Tuesday, 22 March 2011

English Heritage attack H&F Council Hammersmith development

The launch of the Save our Skyline campaign against H&F Council's plans
English Heritage have slammed our Council's attempt to build two large blocks of luxury flats on King Street, obliterating Furnival Gardens by the river in the process. The scheme, which is opposed by local residents who come out in their hundreds at campaign events, is being pushed through by the Council.

The scheme will result, much like the plan to build seven floors of flats on top of Shepherd's Bush Market, in a completely unrecognisable local landscape with high rise high cost housing the order of the day. Even those historic buildings that don't get demolished, such as the old cinema on King Street, will be dwarfed by the twin towers.

Here's what English Heritage have to say:

“English Heritage considers that the proposals will cause considerable harm to the historic environment including the setting of both these listed buildings, to the visual character and appearance of the conservation areas, and to the longer views across and along the river Thames. This is because the proposals are not in keeping with the established riparian historic environment in this locality.....

“.....We believe that the disproportionate impact these proposals will have upon heritage assets, their settings and the wider historic environment is not acceptable......

“.....We recommend that the proposals are fundamentally reconsidered in light of the above comments, particularly concerning the height and mass of the new buildings associated with the proposal for the footbridge and the considerable harm they will cause to the setting of all heritage assets in the locality.”
Stern stuff - but they are talking to a Council who seems quite comfortable with the idea of ignoring local people on this subject. Speaking at this meeting Council Leader Cllr Greenhalgh pledged to "listen" to what the residents were saying, but then submited his plans unchanged to developers 24 hours later.

The relevant Council wards are currently held by the Conservatives, but at the same campaign meeting the residents were organising pledge groups, of people who pledge never to vote Tory again. I would say the price of not listening might be higher than some of the Councillors who dismiss these residents realise.


  1. But who speaks for those who would like to move in but can't? Should local residents always have a veto on new development? Personally, I think that the locals are being a bit precious about a rather unlovely stretch of a very ordinary high street, which could well be improved by the removal of the town hall extension and the car park. And the cinema, absent anyone willing to refurbish it, is an underused fleapit, for all the nostalgia expressed by people who never go there (and I took my family there last week!) and long since ceased to live in the area. We live in London for the love of Mike. If this lot had their way, we'd all still be living in caves protesting about the new mudhuts obscuring the view and bringing down the price of caves.

  2. I think the residents' issue is one of being completely ignored - which is a democracy thing not an aesthetic thing

    And as for those "who would like to move in but cant" - bear in mind these are set to be luxury flats that only the rich will be able to afford anyway. That's why they are having a special bridge built for them so they don't have to get their feet dirty crossing the road to get to Furnival Gardens. What will be left of it, anyway.

  3. Hi, Chris. Is there a way of contacting you buy email or via the blog with a couple of story tip-offs?


  4. yep - shepherdsbushblog@yahoo.co.uk

  5. "Council Leader Cllr Greenhalgh pledged to "listen" to what the residents were saying, but then submited his plans unchanged to developers 24 hours later."

    sounds familiar, didn't he say that about the Shepherds Bush market regeneration when he heard the dissent 'if people don't want it, we won't do it' then a couple of months later we are invited by Orion to see their model of the development and lo and behold, they've completely ignored the residents wishes and produced exactly what they would said they'd do at the start ie. demolish the Victorian shopfronts and build a seven storey monstrosity that will tower over the existing area.

  6. What are the resident wishes? As always it is the people who dont want to see change that are making the most noise. There are a great many residents who would like to see redevelopment of these parts of the borough - Shepherds Bush Market is definitely one that needs redeveloping as it is rundown, of poor quality, does not serve the wider community with a narrow range of stalls and has become a place for regular drug dealing. The "victorian" buildings are run down and have not been invested in, the market is dying on its feet and needs investment so it can become a real amenity to the local community. I am pleased that in this economic climate there are companies willing to invest into the borough - if redevelopment makes a place more vibrant, a better place to live and work and play as well as safer then that has to be a good thing doesnt it?