Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Shepherd's Bush Green hearings underway

Trees are set to be felled on Shepherd's Bush Green if a public hearing which started yesterday and continues through to Thursday goes the Council's way, who want to re-landscape the Green, introduce a new cafe and clear some of the trees. 

Substantial local opposition to the Council's plans from shopkeepers who fear the impact of introducing a new cafe and residents who either don't like the thought of losing the trees or the impact of more rubbish and rats generated by the new facilities that the Planning Inspectorate has stepped in to look at whether it should give the Council the go ahead.

The Planning Inspectorate earlier told the Council it's original publicity about the changes was "deficient" and forced it to re-issue notices to local people.

Several deputations of local residents are expected to take part in the hearings at Hammersmith Town Hall and the results known, hopefully, shortly afterwards.

Here's what doughty local campaigner Viv James of the Macfarlane Residents Association has to say:
Surely businesses around the green that offer café services already are against the idea of another outlet to compete against? The SBMarket needs the business too so why create another source of litter on what is fundamentally a glorified roundabout? SB Ward councillors have been silent on this project, and I have not heard or read anything from the Town Centre Manager either".
However speaking to me a couple of months ago Councillor Greg Smith said this about the trees (he refers to the Green as the "Common"):
"There are currently 102 trees on the Common. We will be planting 34 additional large specimen trees, including 4 Oak, 19 London Plane, 6 Silver birches and 5 flowering cherry. We are planning for the future by introducing boulevard tree planting that will establish itself to take the place of trees that eventually will die. (Our tree survey indicated that the perimeter trees have a life expectancy of just another 40 years). However, the number of trees to be felled has been reduced from the originally planned 20 to 12. In all, this will mean a net gain of 22 trees for the Common"


  1. One of the local associations of the area is RAPA which meets only once in a blue moon. The chair is a Virgina Iornside. She has been campaigning (in the name of RAPA) against the felling of trees and is one of the reasons why this development has stalled and why we still are waiting for the much needed development of the green.

    RAPA met last year to discuss the parking in zone J. In the meeting Mrs Ironside as chair started by apologising and explained that she had been writing to the council on behalf of RAPA about the proposed felling of trees and hoped that no one minded. Now my issue is this. I do not mind people expressing their opinions to the council but what I do mind is when people use an association to put extra pressure without even getting a mandate from the association. It seems corruption is present with any position of power.

    I would like to put it to Mrs Victoria that her priorities need to be re-addressed as her recent tv appearance proves she may well care more about trees than humans.

    I would also like to kindly ask the council to take her complaints (on this matter at least) as if they were from an individual rather than from a local residents association.

  2. I second that comment (I was there, too).

  3. blimey - that doesn't sound very democratic

  4. no.. a blatant abuse of power by one person, and it could be the reason why so many people are still waiting for a regeneration of the green. The plans even give something for teenagers to do. Is that not what local residents on this blog are calling for.

  5. The fact is that the grass and the trees are the only nice part of Shepherd's Bush Green. They should be preserved, and the council's ambitions should be focused on the gum-spattered parade of pound shops around the sides. Once we let workmen onto the Green itself, we'll never be rid of those buildings and we'll never get the green space back. Conversely, we could make the Green as pleasant as you like but the shops along it would still be full of nothing but gambling machines and dodgy phone cards.

  6. Yes indeed grass and trees are nice, and as far as I can see they are a very large feature of the current plans. The mound has been designed to block noise polution and thus allow people to enjoy the Green without the need of alcohol to block out the noise. As for the litering, the green is suffering from this at the moment as its been left to deteriorate and is unloved. I would hope that once it is developed it would be looked after more, not only by a more gentrified user but also by the vested interest of the new cafe owners. Only by pushing forward with plans and regenerating the area will we then get some more normalish people enjoying the green, and then possibly nicer shops besides it. I even think the dreaded fair won't be alowed back as there is no place for it in the new plans.

    Furthermore the council is getting rid of the peabody flats with the market development, and rest assured the 24hour policing will be quite active at pushing tramps etc.. off the green especially once it has been regenerated.

    There is a large pot of moneys provided by westfield for the explicit purpose of developing the green. Lets for christs sake use it rather than cut our noses to spite our faces over two trees and a cafe.

    I have done some of my own canvasing and apart from dog owners who will lose a place to walk their dog all other people I have spoken to are in favour of the development or can not offer anything better.

    At the moment there is little or no reason for anyone to spend time on the green, unless you want to enjoy a little drink in the sun and you can't do so in a pub coz you smell.

  7. As an aside we will no longer have 24 hour policing from SNTs

  8. I agree that a cafe in the park isn't necessary, there's plenty of coffee shops along Uxbridge Road to satisfy that demand. Would rather have new tennis courts that will a real benefit for local residents.
    However, I'd be keen to get work started on the current plans. Even if some trees are going to be cut down, now that there's going to be net increase, is there really any more reason to delay it?

  9. I can't see any progress happening on the Green until that huge old bingo hall gets renovated. I had heard that it was to be a hotel.