UPDATE: This project started on site in March 2013


Below is the rendering of the intended scheme from the Building Magazine article.

Hounslow council has approved a £100m scheme to regenerate a derelict 1.85ha site in Brentford, which has lain empty for 20 years.

19th May 2011 – Carlton have submitted revised plans for a 200 new homes development on the Alfa Laval site in Brentford.

Designs by Assael Architecture for a mixed-use scheme on the former Alfa Laval site in the heart of Brentford have received planning permission.

http://www.building.co.uk/5000745.article


Click the photo to see surrounding area

First the plans . . .  go to the link below and type in the planning number in the second box down:-

http://planning.hounslow.gov.uk/planning_search.aspx

Planning number: 00505/Z/P33 (see end of this article for Planning Summary)

If you are intending to look at the Design and Access statement be warned it’s a large file (160Mb).

Look at Page 65 of the Design & Access statement which deals with the flats illustrated below:- Page 65


If you were to read and believe what follows you’d think these flats were paradise.  They’re not.  They’re back to backs masquerading as contemporary terraced houses. They are no better than the dreadful scheme put forward by Peter Barber at 282 Goldhawk Road (now abandoned 21/6/2010).  Three sided, multifloor, unventilated S and W facing back to backs.

From the Design & Access statement P.65

7.6.7 – Ground Floor Duplex Apartments
A large part of the ground and first floors of the residential apartment buildings are made up of two-storey duplex units, each with a private front door entrance at street level and individual garden. These 3 and 4 bedroom duplexes are therefore a significant characteristic of the proposal, and play an important part in defining the feel of both the buildings and public realm in the scheme.

In Plan the duplexes have a distinctive L-Shaped arrangement, which creates a private courtyard style front garden for each unit, giving a good amount of defensible amenity space. This arrangement also allows for a large amount of glazing to the habitable rooms, affording a high amount of sunlight and daylight penetration without compromising the privacy of the unit and creating overlooking issues. This arrangement also provides acoustic protection from neighbouring units. The orientation of the projecting ‘bay’ is such that the units are able to enjoy a south facing aspect, whilst maintaining an adequate level of shading.

From the street, the ground floor duplexes appear as individual units, more akin to houses than apartments, and therefore lessen the perceived impact of the taller residential buildings. Like the streets surrounding the development, the ground floor duplexes mean that a high proportion of private front door access units edge the proposed central courtyard and the Southern residential street. This is a reference to the feel of the terraced streets around the site, but more importantly helps to create the feeling of a secure and inclusive community.

Page 65 of the D&A tries very hard with illustrations to give the impression that these are light airy, contempary and desirable dwellings.  They’re not.  They are modern back to backs.  They have no through ventilation.  The so called “kitchen” is a strip of units along a wall of the living room set against the rear party wall.  You cannot leave the dwelling other than by the door you came in.  Both bathrooms are internal which is not the end of the world but the “kitchen” is at the party wall end of the living room and smells will accumulate there and not disperse.

When you consider that this is a newly built block, not a conversion of another building where amendments may have been expensive and difficult, it is depressing that the architects have not taken the trouble to design dual or triple aspect dwellings with light and air from more than one direction.

These are pathetic excuses for housing in my view.  Little better than modern slums.


Single aspect flats with no kitchen Building D (affordable):-

157108.pdf

Two storey single aspect back to backs WSW facing, horrible things. Then above them corridor access single aspect flats.  Is the best Assael can do in the C21st?


Single aspect flats with no kitchen Building G (private):-

157105.pdf

These things are so dreadful I don’t want to waste much time on them.  Corridor access ENE facing and WSW facing single aspect flats with no separate kitchen, no light at the kitchen end, internal bathrooms, modern slums. If I had to allow any room to be internal it would be the bathroom. It’s somewhere most of us spend the least time, apart from the toilet. But here there are no redeeming features at all.  I wouldn’t mind the internal bathroom if the place was flooded with light, and spacious, but it isn’t.

The LCC designed Aragon, Daubeney and Eddystone Towers on the Pepys Estate Deptford, Kelson House on the Samuda Estate Isle of Dogs, Braithwaite House (more photos here) on Bunhill Row EC1,and Maydew House on Abbeyfield Road SE16, with internal bathrooms and toilets because as scissor flats they more than made up for this by having such excellent daylight in the bedrooms, kitchen and living rooms and dual aspect to boot.

This is not something one can say about the development in question which is a sorry conglomeration of poor quality flats for the most part.


Single aspect flats and maisonettes no kitchen Building F Plans (Private) Ground to Fifth Floors:-

157101.pdf

Building F Ground floor private

This is my favourite.  ENE facing single aspect, corridor access, sandwiched between the recycling store, the lifts and the stairs, with the bedroom next to the latter.  Assael have outdone themselves here.  Let’s hope the occupant isn’t working nights because there’s precious little chance of them getting any sleep during the daytime.


Single aspect flats with no kitchen Building F Plans (Private) Sixth Floor to Roof:-

157102.pdf

6th & 7th floor 2 x 3 bed flats, 1 x 2 bed single aspect ENE facing flat, all having internal bathrooms and no separate kitchen.  Only in one case is the “kitchen” anyway near a window.

8th floor.  Three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, no kitchen.  How bad can it get?  The kitchen as a separate room has entirely disappeared in this development.


Single aspect no sep. kitchen Building E plans private 6th floor to roof:-

157099.pdf

So it begins.  Open the plan and what do I see?  Beautifully laid out spacious well lit dual or triple aspect flats?

6th & 7th floor. No kitchens, bedroom next to the lift and stairs.  Couldn’t they at least have made space for a lift lobby such that the bedroom wall was not adjacent to the moving lifts?  The vibration and noise will be transmitted through the wall to the bedroom.

