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Old Brentford police station site to house new Watermans arts centre

A new marina and 300 new homes are also part of an agreement between Hounslow Council and developer London Green

An artist's impression of plans for homes and a new-look Watermans arts centre on the site of the old Brentford police station(Image: London Green)

A landmark former police station in Brentford is set to be redeveloped as part of plans to create 300 new homes, a marina and a new home for Watermans arts centre.

The 13-storey tower and associated buildings in Half Acre were vacated by police in 2013 as part of a major London-wide sell-off of police stations.

It was bought by developer London Green, which has also acquired the old Max Factor building, a 1980s red-brick riverside office block next door to Watermans.

Hounslow Council announced on Thursday (March 19) that it had signed an agreement for London Green to redevelop both sites, along with the current Watermans building, which will be replaced with a purpose-built arts centre on the police station plot.

The 'memorandum of understanding' also includes the creation of a new marina at the Watermans site, along with homes and shops or offices.

 

It is not known at this stage whether this is in addition to the council's controversial plans for a marina beside Watermans Park, which would mean the eviction of boat dwellers living there.

(Image: London Green)

The fate of the old police tower is also not entirely clear but a very rough sketch on the website of London Green, which has yet to respond to getwestlondon's enquiry, suggests it will be replaced with another high-rise building.

The council said the agreement would see 300 new homes created across all the sites and the re-establishment of the Thames Path in the area.

Hounslow Council leader Steve Curran said: "This is yet another piece of good news for Hounslow and more evidence of Brentford’s burgeoning reputation as west London's boomtown."

 

The proposed new dwellings were announced just months after developer Ballymore got permission to build nearly 900 new homes on the large riverside plot south of Brentford High Street, which is home to a number of old warehouses.

London Green's website states that it expects to submit planning applications for both the police station and Max Factor sites this autumn, with work scheduled to start at the former in spring next year.

The old Brentford police station

Watermans, which attracts about 250,000 visitors a year, had been looking to move to new premises closer to the town centre for some time. A potential site had been earmarked as part of the Ballymore development.

London Green spokesman Philip Green said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hounslow Council to bring this project forward. It will end the uncertainty over the future location of the Watermans by enabling a high quality, sustainable arts centre – at no cost to the council.

"We have been exploring the potential relocation with Watermans for some time and can now hold further discussions about the kind of facility that could be delivered. The plans are still at a very early stage and we will be carrying out extensive consultation with local people in the coming months."

 

Watermans Director Jan Lennox said: "Relocation to a new building is an important part of Watermans' future plans. Watermans is the major arts centre in west London and we have quarter of a million visitors a year. We provide a lively cultural programme for local residents and visitors to Brentford, which would be better located in the heart of the town centre.

"We look forward to discussing a plan with Hounslow Council and London Green which would see Watermans move to a new, purpose-designed building at the site of the old Police Station."

The council hailed the agreement as a result of its trip to the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, which was sponsored by various developers, though it is clear the council had been in talks with London Green for some time before that.

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