Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Guest Blog: Footie comes to A40 underpass

From time to time I host guest blogs on here - Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh and MP Andy Slaughter have both taken part. But there's a lot more to life than  politics and it also once included a music night as well as a rather more serious one from the Police Borough Commander for H&F - so I'm really grateful to Viv James, of the Macfarlane Road Residents Association, who has submitted what looks like a good news story about footie coming to one of the more neglected corners of the Bush.

Here's what she has to say below - and if you fancy using the blog as your own soapbox too do just drop me a line at

Bringing Footie and Fizz to White City

An application has gone in to the planning department of the LBHF which looks to bring life to a part of the borough that most of us ignore and pass swiftly by. It is a dirty and graffiti covered wasteland as it currently stands but it seems that there are plans to invigorate this corner under the A40 Westway.

Wood Lane junction with A40 Westway W12
Lucozade Power League, who call themselves the champions of 5-a-side football, propose a new facility at the A40 junction with Wood Lane as part of what they state is their ongoing commitment to amateur football. Powerleague have centres all over the UK already and in London they have sites in Docklands, Wembley and Old Street. Powerleague, the five-a-side football centre operator, struck a four-year sponsorship deal with energy drinks firm Lucozade last year as it kicked off a major expansion drive. The company already has tie-ups with kit and shoe maker Nike and brewer Carlsberg.

New All-weather sporting facilities, comprising 3 pitches are proposed for this dreary and stale site under the A40 to the north of the borough with heated facilities including female and male changing rooms and showers. Access is to be from the north of the site near Bentworth Park. This seems to be a welcome development and an ingenious use of a wasted and currently inhospitable space.

Strangely they seem to have applied to RBKC although this area is most definitely White City, Shepherds Bush LBHF and the application is on the LBHF website! “The applicant proposes to construct a 5-a-side football facility with 3 pitches underneath the A40 WestWay Flyover, North Kensington”.

The proponents of the scheme claim that this will meet latent demand in the surrounding area for small-sided football facilities, which cannot be met due to the density of surrounding development.

However given that there is to be another football centre with 11 Astroturf pitches at Hammersmith park as reported here the question must be will there be enough footie enthusiasts and teams to make the most of all these additional pitches? Perhaps the Hammersmith Park project should rethink the loss of the tennis courts which would please many residents and workers in the area.

The developers of the Dairy Crest site also wish to improve the area under the Westway where their site will link with the Imperial College new campus to the east of Wood Lane. They are currently proposing a not for profit building that could accommodate a range of activities such as music studios for local bands, computer training, artists’ studios and galleries/exhibition space or accommodation for small local businesses.

So it would appear that these two development ideas for the moribund areas under the Westway could compliment each other and bring great improvement to this difficult environment. Presumably any structures will need to allow TFL access for any inspection, works and maintenance to the elevated A40!

1 comment:

  1. It is a good plan. Might be an idea for TfL to carry out a detailed inspection of the A40 flyo er before work commences, so any maintenance can be done in advance.

    Not that TfL is great at that kind of forward thinking...