and Facilities for People with Disabilities
ENV.B.1.9 Safety and Security
ENV.B.2.2 Conservation Areas
ENV.B.2.5 Development Affecting the Setting of a Listed Building
ENV.B.2.8 Views and Landmarks
ENV.W.1.3 Important View and Structures in the Thames Policy Area
E.2.1 Environmental Criteria
E.3.1 Disabled Access
E.4.1 Local Residents
H.1.1 Location of new housing development
H.2.1 Affordable Housing
H.4.1 Housing Standards and Guidelines
H.4.2 Residential Mix
C.1.3 Existing Social and Community Facilities
S.31 New Retail Development
T.1.1 The Location of Development
T.1.2 The Movement Implications of Development
T.1.4 Car and Cycle Parking and Servicing Facilities for Developments
T.2.1 Pedestrian Access
T.2.2 Pedestrian Safety and Security
T.2.4 Public Transport Infrastructure
T.4.3 Development Unsuitable for Adjoining Area.
7.3 National Policy Guidance is outlined in: -
PPG1 General Policy and Principles
PPG6 Town Centres and Retail Developments
PPG15 Planning and Historic Environment
RPG3 Strategic Guidance for London
RPG9 Regional Planning Guidance for the South East
8.0 PLANNING ISSUES
8.1 The main issues raised by this application are:-
1. High Buildings Policy and Design
2. Retail Policy
3. Impact on Nearby Occupiers
4. Traffic, Highways and Parking
5. Sequential Test
6. Public Transport
7. Affordable Housing
8. Housing Standards and Guidelines and Residential Density
9. Employment Location
8. Planning Obligations
High Buildings Policy and Design
8.2 The UDP Policy on High Buildings states that planning permission will normally be refused for the erection of buildings which significantly exceed the height of their surroundings or where it would significantly harm specified areas including residential areas, Conservation Areas, Thames riverside and local parks.
8.3 In other areas of the Borough planning permission will only be granted for a high building where the development is carefully related to the surrounding area and sites, the site is significantly large to ensure an adequate setting, including landscaping without impairing the amenity of surrounding sites, the building should be of high quality design, take account of the micro-climate and functional constraints, not mar the skyline, respect local views and accord with the specified plot-ratios.
8.4 The reasons for these policies state that Hounslow is generally characterised by low rise developments of 2 and 3 storey residential properties, with many of the taller buildings being out of character. It is therefore considered that high buildings and structures are generally inappropriate and will only be considered in certain locations if they meet the criteria outlined above.
8.5 The RPG3 Strategic Guidance for London calls on Borough Councils to identify areas appropriate for high buildings. This should have regard to the local context, the objectives of sustainable development, and the relationship to conservation areas, historic buildings, strategic open spaces, historic parks and gardens, and strategic and metropolitan views, panoramas and prospects.8.6 The guidance emphasises the need for special attention when assessing proposals for high buildings, and sets out design criteria and functional considerations. In design terms, tall buildings should:
Be of outstanding architectural and urban design quality.
Emphasise or contribute to a point of civic or visual significance (including a cluster) or a centre of urban activity or regeneration, both locally and in relation to the wider area from which it will be visible.
Relate positively with topographical features and other high buildings, and contribute to the image and built environment of London.
Enhance the skyline by ensuring that the roof top design is of high quality.
Impact on Sensitive Areas
8.7 The 28-storey building would have significant impact on two nearby sensitive areas at Gunnersbury Park and Strand-on-the-Green. As seen from surrounding residential areas the proposed building would be a striking and prominent addition to the skyline. This highly urban feature would be in clear contrast to the generally two or three storey suburban character of these areas.
8.8 The Council's retail policy states that where retail development is proposed outside town centre locations the Council will take into account the criteria including effect on existing centres the impact of the proposals in terms of trip generation and accessibility of the site. Consideration will also need to be given to the loss of local shops.
Impact on Nearby Residents
8.9 The impact of the proposals on nearby residents in terms of effect on sunlight and daylight, overlooking, noise and disturbance will need to be carefully considered.
Traffic, Highways and Parking
8.10 The impact of the proposals in terms of traffic, highways and parking will need to be evaluated.
Sequential Test8.11 The UDP (Revised Deposit) Policies aim to create a more sustainable pattern of development. A sequential test will be applied to all major trip generation developments and, in particular, opportunities should be maximised in town centres followed by edge of town centres where there is better public transport access.
8.12 The applicant states that the proposed development offers the opportunity to upgrade the existing public transport infrastructure in the area. It is proposed to improve the station entry arrangement/ticket office, to make the station more visible from the road and give better access down to the platform and an improved ticket hall.
Affordable Housing8.13 The Unitary Development Plan (Revised Deposit) states that the Council will expect 50% of all new residential units to be affordable. The current proposals would provide 30.5% affordable housing.
Housing Standards and Guidelines and Residential Density8.14 Consideration will need to be given to compliance with the Council's standards and guidelines for residential development including amenity open space provision and residential density.
Employment Location and Plot Ratio
8.15 The Council's UDP states that office uses should be directed to the Borough's town centres which offer the greatest accessibility by all modes of transport. All applicants need to demonstrate that proposed developments are sustainable, particularly in terms of their accessibility and long term viability.
8.16 The UDP also states that outside town centres the plot ratio for developments should normally be no greater than 0.5 to 1 although it may be appropriate with improved public transport contributions to give consideration to developing at a higher ratio.
Planning Obligations8.17 If the scheme is considered acceptable it would need to provide a balanced package of planning obligations including:
1. Improved public transport
2. Affordable housing
3. Education provision
4. Environmental improvements
5. Employment training
6. Traffic management