- Background and planning context
Who currently owns the land?
Inland Homes has entered into an agreement to purchase the Cavalry Barracks site from the Ministry of Defence, and is now preparing a planning application for the development of the site.
What is happening to the family housing in Beavers Crescent and Cavalry Crescent (off Beavers Lane)?
These homes do not form part of our planning application.
When is the Ministry of Defence moving out?
The site is still in use as a military facility. The Ministry of Defence hopes to vacate the site in August 2021.
What is the Planning Brief?
When the Ministry of Defence announced that it wanted to sell the Cavalry Barracks site, the London Borough of Hounslow saw it as a significant opportunity to deliver new private and affordable housing, community facilities, employment space and the protection and enhancement of the listed buildings and historic environment.
This Planning Brief is intended to provide prospective developers with planning guidance in order that a high quality, residential-led development is achieved, especially as the whole site sits within a Conservation Area and contains many historic buildings.
The Planning Brief underwent full public consultation, and was formally adopted by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document (guidance), before Inland Homes’ involvement. It is in no way a guarantee of planning permission. The Planning Brief provides a framework for consideration of future applications, and tells applicants what the Council expects to see. It sits alongside the Council’s adopted Planning Policy Documents.
- Housing and facilities
How many homes are you proposing?
The Council’s Planning Brief tells us that a minimum of 1,000 homes must be delivered of the site.
Whilst the exact number of homes is yet to be determined, we think it could be possible to deliver up to 1,800 new homes in a sustainable way. The exact number will be a product of the final mix of homes, used and form and layout.
How many affordable homes will the site provide?
The exact number of affordable homes, and the tenure mix, is yet to be agreed upon. However, the proposed development will seek to maximise the provision of affordable housing in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Brief, Local and London Plan Policy.
How much will these homes cost?
At present we are unable to confirm this, as the price of the homes is subject to market value at the time of completion.
It is likely that a proportion of the affordable homes will be delivered at social rent levels, suitable for those of the Council’s housing waiting list.
What types of new homes are you proposing?
The proposals will deliver a range of new homes in different shapes and sizes. Overall, our proposals seek to deliver a range of high-quality, traditional style homes that are well suited to the site and complement the historic setting of Cavalry Barracks.
What approach are you taking with regards to private amenity space?
Public open and private amenity space is a key feature of the proposals. The proposals currently include a mix of inset and external balconies across the site, as well as private gardens and / or ground floor space and courtyards for the dwellings where possible.
How will local services like schools and GPs cope with up to 1,900 new homes?
There is no doubt that more homes will mean more people using local services. But it is for this reason that we are currently looking at what non-residential uses will be included in the proposals.
A considerable benefit of the development will be the financial contributions made towards improving local services such as medical facilities and schools to accommodate growth in Hounslow. These financial contributions will be made in the usual way (Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 Agreement) to the Council, who will be responsible for spending the money.
Have you considered that the site is under the Heathrow flight path?
The project team is preparing an Environmental Statement to be submitted as part of the planning application. The Statement will review various aspects of the developments impact on the local area, and vice versa. Noise disturbance from the airport will be assessed as part of this exercise.
The project team is also liaising directly with the relevant authorities at Heathrow Airport.
Will the site provide a supermarket?
The development will provide retail space suitable for smaller convenience stores, primarily to serve residents living on the development and local neighbours.
The Council’s adopted Planning Brief, which sets out how the Council would like to see the site developed, specifically states that the retail uses should be targeted at new residents. A large foodstore on site would be contrary to planning policy, and therefore not supported by the Council.
The Cavalry Barracks is a conservation area in its own right. With so many listed buildings, we agree with the Council that it would be an inappropriate location for a large foodstore. In addition to design concerns, large foodstores also generate high levels of traffic, and require substantial car parks. This would no doubt have an impact on local residential streets, as well as do significant damage to the historic setting of the Cavalry Barracks.
- Design and materials
What will the buildings look like?
