Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Imperial College submits plans for BBC White City

New W City Campus
...according to Planning Magazine Imperial College has submitted plans which they say will result in the generation of 3,000 new local jobs as they create a new academic campus. The plans include a new research centre to focus on biomedical research to be called Imperial West.

Speaking to Planning Magazine Imperial's project director John Anderson said:
"Imperial West will enable the college to expand upon the success of its South Kensington site to create a second, open access academic campus that provides the physical infrastructure for world-class research and teaching, leading-edge facilities for business development and technology transfer, and create an attractive environment to live and work in."
It is the latest development in a long running saga which has seen political rows over the extent to which affordable housing will be created by the redevelopment of the land, which is also part of the Council's White City Opportunity Area planning framework.

Wherever you stand on that particular argument it is now becoming clear that from being the home of British broadcasting, this part of the Bush is set to become the cutting edge for medical research ..... and retail!


  1. this would be a great boost to the profile and economy of this locality.

  2. This is really positive news. This sort of thing can really kick-start a local economy.

  3. From Creative Arts to Creative Science. Can only be welcomed. However I have read that the building only just meets present standards so its a shame they couldn't be a vision of future building standards as it is a very focal site entering London. Lets hope they also green the area and improve the pedestrian routes and cycle experience for all the thousands of students which will be located there.

  4. Erm... they've started building this! It's huge. A good use of the land. Imperial usually try to prefabricate as much as they can to avoid disruption to local residents.

  5. Anyone know if the 34 storey block of residential next to A40 is still in the plan?

  6. Just a rumour Chris, but there is talk that Television Centre has been sold to a London University, yet to be confirmed. TV Centre would be ideal for Imperial College therefore.

    Your announcement is news, because previously it was described as accommodation. This means a whole new ball-game: cutting-edge research, industry, international interest. And flowing from that all the investment, people and jobs.

    It's an interesting foil to the Westfield plans.

    I suggest here and now that instead of loads of ordinary shops, Westfield should consider a technology/research theme to the new commercial development and call it Westfield Technology or something.

    They should build on all the science that will be on their doorstep and offer incentives to small science-based businesses. It would be the ideal environment for them in the midst of the university campus and give us something more than just retail clothes shops.

    That way good old Shepherd's Bush could reclaim its Victorian status as a place for good people interested in civilised things.

    But please, let's have buildings that contribute something to the heritage of the future, not lego.

  7. What an excellent piece of news!

  8. Chris, the rumour is that a London university has been chosen as the buyer of Television Centre, yet to be confirmed. If it is Imperial College then that would form an amazing university complex.

    It is news because the development has been described as 'accommodation' previously and includes the residential blocks next to the A40.

    This is also an interesting foil to Westfield's plans.

    I propose here and now that Westfield should include in it's development a major commitment to working in the university environment. It should give priority and incentive to cutting-edge research-based science/technology/design businesses.

    That way we could foster worthwhile enterprises in a science & design based 'valley' along Wood Lane with outlets researching & selling cutting-edge products. With the university next door it could become a phenomenal enterprise centre, attracting the best in the world.

    This is a chance to give something to future generations, other than yet more chain-stores of bling.

    But please, developers, give us buildings that will be our heritage in the future, not lego.

  9. Any source for the rumour? Given that Imperial had to shelve another building project in order to afford the Wood Lane site, I don't see how they could afford TV Centre.

    Having said that, it is the perfect shape for a particle accelerator (just a little small). ;-)

  10. That is quite a rumour! How they could afford it? Maybe GlaxoSmithkline could assist, or Virgin, or any private enterprise with money for sponsorship??

  11. The source is an overheard meeting of BBC circles being briefed at a restaurant near the Green. Just a rumour therefore.

    A number of bidders were mentioned, including splitting the site for a mix of apartments and a hotel. But it seems a London university was part of a winning bid.

    Even if it is true it might not be Imperial College.

  12. Although, Imperial does have an operating surplus of several million pounds... even though they're cutting building projects, they're likely to adapt their strategy if the end-prize is big enough!

  13. Maybe they were cutting building projects with this in mind.
    Either way, if a university were to end up at Television Centre that would be a fitting new role for the place.
    Any university with those premises would be on a winning ticket for the next few centuries. It would be worth selling everything for.

  14. It seems that Salford's loss could be our gain!

  15. I hope so, I really do.

    With a load of boffins arriving in the Bush what a rich mix we'll have.

    Simmer gently and you're cooking up magic.

  16. Science and shopping. Truly, we will have it all.

  17. Cynic.

    There's theatre. The London College of Fashion. Many churches, a mosque, two new parks and cinemas. Sound recording studios and at least on TV studio remaining. Homes of all kinds. Restaurants of every kind. Light industry. Service industries. A multitude of offices.

    So now you're wondering how to object to a university?

    Funny. There's an awkward silence from the objecting brigade.

  18. While many may welcome the idea of an Imperial College technology hub in Wood Lane, the reality is a bit different.
    The St Helens Residents Association and other groups around the site are campaigning against the commercial parts of the current planning application. These include a 35 storey residential tower (taller than Trellick Tower) with no affordable housing, a hotel, and offices/business units which appear to be for commercial rent rather than Imperial use. The financing of the development raises many questions about why Imperial is seeking so much increased land value from the site. See at www.imperialfolly.org.uk for more background.

    So not such a silence from the objecting brigade!