Developments around Gunnersbury Park

There are two proposed property developments which are likely to have an impact on Gunnersbury Park.

The B&Q store and car park to the south of Gunnersbury Park, beyond the cemetery and the railway line, close to the Gunnersbury Roundabout, is the site of a planning application called “Hudson Square”. Hudson was the name of an American car company which built a factory there in 1925.

Aerial view of Hudson Square (Fourth Mile) proposals

On the site the developers propose to put a hotel, three residential blocks and a large building along the slip road beside the flyover called the Technology Showcase. The tallest of the residential blocks will be 18 storeys, 70 metres, with the others slightly shorter. They will form a wall of apartments higher than the tree line, very visible around the south of the Park, and particularly visible from the Terrace, which is supposed to a protected historic view. The developers have sent in a “verified view” to the Council claiming to be from the Terrace. It is in fact from the lawn below the slope of the Terrace, taken in summer when the trees are in leaf, and to no one’s surprise their blocks would be invisible! Fortunately the local Councillors who know the Park will not be fooled by this deception. We have said that the application should be halted until better images have been prepared.

The view from below the Terrace

Hudson Square is yet another local development which relies on the Park to provide a back garden for its new residents, and this one even goes so far as to suggest that it has made no provision for children of 12+ on its site because they have the Park to go to, with all its “play and recreation facilities”.

Hudson Square from Gunnersbury Cemetery

We have lodged a letter of protest on behalf of the Friends, which you can read here.

Another site which has an impact is the proposals from Transport for London to build blocks of flats along Bollo Lane. In this case the contentious building is the 25 storey block sited by the northern of the two level crossings. No heights have been published, but on the basis that each floor is 3.2 metres high it will be 80 metres, on land that is 9.7 metres above the ordnance survey base line. This means that it will be about 70 metres above the level of the Terrace (the Chiswick Curve would have been 100 metres above the level of the Terrace). It will be harder to sustain the argument that it intrudes into the experience of visitors to the Park because it is so far away (the Curve would have been between the B&Q site and the Roundabout itself and much more intrusive).

The tallest tower of the Bollo Lane proposals

The TFL proposals are still open to public consultation, so there is a chance local people will be able to change the final scheme. You can read more about it and make comments at The deadline for your comments is 12th February.

And finally .. the Chiswick Curve has not gone away. The Minister rejected his Inspector’s decision and refused permission. The developers are now at the High Court claiming that the way the Minister made his decision was flawed. If they win, it goes back to the new Minister to make the decision again, in a government led by a Prime Minister who enthusiastically backed tall towers when he was Mayor of London.

James Wisdom
21st January 2020