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Future of the borough discussed at Great West event

by Marco Cillario Fri 1 July 2016, 9:42 am

The fifth issue of Great West regeneration magazine was showcased at University of West London's Brentford campus this week, where architects working in Hounslow described the changing skyline of the borough and expressed satisfaction about working the council.

Cliff Crown, chairman of Brentford FC (left), and Councillor Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council (right)

More than 80 delegates from the property industry attended the event on Tuesday 28 June, taking the chance to network and listen to speeches by the council’s senior members.

Councillor Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council, thanked 3Fox International, the production company behind the magazine, for the work and the university for hosting the event.

“We are here because we deliver in Hounslow,” he said. “We published our first regeneration and economic development strategy and adopted our local plan for 2015 until 2030 last year.

“Hounslow is aspirational. We have done an enormous amount since 2010, but we have done it with our partners. Without you, the investors, the developers, the architects and designers, it would not have been possible.

“We are a centre for many things: we have got Sky, we have got Heathrow. There is a lot more to do.”

He added that, despite the delay in the government’s decision on the third runway – moved to at least October after prime minister’s David Cameron resignation – the council would continue to work with the airport: “They are fantastic partners and fantastic employers for many of our residents so we will continue to work with them, whoever the prime minister is and whatever he decides.”

The event included a keynote speech by Stirling Prize-winning architect Will Alsop, who is behind the Capital Interchange Way scheme in Brentford.

He discussed his desire to create different types of buildings next to each other in the borough. He said that developers should not construct similar looking buildings, but try to mix up.

He said it was important for architects to be allowed to lead the way in design.

Brendon Walsh, executive director for regeneration, economic development and environment, spoke of a “real trust” between the council, its sponsors and development partners.

He went on to list the council’s main achievements in the last few months, such as Brentford Football Club’s new stadium: “We had to wait a long time, but it is a fantastic scheme”, Hounslow new town centre: “A few years ago it was almost at risk of losing its metropolitan town centre status and now Barratt’s scheme is going to be great”, and the upcoming Crossrail station in Southall: “It’s going to make a massive difference to our borough”, Chiswick Roundabout, Trinity Square and the new civic centre.

He also expressed satisfaction at the borough’s two housing zones in Hounslow town centre and Feltham: “We are one of the very few boroughs to achieve two housing zones.”

Announced in February 2015 and March 2016, they are among the areas designated to stimulate and speed up house building through planning measures and financial support from the mayor of London, and are set to provide 1,018 and 3,339 new homes respectively.

The outcome of the referendum on British membership of the European Union was also addressed at the event, and speakers said that, although it poses challenges, the council is equipped to remain an attractive place for investors from all over the world.

“We remain an aspirational borough regardless of what is going on in the world,” Walsh concluded. “I think Hounslow is a great place and will be a great place.”

To read the latest issue of Great West magazine, click here

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