Removal of the Hammersmith Flyover could allow a 'green boulevard' through the town centre.. Picture: HF Council
January 30, 2024
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is proposing that the Hammersmith Flyover be demolished and replaced with a tunnel or ‘flyunder’ as part of its plan for the area over the next decade.
It is currently consulting on its Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which sets out its vision for the development of the town centre up until the next decade.
The SPD is the outcome of the Hammersmith Regeneration Area Masterplan published by the council in 2019 which was partly shaped by feedback from residents.
Previous schemes have been proposed for a Hammersmith tunnel and have made little progress but now the council has made the idea central to its vision for the future of the area.
It says that the project has been costed at £811 million and it is eager to reconvene discussions that have already taken place with Transport for London and the Greater London Authority on how to move forward with the scheme.
The council has updated the business case for the flyunder to take account of the economic shifts accelerated by the pandemic, and to understand better where new opportunities to fund the flyunder have arisen.
The next step is to develop a feasibility assessment and implementation plan to progress the project and to discuss options for financing the funding shortfall.
The removal of the flyover is central to the broader plan of building on Hammersmith’s existing strengths as an office and retail centre as well as encouraging its development as a centre for arts, culture and leisure up to 2035.
The report on the proposed policy says that the existing town centre is, “characterised by a severe lack of townscape cohesion created by transport interventions and redevelopment between 1960-80’s.”
It is proposed to make a new enlarged St. Paul’s Square a focus for the town centre as well as a redevelopment of Broadway Plaza to improve better connections with the riverside and public transport.
Once the flyover is removed, it is thought likely that a new east-west road will be required to provide access for local traffic, alongside provision of a cycle route along the A4 and more surface level crossings.
It is envisaged that this would be designed as a ‘green boulevard’ - a destination in its own right as well as providing better linkages to the River Thames.
Taking away the flyover and the reduction of traffic on the Hammersmith Gyratory would release valuable land for development which the council proposes to use for affordable housing and job creation.
King Street would remain the ‘main spine’ of retail activity and new developments will be promoted to provide a stronger mix of uses, including the introduction of upper floor residential and community activities.
How the new entrance to Hammersmith Station on the Broadway might look. Picture: H&F Council
Full pedestrianisation was considered but now the council’s ambition is to work with partners including TfL, to enable King Street to become ‘a people rather than vehicular focussed space’.
This means reconfiguring the existing space to optimise footpaths, introduce additional public space, street trees, and street furniture to soften and create a more attractive pedestrian environment.
The downgrading of the existing highway is considered to be the best way to achieve this change, rather than full pedestrianisation. Survey work will be done into how servicing and deliveries can be arranged to minimise interruption at peak periods of pedestrian usage.
Upgrades pf railway arches could recreate retail and workspace. Picture: H&F Council
For cyclists, options will be explored to provide an upgraded cycle route along the A4 in partnership with TfL.
Plans to reactivate the disused railway viaduct to create the ‘Hammersmith High-line, a linear park and green link to improve east-west connectivity from the arches to Beadon Road and with Livat Centre are also to be taken forward.
The 'Hammersmith Highline' could create a new walkway through the area. Picture: H&F Council
The council admits that tall buildings could be incorporated into new developments where they but that the locations and design of tall buildings should be carefully considered to respect existing parks and squares, the existing townscape and historical context, importantlocal and river views and the skyline of the town centre.
Key outcomes hoped for from the plan include 2,800 new flats of which 50% would be genuinely affordable, 10,000 new jobs including the provision of new affordable and flexible workspace for SME start-ups/scale-ups, a ‘green and healthy’ town centre including delivery of new public space and landscaping/urban greening and more net zero carbon buildings.
The council will be hosting a series of consultation events on the SPD over the coming weeks and you can book a place below.
You can send comments on the council’s proposal up until midnight on Tuesday 19 March. Representations may be made either in writing or by email to email@example.com
Alternatively you can send comments by post to: Policy and Spatial Planning, Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 9JU.
An accessible copy of the SPD can be made available on request. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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