Full Town Hall Development Plans Submitted

Council Leader says accept scheme or face £18 million bill

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The full planning application has now been submitted for the controversial development of the site around the Town Hall building in Hammersmith.

King Street Developments, a joint venture between Helical Bar and Grainger, propose to build a new public square surrounded by cafes, restaurants, 320 flat, shops and a new council headquarters. The full planning application also includes proposals for a new footbridge across the A4, linking the town centre to the River Thames. The developer has been working with the Council for the last three years to formulate the plan.

The proposals have been described as 'monstrous' by local pressure group Save Our Skyline which welcomes the removal of the old sixties façade of the Town Hall but is against the proposed height of the tallest buildings in the development which would be 14 storeys in height.

Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Stephen Greenhalgh said, “If the scheme does progress, the council will not be spending one penny on the development. However, if the scheme does not go ahead there will be costs. This is because the town hall extension has come to the end of its life and needs to either be demolished or extensively refurbished. If the project does not go ahead taxpayers will need to spend around £18 million to move council staff temporarily while the extension is brought up to standard.”

He added that his 'slimmer' Council had lost 1,928 people since 2006 and around another 700 posts will be shed over the next 4 years. All of this means the Council need less space and can dispense with leased buildings dotted across the borough. He claims that a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that the two main residential towers need to be as high as they are to make the scheme financially viable.

David Walters, development director of Grainger, said: "We are aware that there are people who have concerns about certain aspects of the plans, but we believe that this is the only way of unlocking this site to deliver a scheme which can benefit local residents and business for decades to come, securing the future of King Street."

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham will now consult on the plans, which will go before the council’s planning committee during 2011.

The initial planning documents are available to view on the council’s website now, at www.lbhf.gov.uk/planning, and all of the documents will be available from this Friday (November 5), according to the council.

November 3, 2010

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