Monday, 19 December 2011

Westfield expansion: consultation extended

The consultation with residents over the controversial development of the White City area next to Westfield has been extended until 30th December, with a revised application having been submitted. The new application contains less flats and it also means fewer affordable units in some of the proposed blocks which is likely to re-ignite the row over whether or not H&F Council is fulfilling its duty to provide affordable homes.
I'm told that three trees on Wood Lane that were slated for the chop under the scheme have been spared by the proposed new flats between the central line and the Burger King at Westfield remain in place. As does the 20 floor tower in the south east corner of the development which would dominate not only W12 but overlook Kensington & Chelsea - which has provoked protest in both boroughs.

You can view full details on the Council's website here.


  1. The White City Opp Area for redevelopment has far fewer residents around its periphery to irritate than King Street or Earls Ct - but in that case you'd have thought that Westfield could be a bit more sensitive to those that there are! The traffic, noise and disturbance issues that are experienced by residents to the west of Westfield can only be exacerbated by further expansion of the shopping centre and introduction of more shops and flats on Wood Lane. It will also draw the footfall further from the Green, the traditional retail hub of Shepherds Bush, and kill off business on the Green. In addition the planning application includes no study of the impact of Westfield in the last 3 years on local residential roads, only on main roads.

  2. What's the matter with everyone on this blog? There seems to be a pathological fear of any sort of development whatsoever. Two hundred years ago there were fields, and every house (affordable or otherwise) has ruined the view. You are as guilty as they are, if that's the way you see it.

    OK Westfield has cause some minor parking irritations for residents, all of which could be sorted out by parking control.

    But Westfield is transforming the economic prosperity of Shepherds Bush beyond recognition. There are new businesses opening up all round the green and local people have somewhere warm and cheerful to go when it's dark, cold and raining.

    The negativity surrounding these issues is unbelievable.

  3. Agreed.

    Before Westfield took the huge risk to build, there were acres and acres of derelict wasteland and a collection of deserted warehouses for nearly a century. And people are complaining now about Wesfield??? !!! As you say, the negativity is unbelievable. You wonder what these people have done with their own lives if this is the way they think.

  4. I've got to say something here, I've lived in The Bush all my life, born in 1933. Every time someone tried to build something there's been a load of do gooders up in arms about it, most of them middle class people from elsewhere to my mind. Let me tell you that this place has never been so good as it is now and that's due to big investments such as westfields and the bbc who have brought in money and jobs.
    ..I remember when they built the BBC and a load of people said it was a modern building that wouldn't fit in ..... and now they're trying to stop them knocking it down. ...You cant stop progress you can only slow it down, but what is the point. I wish theyd built westfields back in the 40s and 50s when we really needed it.

    The only thing they didn't complain about was the giant council tower blocks by the roundabout and they have to be the ugliest things for miles areound. Let me tell you Shepherds Bush was in a terrible state once and I would not want to return to those days. Bring in these new buildings and let people have prosperity, it beats the old days by a long chalk I can tell you.

  5. Wow they woke up!
    Since when does putting a view become "pathological fear of any sort of development whatsoever?"
    No one is against ALL development and have always said so but this fact is ignored as it has been re the King Street Redevelopment etc
    "OK Westfield has cause some minor parking irritations for residents, all of which could be sorted out by parking control." Three years on it ain't working and it ain't all about the chuffing parking actually!
    Not sure what you mean by "these people" Derek! You seem to apply a very broad brush and make sweeping assumptions!

  6. There is no need to give extra parking spaces. By all means expand Westfield but make sure increased frequency of tube and especially the trains serving Shepherd's Bush-I live on Goldhawk Road near Ravescourt Park. It is now bumper to bumper all day apart from Sunday mornings. Planning does not acknowledge the accumulation affect of all these comnbined new residential and commercial developemnets. Why not give everyone a coffee voucher if they visit wesfield with a bicycle.

  7. It's great to read some positive reactions to a proposal for a change. I live near Shepherd's Bush Market. I think Westfield is great and welcome additional development which can only improve the area.

  8. PS - I think it's strange a proposal for a tall building has provoked protest - after all, as I walk along the Uxbridge Road in the morning, I can quite clearly see 4 substantial blocks of flats to the south of the green.

  9. Robert, re coffee. That's a brilliant idea mate and it's good to get a positive answer to problems like this instead of the usual moan moan moan.

    Viv, all right I am making some assumptions admitted. I just can't stand the mindset of instant opposition to creative & constructive ideas that can bring so much. To me it's just people trying to improve things all round. Mind you I am in the building trade.

