A NEW leisure centre and 220 homes in Heston have been given the nod, subject to Boris Johnson's approval.
A new swimming pool, gym and fitness facilities to replace the ageing 1930s building in New Heston Road was backed by councillors at last Thursday's (July 7) planning committee meeting.
The new centre will be partly funded by the sale of the fairground land to the east, which hosts a fair twice a year but is little used at other times, for private housing.
Outline planning permission for 118 homes on the land, plus an additional 102 affordable homes on two other sites surrounding the leisure centre, was also granted as part of the application.
Detailed plans for those sites would need to be approved before homes can be built, but councillors agreed in principle to allow blocks of up to five storeys.
The whole scheme is subject to approval by the Mayor of London. The Greater London Authority last month gave its broad support but said there were issues about the loss of green space, which did not comply with the London Plan.
The new centre and improvements to neighbouring Heston Park would cost an estimated £15 million and take 18-24 months to build, during which time residents would have to use alternative facilities.
Kieran Rushe, of Dalton Warner Davis, which submitted the application on behalf of the council, said the provision of much-needed leisure facilities outweighed the loss of open space.
David Blackett, of Heston Residents' Association, said a new leisure centre was badly needed but councillors needed to ensure 'every alternative source of funding' had been investigated to justify the loss of open land.
He added that it was important to acknowledge the impact of so many homes on the demand for school places and health services.
Gary Lelliott, who lives in Banks Yard, beside the fairgound land, described the plans for housing as 'hideous' overdevelopment.