Chiswick Area Forum Discusses Controversial LED Street Lights
Councillors want works suspended in Chiswick until September
Chiswick councillors are to ask Hounslow Council to suspend all further Hounslow Highways works in Chiswick until after the summer, following the controversy over the new LED street lamps.
Councillors also requested that Hounslow Highways resolve the major issues of glare from the new street lamps which residents in Park Road say is affecting them sleeping, and also causing problems for drivers.
The councillors also voted to ask the chair of the LBH Scrutiny Panel to "look again" at the £800m 25-year long PFI contract.
Councillors at the Chiswick Area Forum this week (July 9) heard details about the controversial street lights in Park Road when locals explained their difficulties with the new scheme and showed photographs of the lamp posts installed by Hounslow Highways.
Residents explained that eight of the seventeen new LED lamp posts installed on 15 June proved problematic.
Some of the new 8 metre tall, lamp posts were positioned too close to existing trees. Four posts had to be moved and another four trees had to have limbs removed or be heavily pruned to accommodate the new lamp heads. One new lamp post was positioned so close to a tree trunk that workers could not even fit the lamp head.
A local resident of Park Road, (part of the Chiswick House Conservation Area), said on the day of the lamp post installation the Hounslow Highways workforce arrived, without any prior notification, and demolished seventeen existing lamp-posts which were 5m high and installed new LED lamp-posts in excess of 8m tall.
Three representatives from Hounslow Highways were present at the CAF meeting. The Head Of Supplier Performance, Trang Quan, said that there was always tree consultation before work commenced, but Hounslow Highways' arboriculturalist, Paul Maher, confirmed that in this case, no assessment had been carried out prior to the works commencing.
Mr. Quan said that there was 'no need' to consult residents for standard lighting.
Residents claim that in October 2012 Hounslow Lead Member Colin Ellar had promised that changes in Conservation Areas would be sympathetic, with a 'like for like' approach.
Cllr Paul Lynch of Chiswick Riverside Ward said "The fact that there is no law to consult doesn't mean that it is good practice.. Change like this is something that residents except to be consulted on."
In a survey of Park Road residents, no one had received any communication about the new street lamps from either the London Borough of Hounslow or Hounslow Highways until 27 th June, when Hounslow Highways delivered a letter informing residents that on Monday 9 th July they would be re-positioning the lamps that they had positioned too close to trees.
Residents have also complained that while LBH was quoted in the Evening Standard as saying " "there was an announcement in the local paper", any spokesperson for Hounslow Council should know there is currently no local paper in Chiswick.
Park Road residents have demanded that the street lighting work in Hounslow Conservation Areas be suspended and that Hounslow Council hold a consultation with representatives from Conservation Areas and local area groups to plan a way forward.
July 12, 2013