western international market appendix by p1Uzfrq5


									                                                                    planning report PDU/1108/01
                                                                                       8 June 2005

                          Western International Market, Hayes
                                                                in the London Borough of Hounslow
                                                           planning application no. 01032/E/P25

Strategic planning application stage 1 referral
Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended); Greater London Authority Act 1999;
Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2000
Erection of a new wholesale horticultural market with offices, food wholesale facilities, loading
bays, storage areas, associated buildings, ancillary facilities and surface car parking space to
replace existing market; the provision of a public weekend market; and the erection of an
employment building (for uses within classes B1, B2 and B8) with associated car parking
loading and access arrangements.

Strategic issues
Western International Market is strategically important as one of London’s five wholesale
markets for the distribution of agricultural, horticultural and fishing produce. It is proposed to
re-site the market on adjacent Green Belt land and to erect an enabling commercial
development on its present site. Very special circumstances would need to be demonstrated in
order to justify the new buildings and any other form of inappropriate development in this
location. The other strategic planning issues are the retention of existing employment, the
design quality of the scheme, its impact on biodiversity, its transport implications, and its
contribution to sustainable development particularly in terms of energy, accessibility and
equalities issues.

That Hounslow Council be advised that the Mayor supports the principle this development
but is highly concerned about the proposed reduction in market capacity and some of the
details highlighted in the body of this report.

1      On 20 December 2004, Hounslow Council consulted the Mayor of London on a
proposal to develop the above site for the above uses. Under the provisions of the Town &
Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2000 the Mayor has the same opportunity as
other statutory consultees to comment on the proposal. This report sets out information for
the Mayor’s use in deciding what comments to make.

2        The application is referrable under Category 3D of the Schedule of the Order 2000:

“Development- a) on land allocated as Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land in the development plan,
in proposals for such a plan, or in proposals for the alteration or replacement of such a plan; and (b)

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which would involve the construction of a building with a floorspace of more than 1,000 square metres or
a material change in the use of such a building.”

3     If Hounslow Council subsequently decides that it is minded to grant planning
permission, it must first allow the Mayor an opportunity to decide whether to direct the
Council to refuse permission.

4       The environmental information for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning
(Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 has been taken
into account in the consideration of this case.

5      The Mayor of London’s comments on this case will be made available on the GLA
website www.london.gov.uk.

Site description
6       The application relates to a 20.68-hectare parcel of land, owned by Hounslow Council
that includes the existing market buildings and the open land on which it is proposed to
relocate the market. It is bounded by Hayes Road to the north, Southall Lane to the east, The
Parkway (A312) to the west and an extensive area of Green Belt bounded to the south by the
M4 motorway. Vehicular access to the site is from Hayes Road.

7       The existing fresh fruit, vegetable and flower market is accommodated within two low-
rise buildings connected by a central link. These buildings and their associated workshops are
surrounded by hard-surfaced loading and unloading areas for commercial vehicles, pallet
storage areas and car parks. The link building is used for administrative and other ancillary
purposes, including offices, a bank, two cafes and a newsagent. The built-up portion of the
market occupies more than 12 hectares of the application site.

8      The surrounding area is characterised by a mixture of land uses, including industrial,
warehousing, retail, leisure and open space. To the north of Hayes Road lies the Bull’s Bridge
Trading Estate, which includes ‘Tesco’ and ‘Toys R Us’ superstores. The Heston and
Harlequin business centres, an 18-hole ‘Air Links’ golf course and a David Lloyd Racquet and
Fitness Club lie to the east of Southall Lane. A mature woodland lies to the immediate west of
The Parkway and it extends to merge with Cranford Park within the Green Belt.

Details of the proposal
9        The detailed planning application was submitted to Hounslow Council by Scott
Brownrigg on behalf of Kier Property Developments. It seeks to re-site and modernise the
existing wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market on a portion of Green Belt, and to provide
new offices, food-wholesaling facilities, administrative offices (including retail, banking and café
facilities), loading bays, storage areas, surface car parking and other ancillary facilities.

