In 2018 HRA celebrates its 90th anniversary.
Since 1928 the Heston area has changed considerably, changed from that of a largely rural village community to an area with a distinct urban atmosphere. However, it still retains that village feel, particularly around St Leonard’s Church and the War Memorial.
Two significant factors stimulated the growth of our area, initially the Great West Road and later Heathrow
The Great West Road, the Golden Mile,. the main reason for development in Heston continues to change, providing a base for both major international companies such as Sky and GSK and many others. Heathrow has grown significantly over the last 70 years to its status as a major international airport, although that is being threatened, many argue, by the failure to implement expansion.
These two development areas have been the main contributory factors for Heston’s growth; the incentive for people to settle and remain in the area, to establish a business or benefit from employment opportunities. The local transport facilities, despite some criticism, offer easy access to places of employment including London
The changes we are now witnessing are principally related to the growth in population which in 2011 was 49,500 for Heston and Cranford and which is projected to grow to 58,500 by 2030, an increase of 18%.
This growth has resulted in the continued increase in both the building of new residential accommodation and the development of existing properties, many built in the 1930s. This continues and Hounslow currently has a target of 2000 new household units each year.
Some residential development has in recent years been the subject of much criticism and controversy, the HMO and the outbuilding – the house at the bottom of the garden intended for residential use – being prime examples.
Residential development has been accompanied, over the years, by commercial development, ware-housing and numerous trading states, much associated with the proximity of Heathrow, London and the easy access to motorways.
This change cannot happen successfully without the need to recognise the need for and the implementation of other related change, principally an enhanced local infrastructure to meet related demand. This, I would suggest, has not kept pace with change and demand.
The requirement for more school places has finally been recognised, hence we have seen new schools in or near our area: Nishkam, Border Academy, Westbrook and Heston with additional places created at numerous other local schools. A new Health Clinic in Cranford Lane was recently given the go-ahead, although it is unclear when enabling and construction work is set to commence.
The establishment of Lampton 360 and its now numerous subsiduaries, including Recyling and most recently Greenspace following the demise of Carillion are further examples of change..
We still wait for positive signs of the Rectory Farm site being developed, providing the area with a new public park and the loss of an eyesore.
Perhaps the most recent visual and persistent problem has been that of street litter and fly-tipping, the outcome of actions of a minority of irresponsible people who have absolutely no recognition of or desire to live in a clean environment. The lack of civic pride is clear for all to see.
Some residents would be justifiably critical of the performance of Hounslow Highways which and allowing for the standards practiced by some residents, falls below expectation.
This report highlights some of the issues which do need to be addressed by the Local Authority and its associates with a tighter control from the Centre on a number of issues
On a more positive note the Waste and Recycling Facility in Southall Lane is up and running and Space Waye is back to a seven day week operation, although we wait for the day when Hounslow is able to match the user friendly service provided by neighbouring local authorities.
Whilst we must recognise and embrace change we must at the same time impress on Hounslow Council our opinions.
To other matters;
RAM continues to attract favourable comments from members. HRA’s membership, as with many like organisations, experiences change. There is a need for the area to have a voice, a presence and a powerful voice has been the basis of HRA’s success since 1928. More recently this has been accompanied by the establishment of the Residents’ Association Forum, of which the Association was a founder member.
My thanks to committee members and particularly to those members who distribute the RAM each month. Thankyou to local businesses supporting the Association by advertising their services in RAM.
Later this year we will celebrate our 90th anniversary and God willing we may also celebrate a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.
Finally, there is a need for change within the Association, I cannot go on forever and above all else there is a need for more new members, something we could and should all contribute towards.
There continues to be much work to be done, monitoring the local authority and other service providers and if standards and performances are not acceptable then challenge must be the approach
D R Blackett
Chairman, Heston Residents’ Association