Interview: Brendon Walsh at Hounslow Council
Thu 27 November 2014, 1:00 pm
Co-founder of the property event Sitematch London and Hounslow Council's director of regeneration, economic development and environment, Brendon Walsh, chats about the borough's future, and taking inspiration from elsewhere.
What three developments or enhancements would most benefit Hounslow?
We will be working hard to encourage further investment into the Golden Mile, which stretches from Gillette Corner to Chiswick Park on the A4. This used to be the preferred location in the 1930s for inward investing American companies but has fallen behind because of a lack of investment in public transport. Unlocking this opportunity could bring 28,000 new jobs to Hounslow. Going forward, our other major opportunity is a renaissance of Feltham as an outer London location of choice to live and work. We think there are major opportunities for an extension to the highly successful Bedfont Lakes commercial area, coupled with new housing and a regeneration of the town centre. Finally, and slightly closer to delivery is the land south of the High Street scheme that Ballymore will be delivering before long in Brentford. This will create a high-quality mixed retail and residential scheme in the heart of the town, that will open up new access to the river.
Which three developments outside of Hounslow do you most admire and why?
I am particularly fond of development that has taken place south of the river Thames in Southwark. I worked there 20 years ago and it looked unpromising at that time. What has happened since has been breathtaking. My other personal favourite is work undertaken in Liverpool at Albert Dock and the Liverpool One shopping centre. Land values made the development difficult but the team there persevered and delivered high quality that will stand the test of time.
What things have surprised you about working in the borough?
We arranged for a company called Local Futures to run some numbers on our borough and it was fascinating. We came out top on.
When people find out you work in the borough, what things do they ask?
What’s happening to Heathrow Airport? What are the chances of Brentford FC getting promoted to the Premier League?
And lastly, what is your favourite gadget and why?
Ipod, but the question would be more interesting if it was toy, in which case it would be my old car which is a TR6. When it runs it’s a delight – when it doesn’t I get very fed up!