|'Don't Let This Development Destroy Our Community'|
A local resident highlights why a planning application will cause major problems
Up to 315 new homes, including five apartment blocks up to 7 stories high, are planned to replace the existing low-rise business park on the Ealing/Hounslow border.
If approved by London Borough of Hounslow, it will bring up to 1,000 new residents to the area.
From school places to GP services, traffic congestion and an over-burdened Victorian sewage system, the impact on the local community, infrastructure and environment will be devastating.
Significantly, only 293 parking spaces have been allocated within the site for 315 homes. This will create a massive over-spill of cars parking on streets surrounding the development.
The scale, massing and density of Reynard Mills, in a predominantly low-rise neighbourhood, has caused widespread horror among local residents.
The planned apartment blocks are out of character with surrounding churches, schools and housing and do not reflect the architectural heritage of the area. The developers have used the unsightly Paragon Building as a precedent, ignoring the fact that while this may be in scale with some commercial buildings along the Great West Road, it is massively out of context with other low-rise residential buildings in the area.
There is real concern that, unless the Council takes action to control the amount of apartment blocks currently being built, the area will become a high-rise ghetto with all the visual, spatial, social and environmental problems that this brings.
While there is a recognised need to build new homes in London, the Reynard Mills development does not address the urgent requirement for good quality, affordable, family-sized houses, of which there is a critical shortage.
Only 82 units, or 26% of the proposed 315 homes within Reynard Mills, have been allocated for families. The remainder appear to be designed for young, urban professional single people and couples.
Yet the reality is that because of the shortage of family houses, many are being squeezed into unsuitable, over-crowded apartments – witness the toys on the balconies in the GWQ development bordering Ealing Road!
There are strong links between poor quality housing, academic under-achievement and childhood obesity.
Families need houses, not apartments. High-density, high-rise apartment blocks do not promote long-term social cohesion. The area must remain an attractive place for families to live if the community spirit – of which residents are rightly proud - is to continue to survive and thrive.
Three weeks ago, the Windmill Road Action Group was formed to raise awareness of the planning application and generate a coordinated response in opposition to the proposals.
The Action Group is a coalition of residents from Brentford and the South Ealing / Northfields area, which will also be adversely affected. A public meeting took place on Monday, 20 June, attended by up to 140 local people.
Brentford Ward Councillor, Matt Harmer, was present to witness the overwhelming opposition and anger at what is being proposed. Some residents expressed concern about the change of usage from commercial to residential, highlighting the potential loss of much-needed jobs to the area.
Others expressed alarm at the environmental damage and health and safety issues that a development of this scale will create during the construction period, and pointed to evidence of contamination on the site.
The meeting took place at Our Lady and St John’s School on Boston Park Road, Brentford, which will be directly overlooked by the apartment blocks, causing serious concern among parents and teachers.
To join the campaign against the Reynard Mills development, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also join the Windmill Road Action Group on Facebook. We will advise you on the key points you need to raise when you register your objection to the London Borough of Hounslow’s Planning Department.
We can also provide further information about the proposed development, including visuals which will show the scale of the development. Posters are available to place in your windows as a show of opposition against Reynard Mills.
The deadline for submitting your response to the proposals is Wednesday, 13 July, so it is vital that you act fast.
Brentford and Ealing have a long and proud community heritage. It is time now to collectively raise our voices to ensure that this part of West London remains a good place to live and that the community spirit continues to thrive for future generations.
Plans of the proposed development are available for inspection at Brentford Library (0208 560 8801).
If you wish to discuss the application or make an appointment email case officer Nikolas.Smith@hounslow.gov.uk and objections can be sent directly to him.
29 June 2010