The final detail on how the new buildings will look is yet to be determined. TP Bennett is developing proposals that reflect the Cavalry Barracks’ character and heritage, as well as providing a mix of contemporary styles that reflect the wider West Hounslow area.
How tall will the buildings be?
The final masterplan has not been decided on yet. However, initial ideas include a range of building heights, potentially up to 8 storeys (above ground level) in some locations. The height of the buildings is being considered carefully, to sensitively reflect the neighbouring residential context.
The majority of the buildings will be between three and four storeys.
What heritage assets are currently on site?
Firstly, the site itself is the Cavalry Barracks Conservation Area. There are 14 statutory listed buildings on site, dating from 1793. There also 19 locally listed buildings on site.
What will happen to the listed buildings?
The key aspiration of the development is to realise the value of the heritage assets across the site, by restoring, celebrating, and opening up the key buildings for the wider community benefit. Our vision is to open the gates and allow local residents to explore the heritage which has been within their community since the 18th century, but never before explored.
How will heritage assets be impacted?
We are proposing to invest in the heritage assets on site, some of which are in extremely poor condition. We want to celebrate this history and create character areas centred on these assets.
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to save all the old buildings on site. There are some in very poor condition, and others – largely concentrated on the edges of the site – which have less significance. There will be a need to remove or relocate some – this does not include the statutory listed buildings.
I’m concerned about the impact of prolonged construction on the safety and preservation of the listed buildings. What will be done to protect them?
The preservation and care of the many listed buildings on site will be central to construction methods. A detailed Construction Management Plan will be produced at a later date to set out a variety mitigation measures to be implemented during construction.
Will the materials used be sympathetic to listed buildings?
The final materials have yet to be decided; however, the scheme will draw upon existing listed buildings on site, and the Cavalry Barracks Conservation Area for inspiration. All materials will be of a high quality.
Are there plans to convert listed buildings into dwellings? Or will they be used for other parts of the development?
Yes. Several Grade II listed buildings and locally listed buildings will be used for either homes or community uses.
How will the site’s history be incorporated into the design?
Whilst a definitive design has not been agreed upon, we want the scheme to reflect and celebrate the site’s military history and collection of listed buildings.
Many of the existing listed buildings will be restored and brought back into use as new homes, office, community or leisure space, becoming a feature of the development. Moreover, our draft plans seek to carefully improve the areas surrounding listed buildings, creating new, and preserving existing, views where possible.
How many parking spaces will be provided?
The exact number of car parking spaces will be confirmed as the proposals develop, though it is expected to be in the region 500-600 spaces. This has the potential to become a highly sustainable site, and is in close proximity of a variety of public transport links via bus, London Underground and rail services. In line with the Council and London policy, we will be encouraging the use of active and more sustainable transport modes, reducing the need to rely on the car and promoting environmental and health benefits. Homes without access to parking are likely to appeal to people working either locally or in central London, who do not rely on a car for travel.
Car parking will be provided in undercroft car parks and on-street, with small, car parks for commercial units and visitors provided where space allows. Though the majority of parking is likely to be provided on-street, the plans ensure that parked cars do not become overly dominant through adopting a sensitive approach to streetscape design, preserving green corridors and play spaces.
Will parking accommodate disabled members of the community?
Blue badge parking will be provided in line with Intend to Publish (latest) London Plan standards, meaning at least 3% of the new homes will have allocated spaces for disabled parking.
Our plans allow for increasing this figure to up to 10% in the future, should demand warrant it.
Up to 1,900 new homes will result in a lot of extra traffic. What measure are being taken to ensure traffic is managed effectively?
The site is in a sustainable location, and our proposals include significantly improved links to public transport services. However, we appreciate that there will be new residents who use a car. Our transport consultant, WSP, is undertaking a detailed transport assessment as part of developing the proposals, to understand the potential impact and to identify any mitigation measures or improvements that can be made to the local road network to minimise the impact.
The transport assessment will be submitted as part of the planning application, and considered by the Council’s highways experts.
