Power Road Quarter identified as 'not fit for purpose'
Residents fear major development in the Power Road area. Picture: Google Streetview
The emerging draft Local Plan for the borough of Hounslow envisages significant changes in the Chiswick area with a number of new public squares being considered.
Councillors at the next borough cabinet meeting will get an update on the progress of the document which is due to be published next year including an update on a previous policy document for the Great West Corridor (GCW).
Chiswick comes into the eastern section of the GCW including the area around Chiswick Roundabout, Chiswick Business Park and the Power Road Quarter. The latter has been identified as ‘failing’ by council officers who say in a report to cabinet, “In the east of the borough, Chiswick Business Park represents one of the most successful business parks in the country but is immediately next to secondary locations in the GWC which are failing, this is because of the area’s generally poor environmental quality, low accessibility, not fit for purpose employment buildings and monocultural mix of uses are not attracting businesses. A plan-led approach for transformational change is therefore critical in the GWC to regenerate the area by introducing a mix of uses, boosting public transport provision, delivering high-quality design and radically enhancing the public realm.”
Residents in the area have feared for some time that the low-rise industrial area which includes a number of light industrial businesses and motor companies such as MG and Volvo may be subject to more intense development.
Councillors will be shown an updated version of a draft plan for the GCW first published in September 2020 and redrafted in February 2021. It is understood that this remains the basis for the Local Plan which will be made subject to consultation.
Amendment to the document include a deletion of the requirement that new developments in the area no let loss of space for industrial activity and replacement with the phrase that they must be shown to be ‘protecting and intensifying employment uses’. It is believed that this could give greater flexibility for the development of sites in the Power Road Quarter.
The plan also envisages the development of three new public spaces include Fountain Square which would be around the site of the Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre which the policy document envisages would be redeveloped into a community hub. This square would be on Capital Interchange Way at the intersection with a new route to Brentford Stadium.
Nearby would be the Lionel Road Station Plaza - a new public space outside the proposed station and Gunnersbury Square would be in the heart of the B&Q site development, on the route from Capital Interchange Way to Power Road, and with the potential future connection into Gunnersbury Cemetery.
A visualisation of Lionel Road Station Plaza. Picture: Hounslow Council
Transport improvements are also hoped for in the area including the enhancement of Gunnersbury Station to make it step free. Plans for the West Orbital Line which would see a new station built at Lionel Road but references it and a new Golden Mile (Brentford) station with a shuttle link to Southall Crossrail have been amended to make clear their deliver is provisional rather than confirmed.
The revised plan also shows that lower building heights are expected in the area with the development site at Chiswick Roundabout now expected to have a tower 61 metres high as opposed to 70 metres previously. No indication is given of the likely heights of buildings in the Power Road Quarter.
The revisions to the plan also show lower targets for housing in jobs in the area with 2,580 residential units now seen as the minimum for GCW (East) over the plan term compared to a previous target of 3,350. The number of new jobs expected to be generated in the area has also been revised down but it does include 100 at Gunnersbury Station and 150 at the Power Road Quarter.
Hounslow Council adopted a Local Plan in 2015 but the Draft Great West Corridor Plan (GWCP), which will influence the development of the area up until 2035, will be put out for consultation with a view to it being adopted in 2023. At this stage councillors are just being asked to note the progress being made with the drafting of the plan.
The National Planning Policy Framework requires every Local Authority to review or partially review their Local Plan every 5 years.
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August 28, 2022