10     The application also seeks permission to demolish the existing market buildings and
replace them with a separate new building for employment uses (within classes B1, B2 and B8),
together with ancillary offices, loading, parking and associated facilities on land currently
occupied by the wholesale market.

11     In addition, the application proposes a new area of open space that would include a
substantial landscaped buffer between the Green Belt and the new development. The applicant
calculates that whilst the proposals would result in an initial loss of 3.5 hectares of open space,
there would be a net gain of 0.3 hectares on completion of the development.

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12       A breakdown of the proposed landuses is as follows:

        New market site                    7.1     hectares
        New employment site                5.7     hectares
        New open space                     3.8     hectares
        Total                              16.6 hectares

13     The remaining portion of the 20.68-hectare application site (approximately 4 hectares)
includes a balancing pond and an expanse of open grassland at the southern end of the
development area described in the preceding paragraph.
14      The new market will consist of four buildings, namely a produce hall, a flower hall, a
service building and an entry/exit control block. In terms of floorspace, although there would
be an overall reduction in the size of the market buildings (from 27,703 sq.m. to 17,434 sq.m.),
this would be more than offset by the introduction of the new employment building. As shown
below shows, the application proposals would result in a significant net increase in floorspace
on a site adjacent to the Green Belt.

        New market site                    17,434 sq.m.
        New employment site                28,799 sq.m.
        Total                              46,233 sq.m.
        Net increase on site               18,530 sq.m.

15      Access to the new market will continue to be from Hayes Road, using the existing
signalised traffic junction. The main car park would provide 538 car parking spaces, including
16 for disabled users. A further 29 short-stay car spaces, 4 motorcycle and 20 cycle parking
spaces would be provided in respect of the market.

16     Access to the new employment development would be derived from a new signalised
junction on Hayes Road. Its two car parks would provide a total of 146 spaces, including 6 for
disabled users, 6 motorcycle spaces and 36 cycle spaces.

Case history
17     Following a public local inquiry in December 1970, the Ministry of Housing and Local
Government concluded that there were very special circumstances to grant outline planning
permission to Hounslow Council for the erection of a wholesale fruit and vegetable market on
the current application site and the relocation of a similar market from Brentford. Western
International Market was subsequently opened in June 1974.

18      In June 1981, planning permission was granted by Hounslow Council for the temporary
use of the site as an open-air market on Saturdays and Sundays. The temporary permission was
renewed a number of times until 1995 when permission was granted on a permanent basis.

19    The Council also granted permission, in May 1990, for the creation of a fenced
compound in the Green Belt, for the storage and distribution of wooden pallets.

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Strategic planning issues and relevant policies and guidance
20       The relevant issues and corresponding policies are as follows:

    Loss of Green Belt                   London Plan; PPG2
    Employment                           London Plan; PPG4
    Economic development                 London Plan; London’s Economic Development Strategy
    Regeneration                         London Plan; London’s Economic Development Strategy
    Transport                            London Plan; the Mayor’s Transport Strategy; PPG13
    Parking                              London Plan; the Mayor’s Transport Strategy; PPG13
    Urban design                         London Plan; PPS1
    Access                               London Plan; SPG “Accessible London: achieving an inclusive
    Equal opportunities                  London Plan
    Biodiversity                         London Plan; the Biodiversity Strategy; PPG9
    Air quality                          London Plan; the Air Quality Strategy; PPG23
    Sustainable development              London Plan; PPS1, PPG3; PPG13; PPS22; the Mayor’s Energy
                                          Strategy; draft SPG Sustainable design and construction
 Urban fringe                            London Plan; PPG2; PPS7

21     For the purposes of Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004,
the development plan in force for the area is the Hounslow Unitary Development Plan, adopted
in December 2003, and the London Plan published by the Mayor in February 2004.

