Hammersmith & Fulham planning decision found unlawful

The shopkeepers of Goldhawk Road have won a notable victory against the council.  A judicial review case at the High Court has led a judge to decide that the council’s adoption of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in October 2010 was procedurally flawed.  The shopkeepers and their solicitors are now planning a further JR to challenge the outline planning approval which the council subsequently gave, on the scheme to redevelop Shpeherds Bush Market.

The decision has wider implications on how the council approaches Supplementary Planning Documents, including the White City OAPF. This in turn has implications for the Imperial West application.   It must be interesting times within the LBHF Planning Division.  More anon.



June 13th looks like decision day

It looks increasingly likely that the Imperial West planning application will be decided by the Hammersmith & Fulham Planning Applications Committee on June 13th.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 7pm in the Small Hall at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London W6 9JU.  We hope that many residents from both K&C and H&F will attend the meeting.

For those unfamiliar with the way that Hammersmith and Fulham conducts its planning business, please note that the committee meets monthly and usually has at least one major planning application to decide.   Members of the public are not allowed to speak, and unlike the equivalent RBKC committee, ‘deputations’ which permit local organisations to make their views heard are not permitted either.

The committee is made up of 7 Conservative councillors and 3 Labour.  Discussions may be brief, if the majority part want to move on to non-contentious applications.  But this is as near as we will get to democracy in action, and the presence of large numbers of the public helps to make councillors aware that they are making unpopular decisions.  It is worth going along.

So please make a note of June 13th in your diary.  Imperial have made some cosmetic changes to the application and have submitted many new documents (including CGI images of what the development will look like from the inside, rather than from where we residents will see it).  These can be found on the LBHF website at this link if you want to have a look.  We will be making a final round of comments on the application, and sending a summary of our objections to all members of the committee.

Meanwhile, keep those emails flowing in to nicholas.botterill@lbhf.gov.uk.  He becomes Leader of the Council on May 30th.



Latest meeting with Imperial

We met yesterday with Jeremy Newsum, the member of the Imperial College Council who is overseeing the Imperial West development.   It was a disappointing meeting.  The College’s architects have made some minor adjustments to the proposals, in response to comments and criticisms from the GLA and from CABE (Commission for the Built Environment).  But we were told that the scheme remains very much the same as before in terms of building height and mass.

The College expects a decision on the planning application to be made at the Hammersmith & Fulham Planning Applications Committee on 13th June, as forecast in our earlier post below.

We discussed with Jeremy Newsum the reasons why the Association (and many other local residents) believe that the College has been too greedy in the commercial return that it is seeking from the Woodlands site.  But our arguments fell on deaf ears.  We will suffer the consequences in terms of a proposed site density that exceeds that of Canary Wharf, for the second phase of the Imperial West development.

The traffic jams in North Pole Road and St Quintins Avenue, now a daily feature of local life, will continue to worsen as the Wood Lane developments are occupied in the coming years.

Assuming the planning application is decided in mid June, we now have one more month in which to influence the outcome.  We will be working with the Kensington Society, and Norland, to build public pressure against the series of overdevelopments along the borough boundary.

On the political front, Boris is back at County Hall.  We will see whether his request that LBHF look again at the proposed height of the 35 storey tower at Imperial West is followed up.  The risk is that, like many promises made during election campaigns, this one will be forgotten.

Stephen Greenhalgh has stepped down as council leader at LBHF earlier than expected.  He is taking up a new role as Boris’s Deputy Mayor for Policing.  Councillor Nick Botterill, currently Deputy Leader at LBHF, has been elected by the Conservative Group to take over as Leader from May 30th.  He will now become the focus of local efforts to persuade the council’s Planning Applications Committee to reject the Imperial West application in its present form.

The minor changes made to Imperial West application will be made public in the next week or so.  We will publish details on this website as soon as they are available.

Planning decision will not be before June

We have heard from London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham that the decision on Imperial’s Phase 2 application will not be until 13th June at the earliest.  Imperial’s architects have been meeting with the council’s planners to discuss the GLA response to the original application (Boris asked for several aspects, including the height of the tower, to be looked at again).

We await Thursday’s election to see who will by Mayor of London on May 4th.

We have a meeting fixed with Jeremy Newsum, chairman of the College Syndicate (the sub-committee overseeing the Imperial West development).  We will be doing our persuade to persuade him that the College needs to rethink and improve the design of the scheme. We will also be briefing him on our plans for a St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Forum and Plan, including the Woodlands site.  See at www.stehelensresidents.org.uk.