Tuesday 29 March 2022
Today’s site visit with the Inspector took in the area around the proposed sites starting at 09.30 from Syon Park, winding our way around the area between there and Osterley Park, taking in many viewpoints along the way as can be seen on the map.
We stopped many times to look at the printed views that had been prepared by the applicant and by OWGRA to show what the developments would look like from various viewpoints. The most important views from our standpoint were those from the footbridge over the A4 near Currys PC World, from the lake in Syon Park looking across at Lion Gate, from the Trees Estate, from Rothbury Gardens on the Northumberland Estate, Grasshoppers car park and Osterley Park. It was also instructive to walk along MacFarlane Lane and imagine how 12 terraced houses are going to be squeezed into the gap between the pavement and the end of the gardens in Oaklands Avenue.
Because we did a lot of looping in and out of Syon Park, Osterley Park and the various residential areas eg Trees Estate (south of the railway line), the Northumberland Estate, the Wyke Estate, Oaklands Ave, up and down the Great West Road both sides of Gillette Corner and round the back of Tesco to Goals, we covered about 16 kilometers and finished at 15.00. The weather was not as good as on the Monday, but we were grateful that the rain held off.
It was interesting to compare the thorough manner in which this public inquiry is being held compared to the way these planning applications were handled by the Council in the run up to and during the Planning Committee meeting last April 2021. Two very detailed site visits over these two days compared to no site visits before the Planning Committee meeting, despite us inviting all the members of the Planning Committee to a site visit, yet none attended. The way major planning applications are handled by our Council has to change and improve drastically in future.