22     The existing market is designated in the proposals map of the Hounslow UDP as an
employment site (E21), wherein the Council would be looking for a redevelopment or reuse of
land or buildings for a range of B1c, B2 and B8 uses or other appropriate sui generis uses,
including a rationalisation of the existing or the provision of a new market.

23    The adjoining open land on which it is proposed to site the new market is designated as
Green Belt.

Green Belt Issues
24     The proposal includes inappropriate and, by definition, harmful new development in the
Green Belt. National planning guidance (PPG2: Green Belts) provides that such developments
can only be justified on the basis of very special circumstances, the benefits of which should
outweigh the harm to the Green Belt. The considerations include actual harm, due the loss of
openness caused by development, and the notional harm of undermining the national, local and
strategic (i.e. London Plan) policies that seek to preserve and protect the Green Belt. The
primary role of the Green Belt in this location is to check unrestricted sprawl of large built-up
areas and to prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another.

25      As indicated above, the proposed market and employment buildings would result in a
net increase of 18,530 sq.m. in floorspace (approximately 67%) over the existing quantum of
development, and an overall loss of 4.62 ha. of Green Belt land. The proposed commercial
building includes a 12m high office block and a 14.7m high warehouse that would be sited on
established employment land. However, taken in conjunction with the new market buildings,
the totality of development would have a significant visual impact on the open character and
appearance of the Green Belt in this location. It also represents a major departure from the

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Hounslow UDP that not only reaffirms the national and strategic (i.e. London Plan) policy
presumption against inappropriate development in the Green Belt, but explicitly encourages a
rationalisation or replacement of the market on its existing, employment-designated, site.

26      In stating the need for a replacement of the market buildings, the applicant referred to a
‘Review of London Wholesale Markets’ published in November 2002 by the Department of
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Corporation of London, which
recommended in its conclusion that London should be serviced by the composite markets for
meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, based at the sites of Nine Elms, Spitalfields and Western
International Market (WIM). There is, therefore, a strategic need to ensure that adequate
wholesale market capacity is retained in the interest of Londoners.

27       Explaining the very special circumstances requiring inappropriate development in the
Green Belt, the applicant described the strategic and economic role of Western International
Market and the subsequent need for its long-term retention (see paragraph 30 below). The
existing buildings, however, have been in place for thirty years and have now reached the end
of their useful economic life. The specific but costly works that need to be carried out include
the removal of the asbestos roofing from most of the building, a renewal of the drainage and
electrical systems and a modernisation of the building to improve its general appearance,
facilitate the implementation of pest control measures and maintain standards of hygiene in a
food environment. The present buildings and layout of the market do not lend themselves to
alteration or cosmetic refurbishment. Their present condition has led to increasingly high and
unsustainable maintenance costs. If a redevelopment does not proceed, the market would face

28      The proposal would replace the existing, functionally obsolete and uneconomic
buildings on the site and ensure a long-term future for WIM, thereby retaining and enhancing
its the role as one of London’s wholesale markets. The retention of the market in its current
location has several distinct advantages. It would allow the market to continue fulfilling its role
using its long established geographical advantage in a highly accessible location. It would
avoid the disruption of trade, the alienation of customers and the high costs of relocation that
the existing traders would face if the market were moved. It would also secure and increase the
existing employment on the site and provide an enabling development for the enhancement of
an otherwise derelict portion of the Green Belt.

29      The applicant contends that alternative (presumably non-Green Belt) locations have
been considered for the proposed market but no details have been provided. The applicant has,
however, concluded that sites that are not Council-owned are unlikely to be financially viable,
since the development would include the cost of land acquisition.

30     On balance, whilst no analysis has been presented of potentially viable and available
alternative sites, the strategic function and distinct advantages of WIM provide compelling
reasons to retain the market near its existing location and allow the proposed development to
proceed. However, the proposed 37% reduction in market capacity (i.e. floor area) raises serious
strategic planning concerns, which have to be balanced against Green Belt policy objectives.

