This article was posted on BrentfordTW8.com on 18 April 2019
Readers of Guy Lambert’s weekly update on 11 April on BrentfordTW8.com will know that the Friends of Watermans Park has now been set up and the Committee met Council Leader, Steve Curran on that day.
The constitution for the Friends Group was completed on 29 March and its principal objective is:
To help protect, conserve and enhance Watermans Park, its environs and access to the River Thames for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors.
The Committee are now working with the help of South West London Environment Network (SWLEN) to ensure that there’s a basic infrastructure in place to support the Friends Group activities including a website, how to keep in touch with people who are interested in the Park, seek new members and most importantly views about the Park.
Philip Jones, the Chair of the Friends Group, wrote to Steve Curran following the meeting last week seeking clarification and information about several matters relating to the marina development and park. Steve Curran expects to reply in the next week or so after consulting colleagues.
In the meantime, a number of documents relating to the planning consent given on 19 May 2016 (planning ref: 00607/AM/P5) and which expires after 3 years unless the development has commenced have recently been posted on the Council’s planning website on 29 March 2019. These include so called Non Material Amendments (P/2019/1280) and documentation to satisfy the planning conditions (P/2019/1259).
So far we know that the River Thames Society has filed objections stating that Non Material Amendments are in fact material, which if agreed by the Planning Authority would require public consultation, and the documentation does not in fact fully satisfy the planning conditions. For example, the Operational Management Plan as filed would permit the mooring of “river worthy vessels ... in the opinion of management” rather than navigable and of vessels up to 8m wide with no height restrictions. The Friends Group say they have concerns that extra-wide multi-storey houseboats of up to 30m in length would dominate and block the view from the park and have an impact on the river not considered in the planning modelling. Other concerns set out by the River Thames Society in their filing include the fact that toxicity sampling, required because of the site’s former use as a gas works, was from some years ago and it is not known whether repeat sampling has been carried out as recommended. Users of the park will want to be reassured that testing is carried out wherever the ground is to be disturbed.
If you would like to get involved with the Friends Group or would just be interested in receiving updates from time to time you can contact Philip Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org