Hillingdon refuses 500-home scheme on over-development grounds

A west London council has refused plans for an 11-storey, 500-home scheme, after officers advised that the proposal would result in over-development of a former motel site.

Hillingdon Civic Centre. Pic: Conrad Roth
Hillingdon Civic Centre. Pic: Conrad Roth

Developer Inland submitted an application to the London Borough of Hillingdon last October for permission to redevelop the demolished site of the former 106-bedroom Master Brewer motel, close to the junction of the A40 and A437.

The 2.5 hectare site is located 200m from Hillingdon underground station and on the edge of green belt land to the west of Northolt aerodrome. 

Inland, which was represented by planning consultants GL Hearn, proposed 514 homes in a series of buildings, ranging in height from two to eleven storeys, the tallest of which would be located at the A40 side of the development. 

Together with 165 car parking spaces, the application also proposes 1,200 square metres of commercial space in ground floor units at the south west corner of the site, where a small square is proposed 

But Hillingdon Council’s planning committee unanimously refused the application last Wednesday and recommended that it should not be called in for determination by the mayor of London. 

The committee backed the council officers' judgement that the scheme constitutes an over-development of the site, resulting in "an unduly intrusive, visually prominent and incongruous form of development", which would be out of character with the neighbouring North Hillingdon local centre and not compliment the openness of the surrounding green belt

The report also said the proposed level of car parking provision was "insufficient" to address the demands of the proposed development, threatening to displace vehicles and creating further congestion on the surrounding highway network. 

It also said the applicant failed to demonstrate that the proposal would not result in an "unacceptable rise" in traffic around the site.

Officers further raised concerns about the level of noise insulation being provided in the residential units and the applicant's air quality assessment, which they said was insufficiently detailed for a site located an Air Quality Focus Area. 

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