West London council’s ‘hands tied’ as office blocks set to become pricey flats

Powerless councillors were told their hands were tied as they approved the transformation of two office buildings into small flats.

Two former Xerox offices were green lit for conversion into 61 one or two-bed flats at a Hillingdon Council planning meeting.

The council’s head of planning told councillors “your hands are tied” because of prior approval planning laws.

Two extra floors will be added to the three storey offices, which sit on a stretch of land between the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne, in Uxbridge, West London.

Hillingdon Council’s head of planning, James Rodger, told the committee: “We’ve done as much as we can basically, sorry if that doesn’t sound positive.

“On these prior approvals we can’t get affordable housing. I won’t go through all the things we can’t get, but there’s things we cannot get that we would in a full planning application.

“But we’ve sought… to get everything that we can, I think. For the public record, in effect your hands are tied on these, I’d go so far as saying.”

Riverview House before the planned development

Built in 2000, the former Xerox offices Riverview and Waterside House will both be converted into blocks each containing 22 one-bed flats and nine two-bed flats.

Committee chair Steve Tuckwell wearily kicked off the debate referring to “our old friend prior approval”.

Discussing fire safety concerns, the committee agreed to include the expectation that all materials should be brought to the planning department for approval.

Councillor Janet Duncan said: “We’re approving this and approving it in accordance with drawings, and those drawings, if they specify materials or ask them to use materials, we want them to be of a certain standard.”

Do you reckon any of the other Londons can compare with our stunning capital city?

Here at MyLondon, we’re doing our very best to make sure you get the latest news, reviews and features from your area.

Now there’s a way you can keep up to date with the areas that matter to you with our free email newsletters.

We have seven newsletters you can currently sign up for – including a different one for each area of London and one dedicated totally to EastEnders.

The local newsletters go out twice a day and send the latest stories straight to your inbox.

From community stories and news covering every borough of London to celebrity and lifestyle stories, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.

To sign up to any of our newsletters, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.

And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.

Mr Roger commented: “You’d hope any developer would apply common sense and wouldn’t submit anything that would fail building control regulations.”

Architects Patel Taylor wrote in their planning application: “This is an opportunity to holistically review and improve the appearance of the whole building, with an expectation for a planning application to be submitted in the future in relation to the appearance of the ground to second floor.

“This will result in an attractive prospect for future residents.”

Read More
Read More


Recommended For You