“Do the politically difficult things as soon as possible”

We can expect a raft of controversial planning reforms in the weeks to come, which may pave the way for a forest of tall buildings along the approach to London from Heathrow and into Chiswick.

Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser Dominic Cummings told ministerial aides at a No.10 briefing just before Christmas that the Government “must do the politically difficult things as soon as possible.”

That, he said, would include planning liberalisation, including allowing developers and homeowners to build upwards.

Developers see the planning process as a huge and expensive drag on the business of getting their developments built, and want the power of local government reduced.

Other Government plans likely to be implemented include scrapping a regulation that forces builders to apply for permission if they want to demolish a commercial property and replace it with homes.

Hounslow Council wants the M4 corridor flanked by commercial buildings, not residential, not least because of the poor air quality and the noise generated by the motorway.

But LB Hounslow lost a High Court case just over a year ago to Paradigm Land, who bought an office block on the Great West Road, a few hundred yards west of Chiswick roundabout, and turned it into housing units.

High Court to decide on the Curve

We are awaiting another High Court ruling, on the Chiswick Curve, the 32-storey development at Chiswick roundabout proposed By Starbones.

The development was turned down last year by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State at the Department of Local Government and Housing, after planning permission had been refused by Hounslow Council and the decision had gone to a Public Inquiry.

The developers immediately appealed the Secretary of State’s decision, and it is now a matter for the court to decide.

But there are other planning decisions waiting in the wings for the next Secretary of State to decide, and the political wind has changed.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Local residents oppose Chiswick Curve proposal at public meeting.

See also: Who has control over business decisions?