London mayor Boris Johnson has used his new planning powers to approve a major redevelopment scheme – in this case for the Southall gas works site in west London - against the wishes of the two local planning authorities involved.
Last year Ealing and Hillingdon Council refused permission for the major housing-led scheme whose site straddles the boundary between the two councils.
Site owner National Grid has proposed to build 3,750 new homes, of which 30 per cent will be affordable.
The plan will boost Southall town centre, with a new town square on the development site and an increased focus on retail and commercial units. The application also includes a hotel, cinema, and recreational facilities. The scheme involves plans to open up the Grand Union Canal for local people, allowing new and easy access to the waterway.
The s106 agreement attached to the application will see the developer contributing over £22m towards the provision of transport infrastructure improvements, education and health facilities, and public realm improvements for the local community.
The mayor has said that only 2,500 units can be built before South Road Bridge, near the development site, is widened by the developer. This will help relieve traffic congestion on routes around the site and ensure smooth traffic flow on the nearby South and Beaconsfield Roads.
Johnson said: "Having had the chance to listen in person to all the arguments for and against this proposal, and consider the application in greater detail, I am satisfied that all major concerns have been addressed. This application is clearly of major significance to London, with the homes it will deliver and the jobs it will create.”
He added: “Failure to give the Southall application the go-ahead and develop this key brownfield site could be detrimental to the future economic prosperity of the area.”
31 March 2010