Employment, economic development and regeneration
31     The existing market has a turnover of over £300 million a year and it employs over
1,000 people locally and regionally. There are about 125 regulated tenancies comprising a wide
variety of market traders and ancillary users representing about 90 businesses. Some produce is
imported on a worldwide scale and the customer base of the market extends across the whole of

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London and the regions beyond. It is estimated on the basis of average employment densities,
that the proposed office/warehouse development would attract some 560 new employees to the
locality. A key economic benefit of the current proposals would be the long-term security and
potential increase in the large number of jobs located on site or indirectly generated as spin-offs
by the market.

32     The London Plan requires the West London Sub-Regional Development Framework
(SRDF), a draft of which is to be published for public consultation, to take due account of the
strategic review of London’s wholesale markets and its implications for WIM in particular.
However, the declining state and increasing costs of maintaining the existing market buildings
could ultimately lead to the closure of WIM if the proposed development does not proceed in
good time.

33     Nonetheless, the 37% reduction in market capacity (i.e. floor area) raises serious
strategic concerns that have not been addressed in any of the supporting documents. It is
particularly curious that although WIM is one of three sites identified for a consolidation of
London’s wholesale markets, the planning statement indicates that there is little or no surplus
capacity in the market at present. This situation would seem likely to increase rather than
reduce demand on Western International Market. It is considered, therefore, that the proposed
reduction in floor capacity would unacceptably diminish the strategic role of the market and
compromise the scope for future growth. The reduction would need to be fully justified if the
Mayor is to allow the development to proceed in its existing form.

34      There is also a need to ensure that the benefits of economic generators such as WIM
and its proximity to Heathrow Airport can be harnessed for local people without degrading the
environment. A package of measures, including the establishment of links to local training and
recruitment strategies, giving priority to local small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs),
childcare facilities and some serious efforts to remove other barriers to employment, ought to
be considered and secured under the terms of a legal agreement.

Layout, design and architectural quality
35      The replacement market would consist of an elongated (250m by 45m) produce building
to be sited with a north-south orientation, parallel to, but set in approximately 22m from The
Parkway. A smaller, flower market building (78m by 46m) would be sited to the east of the
produce building, with the ancillary vehicle servicing and entry control buildings sited closer
to the northern boundary of the site.

36      In contrast with the market buildings, the proposed commercial building would be sited
on the former WIM land, with its long elevations facing Hayes Road in an east-west direction.
The orientation of the commercial building would allow the southern portion of the former
WIM to be retained as open land, enhanced and incorporated into the adjoining Green Belt.

37      The London Plan (Policy 4B.1) urges local planning authorities to ensure that
developments respect the natural environment, are attractive to look at and, where appropriate,
inspire, excite and delight. Although the development is primarily required for marketing and
warehouse functions and the site is relatively remote from general public view, its strategic role
and sensitive Green Belt surrounding justify a high quality of design, for which the proposed
redevelopment offers a unique opportunity.

38      Regrettably, the submitted drawings represent a series of ordinary, unimaginative
sheds, surrounded by extensive hard surfacing. The market buildings would be clad in silver-

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grey and embellished with a variety of primary colours to emphasise trims and metalwork
elements. The roofs would be constructed of light grey profiled metal panels. Similarly, the
commercial building would be constructed partly in brick and partly clad.

39     It is proposed that the grade 2 listed ‘Brentford Fountain’ which dates back to 1877 and
was relocated from the original Brentford Market in 1974, would be re-sited within a
landscaped area adjoining the exit barrier along Hayes Road.

Accessibility and equal opportunities issues
40     The applicant’s sustainability statement confirms that all parts of the proposed site will
be accessible to wheelchair users and that lifts are proposed for all two-storey areas. The
accompanying drawings indicate the relevant car parking spaces, toilet facilities and lifts for
people with impaired mobility. These should be checked to ensure compliance with the
appropriate standards and secured by a planning condition if Hounslow Council resolve to
grant permission for the development in its current form.

