Planning Application Submitted for Redevelopment of TV Centre

But celebrity campaigners continue fight to save five studios


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A planning application for the redevelopment of Television Centre has been submitted by the BBC and new owners Stanhope.

The plans aim to open up the iconic building on Wood Lane into a mixed use development, which will still include office and studio space for the BBC, as well as other office space, entertainment and leisure facilities, public open space, offices, housing and a hotel. The application follows their second public exhibition in April.

Television Centre will be opened up to the public for the first time, and the famous forecourt remodelled with new retail, leisure and entertainment uses together with access through the site providing connectivity with the local area, including Hammersmith Park.

Dominic Coles, BBC Director of Operations, says: " We are very excited to be working in this unique partnership with Stanhope to redevelop Television Centre into a truly public space that builds on its history, protects its place in the local community and greatly improves the audience and visitor experience, with better facilities and attractions for those coming to see shows recorded in its iconic studios from 2015.

" This development will not only deliver a legacy befitting a site of such historical significance but also is part of a BBC property strategy which is maximising value for money for the licence fee payer and releasing fresh funding for programming making.”

The centre will include office space will be aimed at occupiers in the creative sector. There will also be a variety of public uses, including a cinema, health club, restaurants and cafes. The listed buildings at Television Centre will be retained.

The new owners say as part of opening up the site, the audience experience will also be greatly enhanced with new facilities including a media experience planned at the heart of Television Centre.

The BBC says it will continue to have a significant presence at Television Centre, with BBC Studios and Post Production returning in 2015 to operate three studios to serve television production in the South East, and provide new facilities for BBC audiences, talent and production staff. BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial operation, will move into a corporate headquarters fronting Wood Lane in 2014 – the refurbished Stage 6 building.

This move however is being fought by campaigners who are determined to save five origianl studios within the building which are due to be demolished under Stanhope's plans.

The campaign has been set up by a group of  experienced TV industry professionals – directors, producers, sound engineers, technicians, crew and many others from all walks of television production – who all feel passionately about the demolition of not only some of the best working TV studios in the country, but the destruction of such an iconic and magical place to work.

Stars including Esther Rantzen, Phillip Schofield, Matt Lucas, Sir David Jason, Richard Wilson, Al Murray, Alexander Armstrong, Miranda Hart, Russell Grant, Charlie Brooker and Sir Michael Parkinson are all backing the campaign, and have recently been joined by Victoria Wood. who says: " TV Centre was always a great place to work and it seems barmy to demolish viable studios that are fully functional.  I’m not saying this for sentimental reasons.  It just seems so wasteful to get rid of them."

The campaigners have launched a petition, which this week has achieved a total of 5,000 signatures.

You can read more about the campaign here.


June 7, 2013