BRENTFORD Magistrates' Court could be closed as part of a government cost-cutting drive.
The court in Market Place is one of 150 across the country earmarked for possible closure as part of a review of the justice system. The Ministry of Justice hopes closing 30 per cent of magistrates' courts across England and Wales could save at least £15million a year in running costs, plus an extra £22m in maintenance.
In a written statement to MPs, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said: "I will ensure we keep courts in the most strategically important locations, that communities continue to have access to courts within a reasonable travelling distance, that cases are heard in courts with suitable facilities and that there is an overall reduction in cost."
Magistrates' courts deal with minor crimes. Most cases are heard by three magistrates, who are volunteers from the community.
It is thought Brentford is one of the 103 least used courts.
The Magistrates' Association says the proposals should be considered with caution.
A spokeswoman said: "This could threaten one of the fundamental principles of our justice system - local justice delivered by ordinary citizens in the communities where offences are committed."
However, they accept that infrequently used courthouses should not continue to be an unnecessary drain on limited resources.