Chiswick Curve Plan Blocked By Minister

Says damage to heritage assets outweighs any claimed public benefit

The Chiswick Curve from Strand on the Green The Chiswick Curve from Strand on the Green


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Planning Application for Tower at Chiswick Roundabout

Chiswick Skyscraper Plan For Thirty-Two Storeys with 'Poor Doors'

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The Chiswick Curve, 32-storey high development proposed near Chiswick Roundabout, appears to be dead in the water after a Minister backed Hounslow Council’s refusal of planning permission. There was an ecstatic reaction to the decision from local amenity groups that had campaigned against the scheme.

The plan was held by James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to cause too much damage to local heritage assets such as Strand on the Green, Gunnersbury Park and Kew Gardens. He said this outweighed the claimed benefits of the scheme to the public such as the increased provision of housing and the improvements it might bring to the surrounding area. He therefore overruled the decision of the planning inspector who had earlier recommended that the scheme go ahead.

The mixed use building of one part 32 storey and one part 25 storeys comprising up to 327 residential units, office and retail/restaurant uses was refused by the council’s planning committee in February 2017.

The Secretary of State said that he recognised that public realm improvements and the publicly accessible elements of the scheme did offer some improvement to the area but not the ‘massive uplift’ in accessibility and movement described by the Inspector.

The decision was due to be announced this March and it is not known why it was delayed for so long after the four week public inquiry. During the inquiry, counsel for Hounslow Council said that it would "drive a coach and horses" through the schemes envisaged by the Council in the area.

There is some speculation locally that the timing of the decision was due to the Minister's fear that he was about to lose his job. Mr Brokenshire had backed Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership election but had earlier been a loyal supporter of Mrs May and it is thought Johnson will be keen to award his more active supporters with the role.

The West Chiswick & Gunnersbury Society, said on behalf of local residents that if the development went ahead, it would 'seriously diminish' the quality of life enjoyed in Chiswick and Kew. Submissions were heard during the Inquiry from other Chiswick groups including Strand on the Green Residents Association, Cllr Joanna Biddolph, resident Ruth Mayorcas, and James Wisdom on behalf of the Friends of Gunnersbury Park. Historic England, The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and the Kew Society also spoke against the development

In a letter to the solicitor acting for Starbones Plc he states that, “he does not find the proposal to be of such high quality as to be a brilliant response to its immediate context. He finds the scale and massing of the proposal to be such that the proposal does not relate to its immediate surrounding.”

If the applicant wishes to make a further appeal this must be done by making an application to the High Court within 6 weeks.

A view from the A4
A view from the A4 of rejected scheme

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July 21, 2019

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