Concerns Raised Over Council King's Street “Poll”

Resident group says more extensive talks needed

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The Brackenbury Residents Association is not convinced that the pedestrian bridge that the Council proposes to build will enhance the Hammersmith Town Hall development, a spokesperson for the group said in a statement.

The group acknowledges that some residents are in favour of the plans. "We understand that the police have approved the design of the bridge but we have not seen the exact wording of that approval, and we are concerned that half-bricks can still be lobbed over the railings of the bridge at heavy traffic below, thus leading inevitably to an enclosed bridge with all the attendant problems of graffiti and antisocial behaviour.

'The landing strip of the bridge in Furnivall Gardens will take up too much space; the Garden is already small and narrow and cannot afford to lose another inch, let alone the 10% we are told the bridge will take (a minimum percentage). If thought beneficial, banks could still be built along the A4 to shield residents from traffic noise," the Association said in a written statement.

The group expressed concerns about the height of the proposed new buildings to be built around a new public square. The tallest of these is fourteen storeys - the same height as the Premier Inn further down King's Street, the Association said.

The Association points out that the original brief for the scheme specified new buildings no higher than the 1960s extension; this height was reasonable, they said, and should have been adhered to. "We have been given no reason to depart from that brief," the Association said in their statement.

"We are also concerned at the methods by which the public's approval appears to have been obtained," the statement continued.

"Showing computer-generated images of happy people wandering over a bridge to gardens and the river is likely to generate a happy response. A more honest approach would have been to put the pros and cons in a plain way.
Developers always show the effect of their proposals in soft and pretty focus. The result on the ground, several months later, never looks like that," they added.

"So while we are in favour, in principle, of rationalising the Council's accommodation we have severe reservations about this development," the statement concluded.

July 19, 2010

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