Hammersmith Skyscraper To Be Switched To Student Halls

Developer unable to raise finance for original hotel plan

Green outline shows difference in height between the proposed hotel and the student halls
Green outline shows difference in height between the proposed hotel and the student halls

The developer whose plan for a 23-storey hotel invoked a backlash from Hammersmith residents is instead looking to build student halls.

Due to the drop in international tourism and business travel, Dominvs Group has revealed that banks are currently unwilling to lend money for the hotel scheme.

While the company has not fully abandoned this planning application, it will submit another application to Hammersmith and Fulham Council later this year.

In a bid to appease residents, who mobilised under the Save Our Hammersmith campaign, the student halls would be 20 storeys tall rather than 23.

Under the new proposals, a second smaller building planned for the south side of the site in Talgarth Road would still be a hotel.

Residents, whose petition against the hotel received 1,270 signatures, argued that a rooftop bar and viewing platform would have allowed guests to look directly into their gardens, and that the building would be an eyesore from miles around.

Campaigners also argued that council planning officers overlooked the hotel’s potential to dramatically increase traffic congestion in residential streets between Fulham Palace Road and Barons Court Station.

The new proposals were unveiled in detail during a public webinar hosted by Dominvs on 11 March.

CGI aerial view of the original building. Picture: Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners

A spokesperson told viewers: “It’s probably not lost on anybody that global travel and the movement of people is quite restricted and naturally that poses challenges to the hotels business.

“So as it stands, the front building which was due to be a hotel… that hotel was proving extremely challenging to get funding on in this climate.”

He said the student accommodation market had “remained resilient” over the last year, and that the halls, with 696 bedrooms, would attract students from Imperial College London and LAMDA, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Residents were told that the student building would be 67.9 metres tall rather than the 76.1-metre hotel, “the best part of three storeys” shorter.

The company also believes students halls would generate roughly half of the amount of traffic from taxis and delivery vehicles that would service a huge hotel.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

March 12, 2021