15 August 2011

How Hammersmith residents are fighting back against property speculators

As H&F Tory councillors spare no efforts to prove themselves the property developer's best friend, local residents are fighting back. They are not party political. They simply want to save where they live.

Save Our Riverfront (SOR) is a new, non-party group just set up to get the council to take a more reasonable approach to developing Hammersmith Embankment (which the developers and council have renamed Fulham Reach), rather than impose 750 properties of up to 9 storeys high, which would block light, destroy protected river views, strain transport, increase traffice and parking problems and offer no new social housing.  The Hammersmith Society has long been opposed, saying this would "do permanent damage to Hammersmith’s historic riverside" (see here and here).

SOR are holding a public meeting on 6 September: details here. You can also lodge your own objections with planning officers: see here for how.

The Friends of South Park have just helped to fight off the council's plans to sell Clancarty Lodge in the park's north-west corner. After a government planning inspector ruled against this, Julie Lane, vice chairman of the Friends of South Park, said, "This is an issue that really galvanised the community." See here for details.

Save our Skyline and The Hammersmith Society are continuing to battle the council's plans to build two, monstrous, 14-storey luxury blocks of flats and a supermarket on King Street, demolishing an art deco cinema and a home for the blind in the process and destroying a third of Furnival Gardens with a footbridge so the luxury flat dwellers don't have to cross King Street to get to the river. "Mere tinkering of a still wholly unacceptable scheme. It is still a disgrace to Hammersmith" is how SoS's chair John Jones describes the cosmetic changes just proposed by the King Street Deveolopment company (KSD).

Meanwhile, KSD's director Matthew Bonning-Snook has cocked a snook at a more sensitive proposal by a group of local architects by saying, "Our primary objective is to deliver this much needed investment to the area". Translation: "This wouldn't make us so much money". See here.

Well done to all the local people involved and more power to their elbow!

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