Mayor gives support to Chiswick West skyscraper
Ken says scheme matches his vision but denies meeting developers in private
Opponents of the scheme to build a 28 storey tower block above Gunnersbury Station have reacted with dismay to a statement by Ken Livingstone expressing broad approval for the scheme.
He has stated in the past that he sees more high-rise and high density schemes as a solution for London's growing housing problems. After the developers increased the amount of affordable housing in the scheme the Mayor appears to have become willing to back it in the face of significant local opposition.
The Mayor has denied claims that he has met the developers, Clifton Cape, in private. He received an informal pre-application presentation of an initial scheme in July 2001 which was carried out in the presence of GLA, TfL and LDA staff, including policy advisers, lawyers, land use and policy planning, regeneration and transport planning officers. Once the application is formally submitted the Mayor does not receive any further presentation from the developers.
The Mayor considered a formal application for Chiswick West in May 2002. Although he gave his support in principle to the mixed use development there were some concerns with regard to the quantity of affordable housing and its location. The application was subsequently amended to meet the Mayor’s concerns but was refused by Hounslow Council in December 2002 and is now subject to an appeal.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said, "The development proposal at Chiswick West generally complied with the Mayor’s overall vision for London, to ensure that the significant population and household growth that is expected in London is properly accommodated within a high quality, high-density development close to good public transport facilities."
The West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society recently asked to meet with the Mayor to discuss the proposal but their request was refused.
who represents Chiswick in the General London Assembly accused the Mayor
of riding rough shod over the concerns of local residents. He said, "I
am staggered the Mayor and his planners will not meet local people, and
are supporting the developers up to public enquiry level against the wishes
of the local community at all levels, and despite the fact that it is
in a conservation area."
October 4, 2003