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Thursday24 July 2014

Sheppard Robson scheme sparks fury

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Sheppard Robson’s plans for a mixed-use development in west London have sparked outrage from local residents

The project – which also includes a public square by Scape Design Associates and landscape design by Townshend – is enthusiastically backed by Hammersmith & Fulham council.

But campaigners claim the scheme’s tall buildings, at 47m and 50m high, will ruin the skyline of Hammersmith. They are also horrified by the complete absence of affordable housing in the project.

Developer King Street Developments (a joint venture between Helical Bar and Grainger) proposes demolishing council offices on King Street, and replacing them with the public square, retail space, 320 new homes, replacement council offices and a supermarket. A footbridge across the A4 will link central Hammersmith to the riverside.

The new council offices will save the taxpayer the £18 million bill for renovating the old ones.

But some 1,000 people have already signed an online petition against the proposals.

Nick Bastin, of pressure group Save Our Skyline, set up to fight the plans, said the new residents would have a devastating effect on “overstretched local services”. “Every single local group is opposed to this plan,” he said.

The group’s main objections are to the inclusion of two 14-storey blocks within the complex. It fears they will ruin local views of the Thames and set a precedent for tall buildings in the area.

David Walters, development director at Grainger, said: “We believe that this is the only way of unlocking this site to deliver a scheme that can benefit local residents and business for decades to come, securing the future of King Street. This sentiment was echoed by the 81% of people who responded to our last consultation exercise.”

Sheppard Robson competed against Wilkinson Eyre and Barton Wilmore in 2008 to win the contract.

The proposals are expected to face the council’s planning committee next year. If approved, work on the two-year project should begin in 2012.

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