    I'm Bush born & bred. Yes, parking & traffic is a nightmare on Saturdays, but it's worse on match days. We need to get on to the council about parking though - not make it a reason stop Westfield expanding.

    By the way, 30 years ago the parking was far worse. We had no residents parking and the BBC crowd blocked all the streets around every day. It just took an organised parking strategy and a sensible approach from the Beeb towards staff parking & it was sorted out. The same can apply to Westfield, with ideas like Robert's coffee thing.

  10. @viv "Three years on it ain't working and it ain't all about the chuffing parking actually! "

    If not the parking, in what way is Westfield not working?

    I see hundreds of people working and Westfield itself working like clockwork.

  11. "if not the parking, in what way is Westfields not working?"
    It is not working for those of us who live in the immediate vicinity of Westfields, where we have to put up with the constant litter, thrown from parked cars in our streets ,despite so called "parking controls", from the shoplifters from Westfields who use our gardens to hide their loot, from the shopworkers who also use our streets and gardens for thier smoke breaks, in spite of numerous complaints to Westfields from local residents, from the sreet sweepers which trundle noisily up and down wood lane at 2 O'clock every morning, not in our streets though where most of the mess is left, from the people who use our gardens as toilets when they are parked waiting to pick up shoppers from Westfields. I could go on as the list is endless as to how it is not working, but obviously you have to live right in the shaddow of the place to appreciate how intrusive the place is already for us near neighbours of Westfields, without even more development!!! I live directly accross wood lane from the place and have not had a" peacefull enjoyment" of my home since they began building it! I am sick of being labelled a moaner for wanting to live in peace. There is no peace here day or night, not even in the holidays as the NEXT boxing day sale opens at 6.00 am, which, for us, being woken at 2.00 or 3.00 am by slamming car doors , shouting and chatter outside our windows as Next customers try to be first in the queue when the doors open. try living in one of the streets neighbouring Westfields before you offer an opinion on what kind of people are complaining! We are the same as you.

  12. I'm sorry to hear that Liz. As a Bush resident I have my fair share of anti-social behaviour to put up with I can tell you and it certainly sounds like you have well more than your fair share girl.

    I very much sympathise and I wish I could help because I've had a house full of drunken Auzzies to put up with next door for years on end and it can really get you down.

    Westfield has brought more people to the area but are Westfield really responsible for the behaviour of the individuals you talk about? Yes they could do more to help you and they should be doing that.

    Most of the things you mention seem like behaviour of individuals, such as smoking, vomit, etc.

    The street cleaners could be stopped by logging firm and repeated complaints to the council.

    Wood Lane has always been a main road and there are several commercial hotels in those terraces. So I guess it is thought of as partly commercial. If you are lucky enough to own your property then at least you should notice an increase in value - being in the trade I heard there is someone trying to buy them up, with options on some, at the moment.

    You probably don't want advice from me Liz. Believe me, I am pro-development because I think it can't be stopped, just controlled, and I do sympathise with anyone blighted by noisy selfish, ant-social human beings.

    But as one person to another I would say if you can't stand being in such a busy and noisy place you must seriously think about a move to somewhere quieter because I don't see it getting less busy.

  13. An order can be put on Next not to open at that hour. For noise issues contact the council noise nuisance hotline.

    Keep a diary of all the nuisance you suffer from now on and urge your neighbours to do likewise.

    Reputation is important to commerce - neither Westfield nor Next will want to hit the headlines as anti-social and they will respond to orders from the council.

  14. Besides the fact that there is no mention of any postcodes for this proposed planning they forgot to mention that they are intending to demolish a vibrant industrial park that is in fact servicing the local area. They claim it will be creating jobs but there's no suggestion that they will be destroying existing jobs from a quiet industrial hub and ultimately hiking the prices incurred by their re-location and demise in some cases. All they are trying to do is milk the land for all its worth and create a new Oxford Street over a miserable stretch of twenty years of disruption.

  15. Why would they mention post codes?

    Why would they not make the most out of the land they own?

    There might be a few hundred jobs there at the moment. We are talking about many thousands of jobs brought by new development.

    What about the market gardens and fields the 'quiet industrial hub' replaced? Most of us would prefer the land as it was two hundred years ago before commercialisation.

    But time will not stand still, no matter how much you hate change.

  16. Initially the planning suggested the redevelopment of the land north of Ariel Way which can stretch to John O'Groats. I thought it was a sneaky way of making their intentions public.

