Friday, 10 June 2011

Shepherd's Bush Green: yes to trees no to cafe

Shepherd’s Bush Green will lose some trees but will not have a new café following large scale objections from local residents and business owners, in what seems to me to be a reasonable adjudication from the Planning Inspectorate. You can read the adjudication in full below.

H&F Council wanted to completely redevelop the Green involving the felling of several of the larger trees and the construction of a new café, along with landscaping features as well. Following objections from locals an inquiry was called which met over a series of days at HammersmithTown Hall and which heard deputations from both the Council and those opposed to elements of the scheme who feared the rubbish that the café would generate and disputed the need for the trees to be felled. 

One thing both sides did agree on, however, was that this communal space needs to be invested in and I think there is something in this judgement for everyone. The Council will be disappointed that the café is not going to happen while some will feel aggrieved that some of the trees are to go (but be replaced), but it seems to me that a sensible compromise has been reached.

It does mean that there will be two new play areas for children, more trees overall and improved routes across the Green for pedestrians and cyclists - that can only be good news.

Hopefully all sides can work together to make the most of this space.

1350 UPDATE: H&F Council have given me this reaction: Cllr Greg Smith, cabinet member for resident's services, said:
"I am delighted that we can finally move ahead with this scheme which will undoubtedly benefit everyone who lives near, visits or works in and around Shepherds Bush, as well as rejuvenating a green space that needs a boost. It is frustrating that an expensive and lengthy public hearing was deemed necessary but we now look forward to starting on this exciting scheme."
But the local MP Andy Slaughter has a different take on affairs, he says this:
"Yes to trees and no to unwanted building – a victory for the big society over big government, I think. Perhaps they can spend the half a million they were going to waste on the cafe on proper toilets in the area now. Well done to everyone who took part in the Inquiry".
1420 UPDATE - Local resident and chair of the macfarlae Road Residents Assn Viv James has added her welcome to the report, calling it a:
"victory for common sense and I imagine that both residents and the Council are relatively satisfied with the outcome"
Shepherds Bush COM 193.Decision 09-06-11.Final


  1. What is the justification for felling the mature trees? So they can build on the land. OK, you call it a children's play area; I call it building on green space.

    The problem of Shepherd's Bush Green is the nasty pound shops selling phone cards all along the side, not the grass or trees. The wrong solution has been arrived at because a non-existent problem has been tackled.

    I say leave the grass and the trees alone, or add more. Then buy up the leases of those awful shops and put children's play groups etc in there instead.

    What do most residents want from the Green? Fewer unsavoury types hanging around and a better view. Will this plan give us that? No it won't.

  2. The Green is under-utilized and under-appreciated. I'm not sure why so many people are against a cafe inside the Green. I think it would have had a beneficial effect and led to more people actually staying in the Green, rather than rushing through it to get somewhere else, which seems to be the case now. I don't really see anything in this plan that will change that.

  3. We could have half a dozen decent cafes along the edge of the Green if we kicked out some of those shysters from their pound shops and fruit machine arcades.

  4. I agree with you Nick, the main issue with the Green are tacky shops along Uxbridge road and bums drinking all day in the green.
    Can't the green be made an alcohol free zone?