24-storey building at Chiswick Roundabout approved

Image above: developer’s impression of Holly House

New tower will stand 90 metres high and be the tallest building in Chiswick

A 24-storey high tower block ‘Holly House’ next to Chiswick Roundabout has been approved by LB Hounslow’s planning committee, after planning officers said the harm the building might cause would be outweighed by the benefits.

The site close to B&Q has been vacant for years and has been the subject of a number of failed development proposals, including one for an even taller building, the ‘Chiswick Curve‘ which was the subject of a Public Inquiry, only rejected on appeal to the Secretary of State in 2019.

An earlier plan for a building called ‘The Citadel’ which was lower in height than the current scheme was given a green light but never built.

Image above: developer’s impression of Holly House

The planning officer’s report acknowledged Holly House would be detrimental to views in the area, including the views at Strand on the Green, Gunnersbury Park and Kew Gardens, but claimed the ‘significant and numerous’ benefits of the scheme, including helping meet the shortfall in housing in the area, should be given greater weight in the decision process.

Planning officers said the planning policy position for the site had changed, as it now fell into the Great West Corridor Opportunity Area and permission had already been given for other schemes in its immediate vicinity, including at Capital Interchange Way, Larch Drive (B&Q) and the Brentford Community Stadium.

Image above: developer’s impression of Holly House

CEO of the developer Starbones Ltd, Kim Gottlieb told the planning committee the building would bring benefits in terms of jobs as well as providing housing.

Holly House will be the tallest building in the immediate area, at nearly 90 metres high.

Councillors on the planning committee voted 7-5 in favour of the proposal and voted against an application for a four metre high digital advertising display on the side of the building. Chiswick Councillor John Todd was among those who voted against.

Image above: Holly House (right) as would be seen across the river from Strand-on-the-Green

Planners admit harm will be caused to ‘heritage assets’

There were 75 objections to the proposal from individuals a local resident and heritage groups. The West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society, Strand on the Green Association (SoGA) and Brentford Voice, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and Historic England all claimed Holly House would constitute harm to the visuals of the area, with some citing the Secretary of State’s decision on the Chiswick Curve as precedent for rejection.

The planners dismissed the argument, saying Holly House is eight storeys lower and “a much improved and more suitable design” the Chiswick Curve. Despite this, the report acknowledged the scheme would have a detrimental impact on the area, stating:

“The development would continue to cause harm to the settings of some heritage assets, including Strand on the Green and Kew Green Conservation Areas. This is important, and great weight should be attached to those harms. The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that in such circumstances, a balance needs to be undertaken, considering the great weight that should be afforded to heritage harm against the public benefits that the development would bring forward.”

Other objections on the grounds of a lack of capacity at Gunnersbury Station were dismissed because TfL has sought a contribution towards improvements to the station to help mitigate additional usage.

Image above: Site where Holly House will be built

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: New walkway underneath Barnes Railway Bridge opened

See also: The Chiswick Calendar CIC celebrates eight years

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.