Decision On Former Pissarro Site Expected In June

Residents tell local councillors why they oppose plans for housing

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The proposal to redevelop the former Pissarro restaurant site into a residential complex was discussed at the Chiswick Area Forum where residents opposed to the plan were told a decision is expected on June 10th from Hounslow Council.

Locals were told that if the development is given approval by the planning department, councillors will 'call in' the decision to go towards a full meeting of the Planning Committee.

The developer, Gort Investments, was represented by a Planning Consultant and Architect who presented a version of the Design and Access Statement ending with a video. The proposal is for 6 x 2 bed flats, 1 x 1 bed and 2 x 3 bed townhouses

image of planned flats for former Pissarro site by the river

Image provided by residents of plan 'in context'

A resident from the area then spoke about the objections from locals, which include that they believe it is a development which would be out of character and context, that a "too tall glass warehouse" will not benefit anyone locally and that it ignores the societal needs of the residents for a restaurant/bar/cafe on the site.T

The residents objections include "inadequacies and inaccuracies in the submission", that the development is "totally out of context and character with the surrounding estates" , and will result in access/road/parking issues as well as loss of a a valued social meeting place.

Representatives of the developers were asked why the development was not 'in character' to the local area, and replied that “ it would be good to have something modern and not mock Tudor” -residents said this showed they had no idea what this stretch of the river looked like. Residents felt that their feedback at the exhibition in December had been totally misrepresented in the proposal. The last date for objections is today but will be accepted until Sunday 15th May.

Councillors comments were
• A restaurant is required
• Residents will be isolated from a commercial space
• They now have to socialise outside the local space
• The vitality and vibrancy of the area will be lost
• This is a wonderful community site
• The previous application had been turned down (It was actually withdrawn but Councillors saw the reasons for refusal) because it was too big with no restaurant, and what had changed with the current plans?
• Why was the design such a huge contrast and in a completely different style from the surrounding area ?

The Planning Officer present made reference to the fact that there had been 2 ACV applications made by locals and they had been turned down (on a technicality) because there was a residential flat involved.

Representatives of the developers were asked why the development was not 'in character' to the local area, and replied that it was to have a modern development in the area. Residents challenged their statement on 'consultation' with local people.

Last year 150 people objected to plans by Gort Investments which was was seeking to knock down the building and turn the riverside site into a three-storey residential complex.

The application submitted is for nine residential units.

Eastern view of Corney Reach way

Corney Reach Way eastern view

A submission for a demolition order was recently granted although the building has not yet been knocked down though the date given for demolition was April 1st.

Local residents are generally opposed to the proposed plans for six two-bedroom apartments, two three-bed duplex family homes and a two-bedroom penthouse. Some believe the design is incongruous with the neo-Georgian look of this area of Chiswick on the Thames and the Georgian architecture of Chiswick Mall.

The restaurant closed in 2013 and a previous application to redevelop the restaurant into residential units was turned down in 2014. The plans for the Chiswick riverside site had been controversial and nearly 200 residents had opposed a bid to extend the existing site and build eight two-bedroom flats with parking spaces and bicycle storage.

The current proposed development would be set across three storeys with private ground level and roof-gardens with green roofs. A total of ten car-park spaces have been included along with cycle storage.

an image of the former Pissarro restaurant now closed

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 has had a chequered history, and at one stage suffered a serious fire. It closed down in January 2014 with management saying there was not enough business in that area to make it a commercial success.


May 13, 2016

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