|Poor Man's Shard: set to dominate W12|
The development includes a proposed 35 storey tower, of mainly private housing, christened last year by the Evening Standard as the ‘Poor man’s Shard’. The building, residents fear, will destroy sky-lines across West London and quite literally cast a long shadow over much of the area. As predicted, one tower leads to another, and developers Helical Bar are due to get planning approval next week to a second 32 storey tower, on their next door site on Wood Lane.
|Projected shadow cast by skyscraper over W12 & K&C|
A long campaign by local residents failed to stop approval by Hammersmith & Fulham council to the Imperial West development, or even to reduce its height. Since the council approved the planning application, the College has received a £35m government grant of extra public money for the scheme.
The College has not answered questions on how this extra public money will be used, and why it cannot lead to more affordable housing or reduced building heights inn the scheme. Nor will it reveal what profit the College is making from the development as a whole.
|View from Oxford Gardens|
Chair of the St Helens Residents Association Henry Peterson says:
"Short of a successful legal challenge, the twin towers are coming to White City. A once in a lifetime opportunity to rebuild this part of London on a more human and sustainable scale will have been lost. Residential land values continue to drive the greed of developers.
It is not even that these towers will provide many real homes. Estate agents Savills estimate that with new build apartments in this part of London, 37% are used as a second home and 27% for investment purposes and not lived in. Up to 70% go to overseas buyers, so great are the current distortions in the London property market.
These towers will destroy the skyline and stand as monuments to a planning system and housing market which is doing nothing to meet the needs of ordinary Londoners"Andy Slaughter MP is backing the residents and says this:
“I’m delighted that people across the borough are fighting back and I will do all I can to support Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith and West Kensington residents against the wreckers in the Town Hall.”This news comes hot on the heels of the decision by the Council to forcibly evict the shopkeepers of the Goldhawk Road, serving them with compulsory purchase orders in support of their approach to assist property developers Orion to construct luxury flats on top of Shepherd's Bush Market. The approach was ruled illegal in the High Court last year and the shopkeepers gave their account of our Council's tactics here.
It seems every major scheme like this is set to be rushed through before polling day 2014...