Garage Developments Approved Despite Councillors' Concerns

New housing to be built off Oxford Road North and Garth Road

Visualisation from planning documents of the planned building at Oxford Court
Visualisation from planning documents of the planned building at Oxford Court


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A meeting of the borough planning committee this Thursday (30 June) has accepted a recommendation from council planning officers to grant an application to knock down garages on sites owned by the council in Chiswick and build housing.

The green light comes despite a significant number of objections from residents close to both sites and reservations about the schemes from both Labour and Conservative councillors.

The proposal for the site off Oxford Road North at Oxford Court (P/2021/3808) will see 23 garages demolished to be replaced with a three storey residential block with three car parking spaces. The flats, five of which would be one bedroom and four two bedroom, would be affordable housing for rent delivered by a Registered Provider. The application was sent to the planning committee with a recommendation for approval due to 39 people registering an objection.

At the other site at Garth Court (P/2022/0137), which is between Barrowgate Road and the A4, 12 garages will be demolished to make way for two houses. Six local residents objected to the proposal.

Despite voting to approve both schemes, councillors on the planning committee were not happy with the proposals. Newly elected councillor Rhys Williams, who represents a ward in Brentford said, "We want housing, we want good quality housing but we don't want to impact neighbours. We could have had a perfectly acceptable scheme which delivered almost exactly the same number of beds without having the impact on the neighbours. In policy terms it's compliant. We have to judge the application in front of us, not the one we would like though it's always frustrating when this is the point that we say yes or no on a scheme. But as a Borough I'd say we can do slightly better in future, getting the quality right for future neighbours as well as existing ones."

Cllr Tony Louki said that it was 'quite shocking' to hear from the applicants how amenity had been reduced on the site.

Visualisation of the two new houses at Garth Court from the planning application
Visualisation of the two new houses at Garth Court from the planning application

Speaking at the planning committee, Chiswick Gunnersbury ward councillor Joanna Biddolph compared the application with the original scheme put forward by the developer, "This new proposal compared with the original increases the number of people who could live here by two – only by two – yet because of its size, its scale, its mass, its height, its closeness to other homes, its location on the plot – it is vast and imposing, not in scale. It is far larger and far more overbearing than the original proposal. The proportions – the building, the number of people who could live here, the need we have for residents – aren’t right.

"There is no need for this massive block to be the shape, size and height it is, or in the place it is on this plot, to achieve homes for 20 people. There is no need for it to be crammed up against a boundary wall denying light to its nearest neighbours.

"The stark fact is that the original proposal would provide homes for only two fewer people in a configuration more suited to the plot and to people who are waiting longest on our housing register for a decent amount of space. I urge you to refuse this application and ask Habinteg to refine its original proposal, working with residents to ensure that any development on this plot works for all. Surely developers – and the planning committee – would prefer an outcome that works for all?”

The schemes are part of a broader project across the borough in which the council has identified small plots of lands which it owns for development. Most of these sites currently are occupied by garages with many in Chiswick.


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July 9, 2022


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