Fighting for the future of Chiswick

by Simon Kverndal QC

Fighting for the future of Chiswick

by Simon Kverndal QC
on 09th July 2015
pledged of £20,000 stretch target from 220 pledges
Simon Kverndal QC
Case Owner
For 17 years my wife and I and our (now) two teenage sons have lived in the heart of Chiswick I care about the local community that lives and works here.
28 October: UPDATE - We are now crowdfunding for the appeal! Please support us here!
UPDATE 18 July 2015: Permission for judicial review - Court hearing fixed for 29th July.
Final 30-day crowdfundraising target fixed at £20,000.

What this case is about

Hounslow Council have given foreign-owned Lend Lease the go-ahead to develop a new high rise residential complex of 13, 8, 7 and 6 storey buildings on Chiswick High Road overlooking Turnham Green, despite widespread opposition.

Chiswick Buzz covered our first public meeting (on 9 July 2015)

The new high rise blocks will be crammed in on car parks beside the existing tower that will have extra height and width. The Manhattan-style invasion will dominate its surroundings and open the floodgates for more of the same: insensitive, unsupportable development motivated by the desire for short-term profit.

This is the development that LendLease are planning to construct in the heart of Chiswick

I am seeking - with the support of the community - to overturn the Council’s decision.

We truly believe that if this development is allowed to go ahead, it will not just dramatically affect our skyline; it will irreversibly destroy the heritage, character and community of Chiswick for us and for future generations.

Decisions like this must be stopped! Help us come together to defend our local environment and heritage.

What has happened?

Lend Lease bought the land from Clerical Medical for £24 million on 26th February 2014 and sought to take advantage of high residential property values in Chiswick by pushing through a dense, high-rise residential scheme and hiding the evidence and advice it had been given about the suitability of the site for development in accordance with local plans.

Opposition from local residents, all the local residents’ groups around the site, Sainsbury’s (who own the adjacent site with British Land), the Council’s own development plans and the evidence of what it was possible to achieve on this site were ignored!

A judicial review challenging the grant of planning permission was issued on 1 April 2015. We are expecting a decision from the High Court granting or refusing permission for judicial review before the end of July. Our lawyers are arguing that the grant of planning permission did not properly engage with the Council's policies for the area.

Christ Church as captured by local photographer Ian Wylie

Why this will devastate the local community

If this development is allowed it will pave the way for future similar development in this area that will destroy the character of Chiswick and turn it into a high rise residential ghetto created by wealthy investors with no supporting infrastructure and no regard for local open spaces, heritage and community.

We DO believe in the development and improvement of our local area when it is done in a sustainable and considered manner. Sadly the developer in this case has little true consideration for Chiswick and the community that inhabits it.

Trees in the Lend Lease marketing material must not be allowed to obscure the true nature of the development

What we're trying to achieve

We are determined to use the law to challenge the abuse of the planning process by developers out for a quick profit and ensure that Hounslow Council carries out its responsibilities, in this case as the local planning authority, within the law. In these times of inflated residential property values we must work together in London to challenge abuses where they occur in order to prevent what we value most about this great city being destroyed by insensitive profit-making.

The decision in this case rides roughshod over local, area and national planning policies and the interests of the local community that lives and works here. It was pushed through in violation of the Council’s own policies on sustainable development in Chiswick: policies on employment, high rise development, affordable housing, local heritage and more.

What will the funds go towards?

I have lived in Chiswick for 17 years with my family, and I would like to see justice done here. I'm bearing all of the risks of the litigation but I am appealing to the community for help with some of the costs. I am raising £10,000 towards the fees of specialist solicitors Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law and barristers Dan Kolinsky QC and Luke Wilcox of Landmark Chambers to fight this judicial review for the benefit of all residents of Chiswick.

"It's not my case, it's everyone's case..." (Film by The Chiswick Calendar) 

Adrienne Copithorne of Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law, said:

"We believe the grounds of this challenge are correct. There was a clear failure on the part of the Council officers to advise Committee members properly of the relevant policies when they were making their decision to grant permission for this inappropriate development. The claimant and the other residents supporting him should be applauded for their willingness to take a principled stance and bring the claim before the court."

About the claimant

For 17 years my wife and I and our (now) two teenage sons have lived in the heart of Chiswick I care about the local community that lives and works here.

Fast facts

### Name of case The Queen (on the application of Simon Kverndal QC (Claimant) -v- London Borough of Hounslow Council (Defendant), with Lend Lease Limited (Interested Party) ### What's at stake The future of Chiswick is at stake! - Ensuring that planning decisions are made with proper consultation and proper consideration for the future Chiswick and the community that lives and works there. - Preventing inappropriate, high-rise, over dense, unsustainable development in and around Chiswick Town Centre. ### What's the next step Judicial review proceedings were issued last month. We are waiting for the court’s decision as to whether we can proceed to a full hearing without an oral application. If the Court gives permission in writing we shall be preparing for a full hearing, if it does not, then we shall be preparing for an oral hearing for permission. We are hoping for a decision on whether permission is granted for a hearing before the end of July. ### For more information Feel free to email for more information: reclaimchiswick[at]

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