41      On social inclusiveness, the 2002 Review of Wholesale Markets made reference to the
special attraction of the market to ethnic minority traders. It notes:

“In this case, it is the Asian merchants who have made the market their supply base for supplies to ethnic
retail shops and restaurants. Importantly, being close to Heathrow, some Asian merchants have also
based their import and general distribution businesses in the market, using the market’s facilities as a base
for office and logistic operations, distributing to the whole of the UK and exporting to Europe. The
market is vibrant and fully occupied….”

42      An ecological survey has been conducted across the site and its findings included in an
Environmental Statement submitted to Hounslow Council. Only the summaries of these have
been referred to the Mayor for assessment of the application.

43      Whilst the applicant has indicated that appropriate mitigation measures would be
implemented to avoid any adverse impact on protected species, no details are provided of the
action that will be taken to discourage nesting and reptile migration resulting from the

44     A balancing pond is to be included within the proposals and may be retained as a wet
area some reed planting, subject to the approval of Hounslow Council and an agreement on its
future maintenance.

45      The proposal would introduce built development much closer to The Parkway and on
Green Belt land. The existing mature boundary planting around the site would, however, be
retained and some additional planting would be provided along Southall Lane to the east. On
the whole, the restoration and consolidation of new open space should facilitate conservation of
the local ecology and the Green Belt in this location.

46     Nonetheless, the additional information should be provided to allow GLA ecologists to
carry out a full assessment of the proposals against the Mayor’s Biodiversity Strategy.

Air quality

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47      The applicant’s consultants undertook an air quality assessment, in order to establish
the current background concentrations of air quality indicators (nitrogen dioxide and
particulate matter) as a baseline for comparison with any impacts resulting from the
development. The findings were that whilst the development would have a marginal impact on
air quality, the existing concentrations of both indicators very nearly exceed the Air Quality

48      As part of a travel plan, a package of measure are proposed to reduce private car usage
in relation to the development, though it is difficult to see how the bulky quantities of a
wholesale market can be reconciled with a significant reduction in the use of large commercial
delivery vehicles. Research has also been carried out on the benefits of introducing specific tree
species to assist the improvement of air quality. Its findings are being considered for inclusion
in the landscaping proposals for the site.

Sustainability assessment
49     The key areas considered by the applicant are energy conservation; foul and surface
water management, construction materials, waste management and transportation. The latter
is addressed in the comments of Transport for London (TfL).

Energy conservation

50     Policies 4A.7-4A.9 require applicants to carry out an energy demand assessment, and
aim to reduce carbon emissions by the inclusion of energy efficient design and technology and
renewable energy technologies wherever feasible. Applicants are required to demonstrate the
proportion of energy demand met by these measures.

51     The applicant should provide an assessment of the likely energy demand of the scheme
in terms of kilowatt-hours and carbon emissions.

52      The applicant has submitted details on its energy efficiency measures and stated the
different renewable energy technologies it has considered. Whilst the energy efficiency
measures are welcome in principle, it is not clear as to the reduction in carbon emissions these
will create against a standard 2002 building regulations scheme. This should be clarified.

53      The applicant has considered a range of options in respect of the energy requirements of
the development. They include wind power, biomass heating, ground coupled heating and
cooling, solar thermal hot water and photovoltaics. Wind power was ruled out on the basis of a
low resource and subsequent need for an exceptionally tall turbine (50m) that may
unacceptable to neighbouring occupiers and the Green Belt landscape. Biomass heating was
eliminated on grounds of a lack of adequate space for the plant and the uncertainty of recouping
the high installation costs from a speculative warehouse development. Ground coupled
heating/cooling were rejected because they would involve significant disruption to landscaped,
parking and vehicle circulation areas, high installation and maintenance costs and a subsequent
lack of appeal to potential occupiers. These reasons for rejection may require further
consideration by the GLA should the applicant not achieve a 10% reduction in its carbon
emissions from the means set out below.

