London Buses, part of Transport
for London, has submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham Council's
planning department its plans for the development of a temporary
bus station where the Emerald Centre is located. London Buses
is planning to use the land for seven years because the current
bus station, just yards away, is operating at capacity in passenger
and buses numbers.
Hammersmith Community Trust, which
runs the Emerald Centre, has now until the 17 of July for presenting
comments to the planning department against London Buses plans.
Residents and several community groups have used the centre for
50 years and it will be very difficult to replace the facility,
according to Louanne Tranchell, secretary of HCT.
In a letter to HCT, London Buses
said: "The reality is that in order to fulfil our responsibility
to our passengers we need the space".
If London Buses has the go ahead
from the planning department, the Emerald Centre will have three
months to find an alternative space and then wait for at least
seven years. When the full redevelopment of the area is undertaken,
it might be able to come back: "It has been indicated to
us that our long term plans for the site need to include space
for a community facility", says London Buses letter.
The temporary bus station at the
heart of Hammersmith Town Centre would include the provision of
bus shelters and passengers islands beneath a canopy together
with an information kiosk. Mrs Tranchell says that it looks like
a "filling station": "Our town centre is a prestigious
area. What London Buses is planning is not appropriate for the
site, disrupting Hammersmith landscape".
Despite the controversy, London
Buses "do not feel that public consultation is appropriate
for these interim plans". But Hammersmith Community Trust
does believe that the public deserves to be at least better informed
about this. The plans are on public view at Hammersmith Town Hall
and anyone willing to find out more can contact Louanne Tranchell
on 020 87483079.