Decision on future of Dukes Meadows laser tag facility put off

Image above: laser tag facility in Dukes Meadow

Decision deferred despite planners recommending approval

The decision to grant or deny retrospective planning permission for the laser tag facility at Chiswick Rugby Club (CRFC) in Dukes Meadow has been deferred by a LB Hounslow planning committee.

Though the planning application was recommended for approval by council planners, the final decision was deferred by councillors at last Thursday’s planning committee (9 February) and will be brought back to committee at a later date. Councillors made the decision because ‘some of the conditions attached merited further exploration’.

No new date has been set for the application’s consideration and the specific reasons for the deferral have not made available. The main planning issues councillors were urged to consider during the meeting were:

  • The acceptability, in principle of the proposal
  • The impact of the proposal on the character and appearance of the area
  • The impact on the amenity of surrounding residential properties
  • The impact of the proposal on traffic and parking

CRFC had initially been advised that they would not need planning permission to install the facility next to their existing rugby pitches. Hounslow’s planning team later determined approval was needed, partially due to a shared occupancy with operator Adrenalin Rush. CRFC have since taken over the operation of the site under the name CRFC Laser Tag.

Hounslow served a notice in 2022 to CRFC to cease the laser tag operations, and they submitted a retrospective planning application (P/2022/2478). Four objections were received on the grounds that the development was an inappropriate use for the open land, that it would contribute to congestion and pollution, or that it would be detrimental to the character of the area.

The site brings in revenue for CRFC that they regard as crucial. The rugby club is a volunteer-run charity. They have recently had to extend their clubhouse, after the Thames Tradesmen Clubhouse which they used to share was slated for redevelopment; and also lost out on a deal with Latymer Upper School to use their facilities.

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