How can I access the site by vehicle?
There are three existing vehicle access points, however, the north-eastern access onto Martindale Road is currently disused and is unsuitable to accommodate traffic movements, and as such will be converted to a pedestrian and cycle access only.
The current main entrance to the site off Beavers Lane will also be converted to pedestrian and cycle access only, with a new vehicle access proposed to the east on Beavers Lane. The existing vehicle access to the west on Beavers Lane will be retained.
How will the access be made safe?
The scheme aims to convert the current main entrance to the site to a pedestrian and cycle access only. This will enhance the environment and improve pedestrian and cycle safety at this access.
Streets will be designed in accordance with Manual for Streets and will seek to reduce the dominance of the private car and give priority to non-car modes. This will be achieved through the creation of traffic-free areas, and by developing traffic-calmed designs that incorporate on-street car parking in a sensitive way.
Will there be visitor parking available?
We plan to provide visitor parking in clusters around the site, alongside commercial bays serving other uses such as offices and shops.
Beavers Lane only has one bus, how will it cope with additional demand?
The project team is reviewing the impact on the local bus network and will be submitting a details assessment as part of the planning application.
What about Hounslow West station? The tube gets very busy.
We are working closely with the London Borough of Hounslow and Transport for London to model the impact of our development on the Piccadilly Line, to work out whether any mitigation is required. We’ll be able to share more details as part of the planning application.
- Open space and landscaping
What open space will be provided?
The scheme aims to provide elements of public open space, as well as improving links to Beaversfield Park. One of the key features of the development will be incorporating the existing Parade Ground to create a large area of publicly accessible space. The new areas of public space within the site will be designed to be accessible and attractive as well as encouraging biodiversity.
Will members of the public, who do not live in the development be able to access the open space?
Yes, one of the benefits of developing the site is to open it up to the local community, including access to new open spaces and community facilities.
Will the scheme include facilities for children’s play?
Yes, there will be facilities for children’s play. The exact details of the landscaping and open spaces are still being developed, though spaces suitable for a different age groups is being considered both on and off-site.
Won’t this development harm local wildlife?
Part of the design process is to carefully assess the existing ecology and biodiversity, and we have engaged with experts to advise on improving the sites ecology and biodiversity.
Is there a flood risk?
The site does not lie within a flood zone.
How will the development be sustainable?
The proposals will be supported by a full suite of technical documents addressing energy, air quality, flooding, contamination, archaeology and BREEAM. The proposals seek to deliver development proposals which emphasis sustainable principles of travel and ensure the new buildings are built and function sustainably.
Our aim is to create new, sustainable connections for the local community. From Hounslow West Station, to the high street, to Hounslow Heath, to Heathrow, to Central London, residents will have access to sustainable transport methods to reach local amenities, friends and family, as well as their workplaces.
Will the scheme look to include cycle parking?
Full compliance with the Intend to Publish London Plan will be offered as the proposals are worked up in more detail. This will include the various size cycle spaces to meet requirements also.
The proposed scheme will seek to promote cycling by providing high quality on-site cycling infrastructure and facilities, and through improving off-site infrastructure where required. The site will become far more permeable by bike, with the introduction of additional access points along the northern, eastern, and southern perimeter, with a number of these accesses dedicated to pedestrians and cycles only. Unlocking connections into Beaversfield Park will allow people to arrive and depart the site by bicycle via an access separated from vehicles. This will also provide links directly onto Bath Road via Rosemary Avenue, which is a lightly trafficked road.
When is construction expected to start and how long will it last?
If planning permission is granted in the Summer of 2021, it is likely that construction of phase one will being shortly afterwards.
Construction of future phases will be subject to further detailed planning applications.
We will continue to update the local community via the Cavalry Barracks newsletters, and the project website.
How will noise and dust be managed?
As with any construction project, there is likely to be an element of disruption to local residents. However, the impacts of construction will be identified – and mitigation measures outlined – in a Construction Management Plan.