54      The applicant has stated that technically, solar hot water panels and photovoltaics are
desirable and ideal respectively. It gives indicative cost but makes no commitment to their
inclusion or their potential contribution to a reduction in carbon emissions from the
technologies. The applicant must address these points, incorporating one of or a combination of
the technologies to demonstrate at least a 10% reduction in carbon emissions, in line with the

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Mayor’s Energy Strategy, prior to the scheme being formally considered by the Mayor again.
The Council should secure their inclusion as a condition of planning permission.

Foul and surface water management

55     The applicant asserts that the net impermeable area for the site will remain unchanged
on completion of the development, which will include the use of permeable pavements for car
parking and circulation areas as well as a balancing pond. Wastebaskets would also be provided
in trapped gullies.

56    The opportunities for rainwater harvesting (from roof drainage) to flush toilet facilities
and wash external areas are under consideration but this needs to be balanced against the
hygiene and freshwater requirements of a food marketing environment.

Construction materials

57     The development entails extensive ground floor and access road coverage that requires
high mass materials. The developer endeavours to reuse on-site materials from demolition and
to procure additional high mass materials from close sources, using the Building Research
Establishment (BRE) website to source viable materials from demolition.

58     Above ground level, the requirement is for lighter weight but structurally efficient
materials. The applicant proposes to include aluminium clad timber windows, galvanised steel
or aluminium rainwater goods and recycled carpet floor tiles. It is also proposed to minimise
the use of PVC materials and, in particular, to ensure non-PVC electrical cabling, windows and
rainwater goods are used in the construction.
Waste management
59      The reuse and recycling of materials during the construction process implemented as
part of an Environment Management Plan (EMP) prepared for the development. A waste
management strategy for the market, together with a recycling area and pallet store, is also
included for the benefit of Hounslow Council, who will continue to manage the market.
Comments of Transport for London
60      The site occupies a location accessed predominantly by road. Public transport access is
limited to bus routes linking the site to Southall, Hayes, Greenford, Hillingdon, Hounslow and
Ealing; interchange opportunities at Hayes and Harlington, and Southall national rail stations;
and London Underground Piccadilly Line services. The majority of these bus services do not
serve the site directly and can only be accessed on Western Road or Southall Lane. This
reflects the site's PTAL (Public Transport Accessibility Level) of 1b. The proposed distribution
centre will operate 7 days a week on a 24-hour basis and the market will continue to operate
with an early morning peak period. These trading patterns will influence the impact of the
development on the road and public transport networks.
61       TfL Street Management has assessed the impact of the proposed development on the
safe and efficient operation of the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN). The site relies
on access from The Parkway/Hayes Road (Bulls Bridge) roundabout, which forms part of the
TLRN and currently operates at maximum capacity. TfL is still in discussions with the
applicant, who has recently submitted an addendum Transport Assessment to address concerns
relating to traffic generation, distribution and assignment, junction capacity, site access and
internal layout issues. Although TfL does not anticipate the development generating levels of
traffic that will result in a significant adverse impact on the TLRN, this view is subject to a
review of the Transport Addendum and continued discussions with the applicant.