    Yes, time will not stand still and although the industrial site is not one of the prettiest I shrug at the thought of seeing another compressed cloned terminal of rampant consumerism. Most of us don't mind change, but are sensitive to blinkered greed.

  17. "Most of us don't mind change, but are sensitive to blinkered greed." Actually you can only speak for yourself, not for "most of us".

    "Blinkered greed": greed is not blinkered, people might be. We all need to make a living in the best way we can. Responsible profit-making is constructive & we have a planning process that requires democratic consent. It is up to us to influence future development to make it work well. To oppose everything is utterly negative & ultimately self-defeating. People stop listening.

    The project will be largely funded by pension funds and the security of millions of old people, probably including you, depends on commercial activity and commercial success.

    "Rampant consumerism": are you a 'rampant' consumer of something? We all need to eat at the very least. If you don't like shops, don't go to them. But making a judgement on those who do is just criticising other people's choice.

    Results prove that contrary to your personal opinion "Most of us" do enjoy shopping and when we do we like to be in a comfortable, convenient and interesting environment.

    If you are worried that it will be a 'cloned terminal' then make some positive suggestions about how to do it better.

    Presenting your individual opinions as morally superior and in tune with most other people is typical of the way small bands of special interest groups (including developers) try to force their point of view on the majority.

    Let's face it, most people would be more than happy to see the motley collection of ugly, underused industrial units on Wood Lane replaced by good new homes, a high-quality department store such as John Lewis (employee-owned), specialist new shops, lots and lots of jobs, a large new public park, trees, grass, a high-tech industrial centre and a significant increase in the national and international reputation and prosperity of Shepherd's Bush.

    You are just trying to use emotional manipulation to say that the common-sense opinion is otherwise.

    Perhaps you are suffering from 'blinkered' negativity.

  18. The reason the units are underused is because the landowner refuses to offer a long term lease to any business who wishes to set foot in a prime location. The developer had bought this land and they are systematically running it into the ground by refusing to offer business a long term lease in this collection of units.

    Who in their right mind would want to open up a business with a landlord with such a busy agenda? Why would anyone invest money in this 'ugly motley' when they can get kicked out head first in two years time. Give them a 10 years and they'll make it look like Disneyland. The developer could certainly do with a new motto: Delapidate and Conquer.

    I am aware that a large group of people are opposing this and you know too well I'm not the only who is suffering from 'negativity'.

  19. "I see hundreds of people working and Westfield itself working like clockwork."

    Isn't that enough? Easy cash for a greedy bunch who are clawing at a profitable land when elsewhere 20 shops are closed down and boarded up every day. The North and South divide at its richest.

  20. '"Rampant consumerism": are you a 'rampant' consumer of something? We all need to eat at the very least'

    There's a very good value Morrisons over the road from Westfield if you're hungry and you can also grab a grilled salmon fillet and salad+ pint for less than a fiver in Wetherspoons.

    How many dangly incense shops, Miu-Mius and Pradas endorsed by the nations favourite paragons s.a Amy from TOWIE, Dimply Stryder. A throwaway society deprived of self-esteem and herded by pointless consumption into financial oblivion. When the fat kid is hungry throw him another doughnut..

    Do not confuse regeneration with exploitation. Oh God, I wish it was 1972 again...

    Albert W12

  21. This is getting a bit philosophical ain't it. So someone wants to build some shops and flats. In return we make up stump up for a park and some trees. Seems ok to me.

    But make your mind up Mr or Ms Anonymouses.

    You morally disapprove of shops in the south, but you morally approve of them in the north.

    The 'North and South divide'. So you must be a big fan of the morally sound North Korea. I prefer the South Korean way of doing things.

    Lots of shops please! Keeps the wife happy.

  22. Bring on the trees and the the bushes that the local shepherds need so much, but honestly, do we really not have enough shops as it is? Just step back a bit and see the big picture.

  23. Seems the opposition is political. Albert Steptoe clearly thinks working class business is good. Anything else is bad. Unless he's being sarcastic.

    You don't like dangly incense shops, so you think that they should not be allowed to exist.

    Morrison's is good value. But their butter was more expensive than at Waitrose when I looked. Morrison's, by the way, is one of the most aggressively successful capitalist organisations in the country. But you like it don't you?

    Personally I can't stand the huge Wetherspoons national chain. I admire the way they make money out of people like you though. It didn't exist in 1972. I don't like the scruffy people who hang out in there all day guzzling alcohol and getting fat on burgers, chips or doughnuts.

