London Borough of Hounslow
Planning Potential achieve a unanimous resolution to grant planning permission for a hybrid scheme delivering up to 1,525 homes, public football pitches, offices, retail and other associated uses.
Planning Potential are delighted to have achieved a resolution to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of the former Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow, having led on Planning and EIA.
With the Ministry of Defence disposing of the barracks, Planning Potential, as part of Inland Homes project team, started developing scheme proposals back in 2019. The site is steeped in history, with 14 Listed Buildings and 19 further Locally Listed Buildings, as well as the entire site forming the Cavalry Barracks Conservation Area. Accordingly, the approach to redevelopment needed to balance the protection and enhancement of these Listed Buildings whilst unlocking the wider development potential very carefully.
Planning Potential worked closely with the Local Planning Authority through numerous design workshops, pre-application meetings and technical meetings to refine and evolve the scheme prior to submission. The Council’s aspiration for the site’s redevelopment was defined in the Local Plan Allocation, as well as the accompanying Supplementary Planning Document relating specifically to the site. Planning Potential were able to successfully develop a scheme that delivered against the aspiration of the Supplementary Planning Document, whilst also delivering a far greater quantum of development than originally envisaged by the Council.
Planning Potential worked closely with a large project team to evolve the scheme, including architecture, transport, landscape, heritage, viability and energy input, to name but a few, co-ordinating the wider team to ensure deadlines were met and the proposals addressed comments received and the relevant policies at play.
Post submission of the scheme, Planning Potential continued to work closely with the Council’s Planning Department to aid the scheme moving forward to Planning Committee. Given the sheer scale and complexity of the scheme, the level of consultee input was vast and considerable dialogue was needed to achieve a scheme the Council were supportive of. Beyond the typical consultees involved, there was also a need to engage closely with: Sport England to secure the reprovision of on-site football pitches, as well as a masterplan for the neighbouring public park; Heathrow, whose flight path runs directly above the site, requiring development heights, construction methods, acoustic mitigation and planting to be carefully considered; Historic England, the Georgian and Victorian Societies were all particularly interested in ensuring the redevelopment proposals were respectful to the sites history and the Greater London Authority, who recognised the strategic importance of development of this scale in London. Planning Potential were able to achieve support on all counts after extensive dialogue.
Due to the former use of the site, the public have always been excluded from the enjoyment of the architectural quality of the Listed Buildings within the Barracks and a key aim of the redevelopment proposals was to open the site up, encouraging the public to walk through the site and enjoy the history and its significance. The proposals create a more direct working route between Hounslow Heath and the residential areas surrounding it (south of the site), to Hounslow West Station (north of the site). Not only will the PTAL of the site be improved by this betterment of walking and cycling routes but a comprehensive ‘play-on-the-way’ strategy offers an exciting green and playful route for the new and existing residents to enjoy.
Planning Potential’s sister company Communications Potential ran a comprehensive engagement strategy to ensure the public were behind the development and their aspirations for the site could be duly considered by the project team. Alongside public consultation events and postal and virtual updates, Communications Potential engaged with local schools and businesses to broaden the range of views heard. Ultimately fewer than 20 objections were received, and a far greater number of supportive representations were received, including from the Chamber of Commerce.
Planning Potential were also responsible for co-ordinating the Environmental Impact Assessment, assessing the potential significant environmental impacts, agreeing the scope of the Environmental Statement and co-ordinating the reporting. The Environmental Statement was required to consider socio-economics (undertaken by Planning Potential); Archaeology; Ecology; Traffic and Transport; Air Quality; Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing; Noise and Vibration; Aviation and Townscape, Heritage and Visual Impact Assessment.