Planning Committee Gives Thumbs Down To Pissarro Site Development

Locals 'delighted' as councillors refuse planning application for eight riverside flats

CGI of new building which is in the centre of the picture

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Locals campaigning against a residential development on the site of the former Pissarro restaurant in Corney Reach Way say they are delighted that last night's meeting of Hounslow Council's Planning Committee (Thursday, January 11th) refused the planning application.

The odds of the development of a three-storey block of eight flats being voted through had appeared to be against the locals, as Hounslow Council planners had recommended it be given the go-ahead.

Three local residents spoke to the meeting and outlined their opposition to the application on various grounds. Some of the objections to the application centre around its density and height, the loss of amenity space and loss of light to neighbouring properties. Many are still keen to see the site be preserved as a cafe/bar.

In the event councillors rejected the application on grounds of its density, and loss of amenity, and several were concerned that not enough changes had been made in the current application from a previously rejected one.

A resident's spokesperson said; "Eight expensive properties on this site does not make up for the loss of an amenity to the community."

They are waiting to hear what the next move is by the developer, who could decide to appeal, change the plan or even try to sell the site.

Boutique developer Fruition Ltd wants to build seven two bedroom flats and one three bedroom flat with eight parking spaces at the prime riverside location. The building will be three storeys high on the side closest to the river on the site which has been vacant since 2014.

The developer had claimed the footprint of the latest design was considerably smaller than the scheme which was refused permission last year. They promised to echo the formal Georgian architecture found along the Thames with its clearly defined, formal frontages.

The application was on behalf of Corney Reach Way Ltd which is a company owned by Fruition Properties. They had claimed that the latest plans had taken into consideration the reasons for an earlier proposal by Gort Investments being refused. Fruition acquired the property from Gort of £3.5m after the previous owner's plan was turned down.

We are attempting to contact the developer for comment and will report back.

One opponent of the scheme said, "Local residents are tired of developers proposing plans that are blatantly impractical - this is a very small site, with no road frontage, access by a very narrow, angular unadopted road and no onstreet parking available on the private Estate. Whilst they have been messing about trying to put a quart into a pint pot some sort of cafe/bar/deli could have been installed."

Council planners had, however, rejected the local objections and their report to the Planning Committee had recommended that the development be approved on grounds including that while residents might value a restaurant, there was nothing in planning policy to resist its loss, and that prior approval had already been given to demolish the building. A residential development in the location would be strongly supported by planning policy, the report to the meeting stated.

CGI of the rear of the building

The restaurant closed in 2013 and a previous application to redevelop the restaurant into residential units was turned down in 2014. The RNLI also lost the flat it rented on the premises, and there were a number of failed attempts to encourage restaurateurs to take on the site.

Current view of the site

Pissarro, which was named in honour of the 'Father of French Impressionism', Camille Pissarro (who painted many local scenes in the 1890s), opened in the late 1990s when it was owned by local investors. The restaurant had a chequered history, and at one stage suffered a serious fire. When it closed management said there was not enough business in that area to make it a commercially viable.

January 12, 2018

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