Save Our Skyline - Residents concerned about King Street Redevelopment

What you can do

UPDATE
At present there is no need to do anything until we know the details of what we expect will be a revised application. However, please do stay in touch so that we can let you know more about this as soon as we do. Thank you all for giving us your support so far.

Below is a list of planning issues which give serious grounds for opposing the Town Hall plans. Please do raise any of these points in your letter but remember that only individual letters will count in the planning process, so please don't simply cut and paste - use your own words and add your own views. Besides the below, you could consider the planning implications of the new supermarket (increased traffic, especially lorry traffic), the loss of the cinema (loss of a cultural facility which will not be replaced)and loss of affordable housing, with none provided in the new development.

NOTE: We understand that the Council is disregarding all letters objecting to the previous version of the scheme, so if you have written before you will need to write again.

Height

Too tall: The 15-storey and 10-storey towers are completely out of scale with their surroundings, which consist mainly of two to four storey buildings. This is contrary to UDP requirement EN8, which states that new developments must respect the relationship of the proposed development to the existing townscape, including the local street pattern and landmarks and the skyline and skyspace.

Not in an area listed by the Council as appropriate for Tall Buildings: The Town Hall redevelopment site is not zoned on the Council's own Spatial Analysis map as an "Area where tall buildings may be appropriate". So why permit them here?

Will damage key views: The 15-storey and 10-storey tower blocks will irretrievably damage the open views from Hammersmith Bridge, from upriver Chiswick, and from the Barnes towpath. The open views and skyline are rare and provide relief from the densely built environment in West London. The towers will contravene UDP requirement EN31/2(a) in particular which mentions the value of views of Upper and Lower Mall and their setting.

Will create a precedent for further tall buildings along King Street: the height of each new building in an area determines the potential height of the next. The application documents themselves admit this by drawing "height datum" lines on photographs of the view from Hammersmith Bridge as a basis for presenting the scheme.

Conservation Areas

Will damage the setting and views in and out of the neighbouring conservation areas: The height and scale of the development will damage the setting and views in and out of conservation areas, including the Mall Conservation Area, the Ravenscourt and Starch Green Conservation Area, the King Street East Conservation Area and the St Peters Square Conservation Area. This is contrary to UDP Policy EN2B which says that development including development outside conservation areas will only be permitted if the character or appearance of the conservation areas in terms of their setting and views into or out of them is preserved or enhanced. Just how do the towers enhance the views?

Impact on Historic Environment round the Dove passage

Will damage the setting of the historic cluster of buildings where Upper Mall meets Furnivall Gardens: At present the Dove passage and the cluster of Grade II listed buildings either side of it (including Sussex House listed Grade II*) are a remarkably untouched survival of old Hammersmith. The pedestrian bridge ramping would come close to the passage and visually overwhelm it by its height, appearance and the ugly opening it has to leave for cyclists to access the underpass. This is contrary to the requirement in EN8 to improve or enhance the Conservation Area.

Impact of footbridge on listed buildings

Damage to the setting of the Town Hall and Sussex House: The Town hall is listed Grade II. Sussex House in the Doves Passage is Listed Grade II* and there are the cluster of other listed Grade II buildings around the Dove listed buildings in Doves passage: the footbridge over the A4 would damage the setting of these listed buildings, which runs counter to the Government guidelines in PPS5 "Planning for the Historic Environment" and to requirements in UDP EN3 "permission will not normally be granted for any development which would not preserve the setting of a listed building".

Town Hall overwhelmed by new blocks and raised walkway: While demolition of the 1970s Town Hall extension would enable the original Town Hall to be seen from King Street for the first time in 30 years, the scheme simultaneously proposes obscuring its west facade by turning Nigel Playfair Avenue into a raised pedestrian ramp and crowding the Town Hall by 9 storey blocks which would frame the view from King St. The scheme fails to give this fine listed building an appropriate setting.

Effect of the footbridge on Furnivall Gardens

The earthworks and ramp will take away a large part of the picnic and kickabout space, replacing it with descent ramps which contribute nothing to the amenity space of the Gardens and create a potentially intimidating and unpleasant space under the bridge where underpass must remain open for cyclists. Furnivall Gardens is in the Conservation Area and Thames Policy Area, but the ramps offer no "enhancement or improvement" (UDP Policy EN2B) to the Gardens , as required by the UDP.

Lighting Proposals

Will create light pollution and visual intrusion on night-time views: The redevelopment scheme proposes making the residential blocks and towers "illuminated landmarks" at night, lighting up the rooflines, balconies and cladding recesses. It would introduce an uninvited, unnecessary and unwelcome visual presence into the night-time views from Chiswick Mall, Barnes, Hammersmith Bridge and as far as Putney Embankment. There is a high risk of environmental nuisance from light pollution such as there was with the lighting on the Premier Inn before the Council's own Environmental Health department stepped in to have most of it turned off.

UDP: To view the Unitary Development Plan click here.

PPS5: To view the Planning Policy Statement 5, Planning for the Historic Environment click here.

To see who you should write to click here.

Save Our Skyline - Residents concerned about King Street Redevelopment

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