Three Major Developments Approved by Council

New look for Hammersmith Grove as car park scheme goes ahead this year

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council Environment and Planning

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Three major building schemes have been given the green light by Hammersmith and Fulham council's Planning Applications Committee, despite concerns expressed by local residents and organisations.

The long planned development on the NCP (National Car Park) site was debated at length by councillors before being agreed.The scheme, which consists of two blocks standing nine and 11 storeys high includes offices, four restaurants and two public spaces.

Development Securities, the company behind the scheme on Hammersmith Grove, presented the proposals to local residents' groups in March last year at a planning forum organised by the council, and again at a design review panel in July.

The previous rounded building, dubbed The Armadillo was granted planning permission in 2007 but was scrapped by the developers because of funding difficulties.

The development will have 252 cycle parking spaces and ten car parking spaces, and there will be a new raised pedestrian crossing, which will be funded by the developer through a Section 106 agreement.

Two conditions were also added – that Hammersmith Community Trust be granted a temporary lease at the Emerald Centre, which is on the site, until the developer needs to build there, and that interference to televisions be minimised. Development Securities says it expects to begin work on the site later this year.

Planning permission was also given on the night to turn unused offices and shops at Atlantic House, Rockley Road, in Shepherds Bush, into a hotel. The empty concrete 1960s building sits at the edge of the West 12 shopping centre, opposite Shepherds Bush Green, and is set to become a 128-room Ibis hotel, subject to a Section 106 agreement being made with the council. It is expected to be open by next summer in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

Notting Hill Housing Group also received planning permission to build a residential development on the corner of Goldhawk Road and Hammersmith Grove. A garage and block of 15 flats will be demolished to make way for 63 flats – with 29 per cent affordable shared-ownership homes – 70 sq m of retail space, an underground car park and bicycle storage space, and a communal courtyard and garden.

Resident groups and councillors probed developers on the six-storey building for Hammersmith at a planning forum organised by H&F Council in July last year, and also at a Design Review Panel. The scheme has received mixed reviews from local residents with Cathnor Park Area Action Group supporting the development, while Brackenbury Residents’ Association objected to the new homes.

Objections had also been raised to the NCP development by Brackenbury Residents' Association, whose spokeswoman Rosemary Pettit said: " It's hard to see how these faceless blocks and wedges will add to the amenities of Hammersmith."

The Hammersmith Society pointed out that plans for much needed community space had been left out of the scheme and the Metropolitan Police expressed concerns about interference with their radio systems and asked for more CCTV to be installed.

However, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, said: " The borough is crying out for regeneration, development and new homes.

" Each of these schemes offers the borough, and our residents, new and exciting opportunities, and put to good use dead space or crumbling buildings, giving them a new lease of life."

Cllr Alex Chalk, chairman of the planning applications committee, said: " Each application was approved on its own merit and the committee took into account all views. We believe the schemes fit within both our local and unitary development plans."

Simon Hesketh, Development Securities said: "We are very pleased that our revised proposals have been welcomed by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. The plans evolved with the benefit of detailed and ongoing consultation with planning officers and forums as well as residents and interest groups and the local community.

"We are confident that our scheme will be well received by the occupier market and anticipate that the first phase will start on site later this year."

A decision on Ashlar Court, the former Globetrotters hostel in Ravenscourt Gardens and the adjoining Royal Masonic Hopsital was deferred until developer, Marcol Group PLC, provided the committee with more detailed drawings.


March 17, 2011