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Council accept £93,000 payment to allow leisure centre in Hillingdon to have less parking

Hillingdon Council has allowed the removal of a car parking deck from West Drayton Leisure Centre, reducing the number of space by 25 per cent.

The sports facilities are currently under construction and are due to be completed by summer 2024.

The deck will be replaced by a switch room as well as more surface level car parking. Spaces will drop from 199 to 144, a reduction of 55 with the developer agreeing to contribute £93,412 for highway improvements.

The housing officer said that the alteration to plans was unlikely to have a detrimental effect on highway routes or parking overspill levels. The plan would not result in fewer trees with officers saying that “the removal of the deck would be beneficial to reducing the less than substantial harm to the conservation area.”

West Drayton Leisure Centre site is part of a conservation area. As part of the application, the West Drayton Conservation Area Advisory Panel was consulted with the panel saying they were “pleased” by the ‘green’ reasons for the reduction in parking.

However, it also commented that it was disappointed by the lack of trees bordering the car park to the north and east and proposed planting “vigorous hedges” by the centre’s fencing.

The council’s Major Planning Committee deliberated on plans to reduce parking, considering the impact having fewer spaces might have on neighbouring properties. Councillors concluded that as officers had described the plan’s “benefits outweigh potential harms”.

The committee approved the proposal unanimously.