8th floor. Three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, no kitchen, what a mess.


UPDATE: It would appear this was all discussed last year 14th August 2009.  Building Magazine ran an article linked below which discussed precisely this:-

More room: the demise of the ultra small flat – 14th August 2009

Excerpt

Some of the designs coming forward from housebuilders also aim for greater densities. One idea is to pack more homes on to the site by building three-storey single-aspect, back-to-back terraces so the houses don’t have back gardens and are tall and narrow. Some second-floor rooms at the back of the houses in the centre of the terrace do not have windows and so get light and ventilation through lightwells. These designs, though they allow more houses per hectare than occurs with traditional designs, necessitate some compromises, says Park. “It might not be for suitable for teenagers spending all their time in their bedrooms, but for a couple with an office and a spare room it is fine.”

http://www.building.co.uk/sectors/housing/more-room-the-demise-of-the-ultra-small-flat/3146840.article

Download article here –> More room: the demise of the ultra small flat

I find it difficult to believe that these will become an acceptable form of housing in the way that the Victorian terrace has become over 100 years.


UPDATE: I went there today to have a look.  A warm sunny June day 16/6/2010 and spoke to a nearby resident at York Road.  The site hasn’t been touched.  The buildings are covered with hoardings and the site fenced off but is entirely derelict.  The developer has planning permission but is sitting on it no doubt because of the recession.  I don’t imagine Great West Quarter (Barratt) up the road are selling too fast either so why start on site here?

Click photo for larger image

Perhaps this is a chance for Assael to revisit their dreadful back to back two storey houses and redesign the blocks.  I wish.

Click photo for larger image

This somewhat folorn and derelict looking building stands beside the Great West Road covered in green hoardings awaiting its fate.

Click photo for larger image

In the afternoon sunlight of a June day the Alfa Laval tower stands preserved and screened off despite planning permission until the market picks up again.

Click photo for larger image

Seen from beside the old Great West Road the closed New England pub on Brook Lane North is like its larger neighbour also boarded up and rumoured to be developed into 42 flats.

UPDATE: 24th November 2010. Assael have read this article.

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Three minutes and 19 seconds reading Alfa Laval – crap flats and back to backs

UPDATE: Somebody’s been inside.. shades of UrbEx…

http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showthread.php?t=12482

UPDATE: 24th March 2011. They’re back.

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UPDATE: 25/3/11 Today Berkeley were looking, somethings afoot, but in this market?  Can they really be going ahead?  It seems unlikely, perhaps things are picking up, for overseas sales at least.

UPDATE: The urban explorers have been in there, if you want to see the state of it inside now look here:-

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=59883


Planning Summary

List of application based on the following criteria:-Planning number: 00505/Z/P33
Number of cases: 8 (note query was limited to 50 cases.)
Please click on relevant application number to see more details.

Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2011/2560 00505/Z/P33(10,12,24)
Details
02-Sep-2011 In Progress
Details of a drainage strategy required by condition 10, details of surface water drainage works required by condition 12 and details of a Sustainable Drainage Scheme required by condition 24 of planning permission 00505/Z/P33 dated 30/06/2011 for the retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)
Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2011/2562 00505/Z/P33(11)
Details
02-Sep-2011 In Progress
Details of a program of archaeological work required by condition 11 of planning permission 00505/Z/P33 dated 30/06/2011 for the retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)
Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2011/2556 00505/Z/P33(18)
Details
02-Sep-2011 In Progress
Details of arrangement of waste and recycling storage for the flats in Block D and the houses required by condition 18 of planning permission 00505/Z/P33 dated 30/06/2011 for the retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)
Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2011/2558 00505/Z/P33(4,6)
Details
02-Sep-2011 In Progress
Details of a Construction Environmental Management Plan required by condition 4 and Details of construction phasing required by condition 6 of planning permission 00505/Z/P33 dated 30/06/2011 for the retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)
Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2011/2557 00505/Z/P33(9)
Details
02-Sep-2011 Details Pursuant Approved 25/11/2011
Details of impact studies on the existing water supply infrastructure required by condition 9 of planning permission 00505/Z/P33 dated 30/06/2011 for the retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)
Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2011/2559 00505/Z/P33(8)
Details
02-Sep-2011 In Progress
Details of a contamination investigation report required by condition 8 of planning permission 00505/Z/P33 dated 30/06/2011 for the retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)
Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2011/2561 00505/Z/P33(25,26,27)
Details
02-Sep-2011 In Progress
Details of a sustainable construction scheme required by condition 25, details of carbon emissions reduction scheme required by condition 26 and details of community heating scheme and combined heat and power plant required by condition 27 of planning permission 00505/Z/P33 dated 30/06/2011 for the retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)
Former Alfa Laval Site Great West Road Hounslow London TW8 9BU Click here for a location map
Application Date Recd Decision
P/2009/1519 00505/Z/P33
Major Full Applications
26-Jun-2009 Approved with a Legal Agreement 01/07/2010
Retention and refurbishment of the Alfa Building for use as a 180 bed hotel (class C1) and redevelopment of the site to erect buildings to provide a 151 bed hotel (class C1), 4,677sqm Class B1 offices, 228sqm retail/community use (class A1/D1), 206 flats, maisonettes and houses (class C3), together with associated public and private open space; access; service areas; plant; landscaping and 361 surface and underground car parking spaces. The buildings range from 2 to 12 storeys in height. (Including Environmental Impact Assessment)

UPDATE 4/12/12: Formation Architects read this article today, perhaps the project has changed hands, who knows?


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