Riverfront Campaigners Vow to Fight on over Fulham Reach

As council gives go ahead for "exciting scheme"

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Save Our Riverfront, the group campaigning against the proposed development at Fulham Reach, has thanked people for turning out in force at a meeting of Hammersmith and Fulham's Planning Committee on Friday, September 23.

Despite the council greenlighting the plans by developer St George, the campaigners have vowed to fight on.

Their statement says: " A HUGE thank you to everyone who came to Hammersmith Town Hall yesterday evening for the Fulham Reach planning meeting.

"There were more than 120 people in the audience which made our community’s opposition to this proposal and our concern for its impact apparent to all.

"Though the majority of the committee approved the proposal there were also some very alarming questions raised by its opposition members about the conduct of the application process.

"We hope that they’ll pursue these with equal vigour in the coming weeks and will keep you posted.

"It certainly reaffirms our opposition to this scheme and our determination to fight on.

"To borrow from Churchill, this not the end, merely the end of the beginning."

The Council however, is describing the development as " an exciting scheme to breathe fresh life into the Fulham riverside".

It says: " On Friday, September, 23, developer St George was given the green light by the council to regenerate the Fulham Reach area by constructing 744 flats on a riverside site at Distillery Lane, together with new office space, gym, restaurants, swimming pool and a boat club."

Cllr Nick Botterill, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, says: “The committee approved this application as it believed that the development would revitalise the riverside by bringing new homes, jobs and prosperity to a part of London that has been in desperate need of regeneration for many years.

"We recognise that there were differing views on this scheme but ultimately, having considered the application in detail, it is our opinion that this development will improve Fulham Reach and the surrounding area."

As part of the scheme, the council has negotiated a £12m Section 106 package from St George that will be spent on improvements to the surrounding area.

The council's rubber stamp has been slammed by Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the Labour group of Councillors who calls it "a depressingly obvious result".

Save Our Riverfront claim:

1) At eight or nine storeys, these buildings will dwarf any others in the area and block light to surrounding streets.

2) Many planning laws protected views on both sides of the river will be lost.

3) The scheme is far more densely populated than the surrounding area and will drain transport links.

4) Traffic congestion and pollution will increase. The new residents and visitors will park on local streets.

5) The buildings are ill-considered and monolithic with no regard to the area's diverse architecture.

6) The development has no social housing and limited affordable housing so failing to promote the creation of a mixed community.

Save Our Riverfront say they have been inspired by Save Our Skyline, the campaign group who are fighting plans for the redevelopment of King Street, which have recently been amended. They are holding a public meeting on Tuesday, September 27 at Rivercourt Methodist Church in King Street at 7pm to review the latest revised plans for the King Street redevelopment.