    But I respect their choice and they have a right to go to the shops they like.

    You should respect the right of others to their choice.

    I came here in 1972 and it was scruffy, downbeat, hard-up and utterly dismal.

  24. P.S. Mr Spartan, worry not. If there are too many shops they will soon close.

  25. I'm glad we cleared out that the upper classes are the ones gracing the marbled footpaths of Westfield. Shame, as it was designed for the masses.

    There's plenty of wine bars flanked by burly bouncers around the green and even one under the cozy umbrella of the Westfield. Choice and diversity, something Westfield is struggling to offer at the moment.

    The 70s were dire, but it's not so bad now. Why not stop developing before irreversible damage to the infrastructure of the area is done. For crying out loud, we're not talking about a local crime spot but a secluded industrial park that is servicing the local area.

    Anyway, chin-chin,

  26. Stop life now. I don't like it.1 January 2012 at 23:34

    Stop developing.
    Stop shops.
    Stop flats.
    Stop cars.
    Stop new buses.
    Stop old buses.
    Stop closing stores.
    Stop opening stores.
    Stop old habits.
    Stop new habits.
    Stop the traffic.
    Stop the parking.
    Stop building.
    Stop not building.
    Stop people.

    Stop everything I don't like.
    Stop time.

  27. Yessum...Enough is enough.People of Shepherds Bush rise and stop this fat cat before it grows its bingo wings and takes off with our cream. Too right Tel if it ain't broken why change it?

  28. Had Westfield not bought up the land then it is likely that Tesco would have done so - which would you prefer?

  29. Pete Wells
    I do not see the problem with Westfield developments. They are American owned and as we know the Americans do things with aplomb. The current development looks astounding and whilst local businesses say that it has decreased business many of these businesses are poorly run family affairs that cater to people living below standard. There are too many tramps and hoodies in the area and we need a better class of customer. I am not saying that we want rich folk adorning the malls but deterring people wearing jeans and trainers is a start. The Westfields in East London will drive out the undesirables soon enough. This is the way of the world. I refuse to shop in any of the local shops because they seem dirty and run by downtrodden, miserable people.
    I applaud Westfield for their initiative.

  30. I work and live in Shepherds Bush and the company I work for is one of many established businesses that will suffer when this development takes hold. The council seemed to have steamrolled this one through which not much consideration about existing domestic concerns and that of the little industries trying to make a living here. Although Pete says they are American I believe he is wrong I think they are Australian because I had tried to access their accounting department online for some research and their finance address was Australian. Anyway, aside from that I think the current development in Shepherds Bush is an eyesore and looks like part of the Death Star has crash landed on Earth. All I want is the local council to have a look at the negative impact this consumer monster has on the local community.

  31. Westfield is an Australian success story. The fact that you (Darryl) are completely opposed to the structure in White City existing at all means you cannot be seen as having an opinion that is useful to the debate. If you oppose shopping malls I suggest you move somewhere where they don't exist.

    The one in White City is far nicer than the one in Stratford as well. It employs a lot of people who would otherwise be sitting at home and made a sound effort to bring local people to work there as part of the White City regeneration project.

    White City Westfield has bought more people to the area and many shoppers are also found perusing shops along the Uxbridge road and the market. That cannot be a bad thing for the Bush!

  32. Have you been sitting at home all day smoking pot Max Branning?

  33. Since the start of time local traders have objected to new traders arriving on their patch.

    Since the start of time local inhabitants have objected to new inhabitants arriving on their patch.

    Nothing changes and nothing stays the same.

    Westfield is not going to win any architectural beauty prizes, but it is a hell of a lot better than what it replaced.

    They should try harder next time - but they are consulting.

  34. I don't think the local business need fear Westfield. It serves a different market.

    Shepherds Bush is unique. It has a good range of business for different requirements but there is room for more.

    We have street traders, market stalls, local independent shops and in Westfield some medium size department stores & some top-end designer outlets.

    But there is room for others such as mid-market specialist chains (eg Currys, Halfords), large department stores (eg John Lewis, Daniel).

    There is room for lots of small specialist shops (eg fashion boutiques, bespoke curtains makers) and an unlimited need for start-up specialists, workshop industries, etc (such as technology stores, computer outlets & micro-tech).

    There is also plenty of space for service outlets such as IT, accountants, catering, solicitors, dentists, travel, couriers, printing, software engineering, design, graphic design, estate agents, surveyors, employment agencies, cleaning contractors, etc.

    All these people will need places to live, hotels, conference facilities, business centres.

