Push Off Porsche Say Angry Chiswick Residents
Campaign mounted to oppose extension to luxury A4 car showroom
A group of Chiswick residents have launched a "Push Off Porsche" campaign claiming that a plan to extend the West London Porsche showroom on the A4 will have a damaging effect on their homes.
Residents who live at addresses between 22-34 Barrowgate Road say it will block out light and overshadow their houses in the Wellesley Road Conservation area directly behind it. One local said it would be like living in a " dark, gloomy prison yard" if the building went ahead.
A statement from Porsche said; "We can confirm that Porsche Cars GB has made a planning application to extend the Porsche Centre West London site on the A4 in Chiswick. The team are currently in dialogue with local residents about the changes that will be made to the site and whilst this conversation is on going there is no further information we can provide."
The company has plans for an After Sales Centre and a Sales show Room on the site, including a visitor car-park with space for 13 cars. The residents say their priority is to oppose the proposed two storeys Wing Extension over the open-air car park beside the present Porsche showroom. The deadline for planning objections for the application is Wednesday 27th Feb 2013 which is 21 days after the site notice was erected.
Residents are angry over what they say is a short planning timeline and the "total lack of any preplanning consultation by Porsche", given that this represents 3,000 square meter commercial development. Barrowgate Road resident Dr Fintan Coyle said ; “Porsche said to Hounslow Planning that their proposal has been developed over a years, yet not once during this process was there any, I repeat ANY, consultation with the local community! It came as a complete shock and we are appalled.”
Porsche had tried to build a two storey car park over the same site In January 2002, but it was rejected by Hounslow Planning as being unduly obstructive, resulting in loss of light and sun to residential properties in Barrowgate Road, according to the residents.
“Porsche have completely ignored Hounslow’s guidance on public consultations for major developments. They are only too aware that nothing in the new plan has changed in terms of the inappropriate scale and mass of the structure,” says Fintan Coyle, “To add insult to injury, it is even several metres higher than their previous rejected application! It will block off light and dominate and overshadow all our homes from 22 to 34 Barrowgate Road, homes that are within the Wellesley Road Conservation Area. It’s a poor show from Porsche.”
The two-storey Wing Extension will have 13 visitor car parking spaces on the ground floor and a showroom upstairs. Residents contend that these visitor car parking spaces are not needed as, using Porsche’s own traffic analysis, there would still be sufficient car parking spaces provided across the two sites. Removing the 13 spaces, they argue, would allow the showroom to be housed on the ground floor negating the need for the second storey.
Residents complain that the two storeys design is all about presenting the largest and most impressive corporate façade to the A4 at the expense of light to their homes. They say they will literally be living in its shadow.
Chris Marsland who lives at 24 Barrowgate Road says he would be severely affected by the proposed second storey. “At present I look out to sky and sun from the back of my house. This will be replaced by a view of a 13.53 metres (44 foot) high dark grey wall which will extend for around 30 metres along the rear of all our gardens in this part of the road. With the loss of light and overshadowing, it will feel just like being enclosed in a gloomy dark prison yard.”
Fintan Coyle complains “At the front, the height of the Wing Extension has been deliberately raised even further by the addition of totally gratuitous fascia panels to ensure that the front elevation to the A4 matches that of the existing showroom. Porsche seem to think they are building on the side of an interstate highway in America, rather than alongside a conservation area in Chiswick.”
Residents also have grave concerns regarding traffic around the twin sites, especially Porsche’s proposed “hotel reception” model which actively encourages visitors to drive into the Sales site from off the A4.Chris Marsland comments “Quite why it is proposed that these visitors should dangerously exit directly off the A4 into the Sales site, stop, switch off their engine, get out their car and then have a Porsche staff member restart the engine, drive the car out onto Sutton Lane North, and then into the After Sales centre is bizarre! Yet this is this crazy traffic flow model that is partly being used to justify the design of two storeys Wing Extension!”
Over the coming weeks “Push Off Porsche” will also be objecting to the After Sales centre to be built on the former Dairy Crest site, but for the moment it is the Sales Centre and its Wing Extension that is in their sights.
“Because of the short planning deadline we need all concerned residents to email Hounslow Planning urgently to raise their objections to it as soon as possible” urged Fintan Coyle. “It feels like these plans have been sneaked out and are being rushed through before we have had time to even think. It’s time to ask the Planners to put local people before petrol-heads and for Porsche to push off!”
The plans can be viewed on Hounslow Council's website:
or you can look at the Planning Detail - System Reference: P/2012/3673/Planning Reference: 01094/A/P24
February 26, 2013