From the Newsletter Editorial...

Civic Voice promotes its June Civic Day by proclaiming “Be Proud of Where You Live” and “Conservation Counts”.  TIS’s celebration was slightly different from other affiliated groups.  Through its herculean efforts, support of local residents and the Garden Society it was able to demonstrate to Councillors’ satisfaction that the Northumberland Estate’s applications to build housing on Park Road Allotment Gardens and re-locate the plots to within Syon’s Capability Brown landscape was not acceptable.  Both applications were refused

To recap, Park Road Allotments were created to provide sustenance for returning lst Word War veterans.  The land, almost opposite Syon Park vehicle entrance, was leased by Henry Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland, to the local authority.  In 2015 Hounslow Council relinquished this lease; TIS sought and achieved limited protection of it through Asset of Community Value status.  Appeals led to a Tribunal upholding this category, when the Judge stated “the wider community will benefit from the wildlife that will thrive in this green area and natural habitat.  The birds and insects that will live on the land will be enjoyed and benefit the wider local community beyond the gates and the fence”.  February 2016 saw a planning application from the Northumberland Estate, to build 119 flats and 8 houses consuming all this valued open space.

Meantime discussions had taken place with allotment holders regarding re-locating plots within Syon Park.   Several sites were put forward but the least preferred, viewed by existing holders as inferior to the current site became the subject of a separate planning application.   The chosen location was by London Road, Lion Gates; designed by Robert Adam in the 18thC to complement the Capability Brown parkland – described by one expert as “an outstanding example of a landscape park and garden by the most important landscape gardener”.  The park is Metropolitan Open Land, both it, Syon House and other structures, Grade l listed.

TIS objected to both applications citing contravention of National, Local and London Plan Policies and in the case of the allotment re-location the substantial harm that would be caused to Syon’s landscape.   Principal reasons for the Estate’s approval request, recommended by officers, was that both applications fell within an Enabling Development Framework. Income derived from renting out the properties would, over time, facilitate much needed repairs to Syon House, Lion Gates and Lodges.   TIS and others’ contention was this was not proven based on submissions which failed to include sales of items from Syon, and incomplete obligations relating to a previous agreement for permission to build the hotel.  Other reasons included the fact the housing did not conform to London Plan definitions of affordable homes, and heightened flood risk.

The decision on locating allotments at Syon came first.  It was a cliff hanger, 5 votes in favour of rejection, then, with a sigh of relief from residents, the remaining 7 Councillors abstained. Arguments that benefits accruing from repairs to Grade l structures would not  outweigh the harm to the Grade l landscape had won the day.  A motion to refuse building in Park Road was agreed unanimously.  It was seen as unsuited to dense mass housing, with its attendant adverse effect on traffic, air pollution, and loss of an open space Asset of Community Value.  The big question remains, will the Estate appeal these decisions?  They have 6 months to decide.

On other matters, November has been chosen for TIS’s annual fun fund raising quiz night (details on centre page) which we hope will be well supported.  A summer social in one form or another, ranging from garden parties at Ferry House to royal celebrations at Isleworth Public Hall, has been a decades’ long feature of TIS’s calendar.  This year saw a return to the Town Wharf Public House, under new management.  It was pleasing to see that numbers wishing to attend reached the 70s. There was an undoubted convivial atmosphere, on the whole feedback was positive, even though a few hitches occurred over serving of the food.   It was good to be able to welcome new members to the social.  Since then a few more have been gained by TIS’s attendance at the well-attended and highly successful Bank Holiday Monday, Redlees Charity Fun Event.  On the minus side some have not renewed since subscriptions fell due in April but essentially this leaves membership at the same level.

This newsletter may appear to concentrate on planning related issues for which no apology is needed, keeping an eye on these as well as preserving and enhancing the area’s historic features forms a large part of TIS’s constitutional aims. On this subject quotes TIS obtained for restorating the cemetery’s ornamental entrance came in rather high, rendering the £10,000 allocated insufficient.  These monies derived from the Council’s backlog of unspent S106 monies accruing from developments. TIS has submitted a case to the Council for further apportionment of funds to cover the shortfall.

390 PROJECT UPDATE

A short film has been made about the Project and can be seen, either on TIS’s website www.isleworthsociety.btck.co.uk, or the 390 one at: www.isleworthww1.co.uk.

Details of two special events to raise funds for this Project and how to book are on the centre page, don’t miss out, buy your tickets now! 

The first is Eye Deep in Hell’ an illustrated talk on the Soldier at Passchendaele 1917, by Andrew Robertshaw. He is one of the UK’s most exciting military historians, with a background in teaching, museum work and major archaeological projects. What life was like on the frontline of history will be revealed.  Andy will also sign copies of his books; there will be other book stalls and a raffle. The event is sponsored by West Middlesex Family History Society.

As a contrast, the second event is an evening with Robb Johnson, folk singer, musician and song writer.  Robb will be performing parts of his ‘Gentle Men’, a piece written about his two grandfathers who fought in Passchendaele and survived the battle. He will also be singing some recent and older favourites. This event has been sponsored by Bellway Homes