Asylum seeker hostel rejected

Council planners say that Grove Park would be unsuitable for this kind of development

Controversial plans to develop the former RAF Association building into a hostel for Asylum seekers have been rejected by planning officers of Hounslow Council.

The scheme which attracted both support and opposition from local residents was felt to be inappropriate for the area. Officers were also concerned that it would not enhance the conservation area and would lead to a loss of employment.

The original plan submitted by Crossleigh Developers had been to turn the former RAF Association offices in the Victorian building 41-43 into luxury one and two bedroom apartments. However, residents of Grove Park Road and surrounding roads lead by Penny Dodd, objected to this plan on the grounds that the number of planned flats and the size of the new extension would swamp number 39, and increase traffic on the road. The developers then submitted an alternative plan to develop a hostel. Many residents felt that this was a ruse to make the option of the luxury flats appear more palatable.

The developers, expressed dismay at the decision which was taken under delegated powers by planning officers rather than a Council Committee. They plan to appeal and are confident that the office of the Deputy Prime Minister will view their case more favourably.

They are no longer planning to develop the units into luxury flats as an alternative to the hostel. They claimed that market conditions rather than residents' objections were the reason for the change.

April 11, 2003

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Asylum Seeker Hostel Planned for Grove Park

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