Sadiq Khan urged to block 23 storey tower on Talgarth Road
CGI aerial view of the building. Picture: Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
Residents have called on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to block the planning permission given to a controversial skyscraper hotel that could “make Hammersmith like Croydon”.
Up to 120 residents are railing against Hammersmith and Fulham Council Planning Committee’s decision to approve the 23-storey hotel, which would be the tallest building in the area.
Dominvs Group hopes to build it after demolishing the magistrates’ court which closed in 2017.
It will comprise two buildings, one at 10 storeys and a 23-storey tower at the north side, with 842 bedrooms, a gym, restaurant and viewing platform.
Despite nearly 150 local objections, and speeches from MP Andy Slaughter and a local ward councillor, the committee voted the plans through on 21 July.
With the planning permission, Dominvs agreed it will pay the council £7.5 million as part of a Section 106 agreement, to be spent on local improvements.
Among the complaints levelled against the development were:
CGI view of the building from the A4. Picture: Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
Mr Hasselt’s letter, seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, alleges that the development would be in breach of a myriad of local planning guidelines.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council was offered the chance to comment but could not respond before this story went to publication.
Mr Khan’s office replied to Mr Hasselt, informing him the planning application needs to be referred to the Mayor by the council’s planning team. Once this happens, Mr Khan will have 14 days to decide whether to take over, or to let the development go ahead unchanged.
Mr Hasselt has also received a letter from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which said ministers could intervene at a later stage.
Many residents have spoken of their anger about the development.
Lisa Sheppard, who is spearheading a Save Our Hammersmith campaign, said, “It will set such a terrible precedent. We’re going to be the next Croydon if we keep going this way.
“Some developments have been really good and have added value to the community, like the Riverside Studios and around Lyric Square.”
A visualisation of how the courtyard of the hotel. Picture: Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
The 56-year-old from Margravine Gardens continued: “But with hotels you just get transient visitors and it will be the defining landmark in Hammersmith that people can see for miles.”
A resident of Biscay Road who asked to speak anonymously said: “From my first floor window my view is already dominated by the Novotel and this is going to be 10 storeys higher. I have a garden that people will be able to see into from this viewing platform.”
Meanwhile, the effect the development could have on traffic stems from its unusual location, bordered to the south by Piccadilly and District Line tracks. Motor vehicles will only be able to arrive by travelling westbound on the A4. Locals fear cars and coaches coming from West London will try to join the A4 by Barons Court Station after rat running through their neighbourhood.
Father-of-two George Bulmer, who also lives in Margravine Gardens, said: “The second main concern is the traffic, because to get to the hotel you would need to leave the A4, go down Fulham Palace Road, go down these streets and re-join the A4 by Barons Court.”
Dominvs Group was asked to comment but the company declined.
A Traffic Assessment produced by the company estimates that only one taxi per 10 minutes would visit the hotel, which would be “imperceptible”.
The council said a ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ scheme, such as the one recently launched in Sands End, could be imposed on local roads to prevent rat running through Margravine Gardens and St Dunstan’s Road.
Ms Sheppard added, “We needed the traffic calming scheme even before the hotel. Sometimes I can’t drive down the road, it’s astonishing, and that’s at all times, not just peak times.”
Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter
September 5, 2020