Chiswick High Road Action Group 'Concerns' Over Local Plan
Fears that 'overdevelopment' will put local businesses at risk
The Chiswick High Road Action Group (CHRAG)says it is concerned that Hounslow Council's Local Plan could allow the High Road to be overdeveloped "in an eagerness to attrack big business and large scale developments" at the expense of encouraging small and independent traders.
CHRAG criticises the Local Plan draft as being badly written, using "impenetrable terminology " and says there are a number of contradictions in the document which "purports" to seek to preserve local retailers and independent businesses in Chiswick while at the same time agreeing to major developments.
The group is anxious to see more protection against high-rise buildings in Chiswick, and for the character of Chiswick as a small town to be preserved.
The Local Plan deals with development across the borough for the next fifteen years and submissions from interested parties have been sent back to the Council- you can read about the Local Plan here
In its submission CHRAG says: “We wish to bring the attention of the Inspector to the risks we perceive of Chiswick being subject to over-development in an eagerness to attract big business and large-scale developments, rather than encouraging small and independent traders, retailers and businesses, consistent with the special character and context of Chiswick as a small town centre.”
Citing the proposed Empire House development opposite Turnham Green, the group says it welcomes development suitable for hotels, offices and retail, but the reference to "larger floor plate" retail accommodation suggested an intensity of use "inconsistent with the stated goal to support the diverse mix of local independent shops and businesses”
It says the development should take note of the special character and context of Chiswick in general and the Turnham Green Conservation Area in particular.
"The Local Plan must be more explicit in its commitment to ensuring that the character and context of Chiswick Town Centre is retained, and that tall buildings are avoided in accordance with the Character and Context Study for Chiswick. "
CHRAG has requested to be present at the oral part of the examination.
The group says the language and presentation of the document uses "impenetrable terminology" and is in many places "vague and ambiguous" which effectively excludes ordinary residents and groups from being able to engage property in the consltation process. It suggests the local authority provide a two page executive summary "in plain English".
CHRAG also propose that a stronger case should be made for negotiation with TfL and Network Rail to bring about significant improvements to Gunnersbury Station, including improved access for the disabled. It also wants greater support for community activities.
April 30, 2014