"Eyesore" Town Hall to make way for Piazza

Council to demolish ugly sixties building for new shopping district

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Hammersmith & Fulham Council has unveiled plans to demolish its "eyesore" Town Hall extension to make way for a public square.

The Council say that a reduction in headcount has freed up office space and made redevelopment possible.

The 7 storey 1960s concrete Town Hall extension was recently voted by amenity groups as the ugliest building in the borough. The piazza will be the centrepiece of a £100 million regeneration of Hammersmith's main King Street shopping district and will open up views of the art deco façade of the original Town Hall.

The council's advisers, Cushman & Wakefield, will be running a competition for development of the existing site -which also includes the council car park on Nigel Playfair Avenue. The options for the site will include retail, office and housing and, if feasible, a new cinema.

"This is a win-win situation for residents,"says Cllr Mark Loveday, Cabinet Member for Strategy. "We have reduced the council workforce by 5 per cent already and our plans to pass some services on to private contractors mean we are likely to need less office space in the future allowing us to release other underused and expense office accommodation. "

The council is tendering a development brief, to explore the development potential of the site, before deciding which, if any, scheme to pursue. If the sums add up, the preferred scheme would then be the subject of extensive consultation on the detailed proposals, probably early next year, before a planning decision is taken.

If the chosen scheme gets planning permission, the council's developer will work with the other land owners in assembling the site. Previously Tesco had proposed the joint development of the Town Hall and the cinema across the road but this was rejected at the planning stage.

April 17, 2007