The Site is roughly triangular in plan and located adjacent to Chiswick Roundabout. It is bound by the North Circular (Gunnersbury Avenue), Great West Road, and Larch Drive.
The Site is vacant. The JoxBox cafe on the rear half of the site closed in 1975. The last remaining building, a NatWest bank, was closed in 1995 and demolished in 1998. Hoarding panels have since been erected around the perimeter of the Site. Previously, three digital advertisement screens have been located at the corners.
The Site area measures 0.23 hectares. Approximate dimensions of the Site from north to south, and east to west are 65 metres and 67 metres respectively.
There are a number of recent planning decisions for the site, which can be seen in the images below:
In January 2000, Hounslow Council resolved to grant planning permission for a 26 storey (119m) high building comprising office accommodation and a restaurant for public use, known as the Pinnacle, but the application was withdrawn after being called in by the Secretary of State.
Planning permission was granted in September 2002 for a 13 storey (59m) high building known as the Citadel, comprising 19,750 sqm of office with basement level car parking. The application was referred to the Mayor, who on 19 February 2002, following a series of amendments, advised Hounslow Council that the application for a tall building was supported in strategic terms, subject to exemplary design detailing. This permission has been implemented and remains live.
Planning permission and advertisement consent was granted for 10 storey building (50m) in September 2012 and December 2012 respectively, comprising office, retail and outdoor advertising uses. Known as The Octopus, this permission has since lapsed.
Most recently, in July 2019 the Secretary of State disagreed with the Planning Inspectorate’s recommendation to grant permission for a building of 31 and 24 storeys known as the Chiswick Curve (110m).
The site today is a disconnected ‘island’, with no employment, public realm or residential use. Since the earlier applications for the site, the context of the area has now completely changed, and the site is now located in the midst of an entirely new and dynamic neighbourhood comprising several large developments. These are all shown here:
1. Brentford Stadium (shown left)
The site now being considered is key to the new neighbourhood, and the design of the building is intended to provide a hierarchy in the architecture so as to create a structured townscape. The benefits of this approach will be seen when the group of new buildings is viewed at a distance, particularly from along the elevated M4 which provides the most important gateway into our capital city.
It is clear that the height of any proposed building will be a key factor.
This proposal is set at only 90 metres above ground, approx. 18% lower than the Curve at its highest point. Crucially, the initial assessments of the view from Kew Gardens and other local heritage assets indicate that the impacts are appreciably less than in the case of the Curve and no worse than the impacts cause by the consented Citroen scheme to the rear of the Fountain Leisure Centre.
Next tile: how the building has been developed