    These businesses will need cleaners, secretaries, receptionists, advertising agencies, websites, window cleaners, plumbers, electricians, carpet layers, decorators, sign-writers, couriers, etc.

    They will be ordinary people making an honest, modest living for their families and using their skills productively.

    They will be paying income tax, National Insurance, Council Tax. They will need to be supported by thousands of new jobs in the service industries such as dentists, doctors, nurses, child-minders, baby-sitters, cleaners.

    They will all need labourers, bin emptiers, park-keepers, road-sweepers.

    If it is managed properly then it is an opportunity for thousands of people that only the most churlish, selfish or down-right obstinate person could object to. If you are worried about it, get involved and make it as good as it can be.

  35. 'If it is managed properly then it is an opportunity for thousands of people that only the most churlish, selfish or down-right obstinate person could object to. '

    Well put. Totally agree.

  36. I reckon most of these people who object just object to everything and don't even think or want to know what they are actually objecting to. They've got some sort of cartoon character of a fat man with a cigar making loads of money out of it and nothing else. They don't want to think about the reality, that objecting to this means depriving hundreds of ordinary working people like postmen and shop workers out of jobs and somewhere to live. It doesn't suit their mindset so they just campaign against it. I bet most of them already have a job so it's I'm alright jack and let's be pig-headed and look like trendy objectors at everyone else's expense.

  37. If your neighbour puts in an application to build an extension, you have a right to comment on the plans. Likewise neighbours of Westfield presumably?!

  38. Yes.

    Too blinkered to understand that this item is about the fact that they are actually asking you for your comments?

    Not only that, they have extended the time for it.

    But of course only the most blinkered or uncomprehending person could turn a request for more comments from the public into complaint about the right to comment, trying to imply that they are being denied the right to comment.


  39. "If your neighbour puts in an application to build an extension, you have a right to comment on the plans. Likewise neighbours of Westfield presumably?!"

    Who is saying you haven't got a right to comment? No-one. They are ASKING you to comment!

    Of course you have a right to comment on a neighbour's application.

    But you do not have right to stop your neighbour making alterations simply because you don't approve of him.

  40. The Earl of Willesden9 January 2012 at 16:32

    Please send the developments and the desired jobs where they are needed: Outside the M25. The Bush is full of ghastly new buildings where Westfield's obese figure reigns like an angry Steven Seagal in a straight to VHS release.

    Westfield is just a conveyor belt for ailing businesses where despotic forces give off a repulsive waft of little choice and high prices.

    The housing development is anything but affordable and at a junction of three railway lines and one of the city's most important Roads offers none of the value. Just a masquerade to hide another hideous bunker of contrived spending.

    Alterations are now as good as it gets. Tou suggest otherwise would mean utter misery to our future generations. Time to put the foot in the threshold.


  41. Dimitri Medvedev9 January 2012 at 16:38 are desperately trying to put down any objections about this development. What is your game? You must be in for a nice little earner, ain't ya?

  42. Mickey Anonymouse9 January 2012 at 21:29

    That's right. I want a job. A nice little earner. About £20k a year and a flat would do.

    You obviously don't need one though.

  43. Shocked to find that some people actually want to see Shepherd's Bush prospering? What's your game? You must be in it for a nice little earner keeping it just as it is, ain't ya?

  44. Viscount Shepherd of Bush10 January 2012 at 00:13

    Please do not impersonate the Earl of Willesden.

    He's in Venice and has no interest in the M25 or Westfield. And even if he did he can't work the interweb.

  45. Westfield, more than 50 places to buy a coffee. From 99p upwards.

    Little choice you say? That's an argument for more shops then.

  46. The Archbishop of Gunnersbury13 January 2012 at 10:46

    Prosperity is confused with crammed misery in an already overly polluted and crammed part of town. Jamming more tower flats in this area would be a disaster when the traffic flow and the residents life quality is barely recovering from the introduction of Westfield.

  47. Welcome to history.

    It's just the West End growing like it always has done and always will.

  48. Wood Lane is not crammed. There are at least three huge empty office blocks, one empty & derelict dairy factory and several acres of wasteland currently occasionally used for rental vehicle storage.

  49. And you forget the massive BBC multi-storey car park opposite Westfield. Soon to be empty of BBC cars. What will happen to that I wonder.

  50. Planning Application Committee tonight. No prizes!

  51. I hope they go ahead with the development. It'll be great for Shepherd's Bush and hopefully drive away the undesirables.

    Shepherd's Bush has been and is on the up. How some people deny this is beyond me.