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62       The application proposes redeveloping the existing market site to provide a new market
facility and a separate storage and distribution use. The proposed storage and distribution
(28,384sqm) use includes the provision of 140 car parking spaces and 58 lorry parking spaces.
The London Plan parking standards seek 1 lorry space per 200-500 sq.m. (56-141 spaces) for
class B8 uses and 1 car parking space per 100-600sqm (47-283 spaces) for non-operational
employment car parking in outer London locations. This level of lorry and non-operational
employment car parking is considered to be conformity with the London Plan. The new market
site would include 574 car parking spaces. This constitutes a net reduction from the 600 car
parking spaces serving the existing market. The London Plan does not set out a recommended
parking standard for this use. TfL requires the demand for the market and the non-operational
employment parking associated with the storage and distribution use to be monitored as part of
the implementation of a Travel Plan and the number of spaces reduced to reflect any reduction
in demand.
63      TfL requires cycle parking to be provided at a ratio of 1 space per 500sqm for the
proposed storage and distribution use and consideration to be given to making adequate
provision to serve the market. TfL welcomes the provision of cycle lanes along Hayes Road to
link the development with those already existing on Southall Lane.
64     London Buses is considering the impact of the development on the local bus network
from the applicant’s addendum Transport Assessment.
London Development Agency’s comments
65      In principle the LDA supports this scheme, which lies within one of the agency’s
priority areas. The agency entirely agrees with the comments in paragraphs 31–
34. Wholesale markets provide a valuable function supplying smaller, more independent
retailers, which help support food access and play an important role in ethnic food supply. They
could also play a potential role as locations for new local food infrastructure linking smaller
regional producers with the London market which the agency is encouraging. WIM also plays
an important role as a base and in the development of Black and Ethnic Minority (BME)
66     Initiatives to create training and employment opportunities for local people and
businesses and to address other barriers to employment (e.g. child care) for jobs created during
construction should be formalized through an s106 legal agreement between Hounslow
Council and the applicant. Subject to details of the number of new jobs being created the
agency may also require similar initiatives to be provided after construction. The agency would
be happy to provide more information if necessary.
Local planning authority’s position
67      Hounslow Council supports the principle of retaining Western International Market in
its current location off the Hayes by-pass, but Members are yet to consider the details of this
proposal at a meeting of their Sustainable Development Committee in the latter half of June
Legal considerations
68     Under the arrangements set out in article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (Mayor
of London) Order 2000 the Mayor has an opportunity to make representations to Hounslow
Council at this stage. If the Council subsequently resolves to grant planning permission, it
must allow the Mayor an opportunity to decide whether to direct it to refuse planning
permission. There is no obligation at this present stage for the Mayor to indicate his intentions
regarding a possible direction, and no such decision should be inferred from the Mayor’s
comments unless specifically stated.

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Financial considerations
69       There are no financial considerations at this stage.

70     Western International Market has been at its present location for over thirty years and
has formed an important link in the supply chain of fruit, vegetables and flowers to London and
regions beyond. It is also a major local and strategic employer, and a significant contributor to
the economy of the West London sub-region in particular. In strategic terms, therefore, the
proposals to modernise and consolidate the future of the market are a long overdue but
welcome development.

71      The key issue is the appropriateness of re-siting the market from its present designated
employment site to a Green Belt site. However, the need to retain the market, the functionally
obsolete state of the existing buildings, the need for an enabling development to finance the
construction of a new market and the restoration of an alternative portion of the Green Belt are
considered sufficient to outweigh the potential harm to the Green Belt and to provide very
special circumstances to justify an exception to the Mayor’s strategic policy.

72     A major strategic concern is the significant reduction in floor area and marketing
capacity proposed in the new development. Given its presently full occupancy and a vibrancy
that suggests a likelihood of expansion, the current proposal could be prejudicial to the long-
term function and strategic importance of this market. This and the other detailed concerns
outlined in the preceding paragraphs should be addressed in conjunction with Hounslow
Council before the application is referred back to the Mayor.

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for further information, contact Planning Decisions Unit:
Giles Dolphin, Head of Planning Decisions
020 7983 4271 email giles.dolphin@london.gov.uk
Colin Wilson, Planning Decisions Manager (Development Planning)
020 7983 4783 email colin.wilson@london.gov.uk
David Blankson-Hemans, Senior Strategic Planner, (case officer)
020 7983 4268 email david.blankson-hemans@london.gov.uk

S/Planning Decisions//Cases/1108DBH01 Stage I planning report     page 12

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