About the area
The rich and varied heritage of the borough includes many very important designated heritage assets. There are 27 conservation areas (mostly concentrated in the east of borough, in Chiswick, Brentford and Isleworth), and some 885 statutorily listed properties. The borough also contains some of west London’s remaining Great Estates at Chiswick, Gunnersbury, Boston Manor, Osterley and Syon, a unique and distinct aspect of the borough which contributes significantly to the environmental and cultural wealth of the borough. The borough also has multiple nature conservation areas, the most important of which is Kempton Waterworks, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Waterways – the River Thames, canals, tributary rivers, lakes, reservoirs and docks – are also key elements of the borough’s environment
The borough is well-established as a leading strategic industrial area for new ‘cutting edge’ technologies and manufacturing. More recently it has become the focus for new investment in digital and media businesses of international significance, including the BskyB Campus at Osterley.
But the borough also faces a number of significant challenges. It has developed along key road and rail routes which now carry heavy volumes of traffic to and from central London, and Heathrow Airport, immediately to the west, generates significant surface traffic. The scope for walking and cycling is limited in places by man-made and natural physical obstacles. This contributes to air pollution and, together with flights in and out of Heathrow Airport, to noise pollution. But public transport accessibility will be greatly improved through current programmes of rail service upgrade and new rail passenger services which will connect Brentford with the new Crossrail network at Southall. This together with a new rail passenger service between Hounslow Station and Brent Cross via Old Oak Common will enable Outer London orbital rail connections to Crossrail and the new HS2 interchange on the west side of London.