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Challenge over Hounslow skyscraper development leads to public inquiry

A public hearing, due to start this week, was prompted by complaints about plans for a 27-storey tower and more than 500 homes

How the 27-storey tower in Hounslow will look (Barratt London)(Image: Barratt London)

A major overhaul of Hounslow town centre, including a 27-storey tower, faces a fresh hurdle after being made the subject of a public inquiry.

A public hearing about the development of the car park site opposite Asda, just off High Street, Hounslow, is set to begin on Tuesday (March 8) and is scheduled to last for seven days.

The inquiry, being held at Park Grand London Heathrow Hotel, in Great West Road, Hounslow, was launched after complaints about Hounslow Council's use of compulsory purchase orders to secure the land needed.

The developer Barratt plans to build 527 homes, a multiplex cinema, shops and restaurants at the site, which has long been earmarked for development.

More than 500 homes, a multiplex cinema, shops and restaurants

Planning permission was granted by Hounslow Council in November last year, with communities secretary Greg Clark giving it the go-ahead in January.

The scheme had a mixed reaction from the public, with some local residents and members of Hounslow Green Party aghast at the scale of the buildings but others welcoming the plans, which they said would revitalise the town centre.

How the site looks now

Some businesses in the High Street have also complained as their premises would be demolished to open up access to the new development.

Barratt has said it hopes to begin work in 2017 and to complete the project in September 2020.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the public inquiry related to land in Holloway Street, where a row of houses would have to be razed, and Alexandra Road.

The public inquiry will hear from various parties before the inspector writes up a report on which the communities secretary must base his decision.

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