SimpsonHaugh revokes approval for Chiswick Roundabout Tower

The Manchester-based practice has become the latest architect to secure planning permission for the 0.28ha site, which lies south of Gunnersbury Park, after Hounslow Council’s planning committee approved the scheme by a vote of seven to five last week (12 January).

Follow the plan Four previous attempts On the building, which dates back to 1998: two plans from LOM Architecture, standing at 26 stories and 13 stories, Make’s ‘Chiswick Octopus’ and Studio Egret West’s 32-story plans for ‘Chiswick Curve’.

SimpsonHaugh’s scheme, called Holly House, will create 252 plus homes for 586sqm2 Office and shop space on the lower levels and improvements to the public area around the site. Housing will be affordable by 32 percent.

Board members approved SimpsonHaugh’s designs on the condition that vertical “winter gardens” be included. This followed an Environmental Impact Assessment which found that the scheme would have better air quality if parks were added.

A separate entrance to the social and private homes was also contested during the meeting.

But the commission heard that the separate entrance for social and affordable tenants would be “of the same design quality as the market segment” and was requested by a future social housing provider to facilitate unit management.

Hounslow Council planning officials recommended approval of the scheme, recognizing it was detrimental [would be] caused the settlement of various heritage assets” but added that the “substantial public benefits… outweigh that harm”.

Historic England told the planners that it estimated a “significant reduction” in Holly House’s height of 90m to the earlier Chiswick Curve scheme of 120m, but argued: “The proposed building would still cause appreciable harm”.

However, Hounslow planning officials said a series of developments had recently been approved for the Chiswick area at a similar height and that Holly House is an improvement on earlier Chiswick Curve plans, being eight storeys shorter.

The Chiswick Curve is a 327-house 327-house scheme planned by Studio Egret West that was turned down by former Communities Secretary James Brokenshire in 2017 after a successful appeal.

Historic England, among others, said the Chiswick Curve would have “loomed and dominated precious historic places” and nearby Kew Gardens.

Advisers to the Hounslow Planning Commission acknowledged the difficulty in finding the right solution to the scheme.

Make’s Chiswick Octopus, a 50-meter-tall office building covered in an LED shroud, won approval in 2011 before it could be completed. Shelved by its developer Three years later.

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