18 December 2011

King Street monster only sleeping, not dead -- loathed Hammersmith Tory scheme may still go ahead if Boris wins next May

The more we think about it, the more concerned we are that Boris Johnson and the Hammersmith & Fulham Tories have essentially pulled a fast one on local residents and that the King Street development may be back next spring with only minor tweaks.

For now, with his eye on the mayoral elections next May, a panicking Boris has persuaded the H&F Tory councillors to withdraw their deeply unpopular plan for King Street. There is good coverage and analysis of this in the Cowan Report, the Shepherd's Bush Blog, the Evening Standard and the H&F Chronicle.

The Hammersmith Tories have egg all over their face. The seven Conservative councillors on the planning committee who argued and voted for the scheme have been giving a slapping, although it is hard to feel sympathy for people who rode roughshod over the wishes of local residents. By the way, these are the guilty men and women: hover over the pictures to see their names and wards:

Bizarrely, this happened in the same week that Stephen Greenhalgh announced he would stand down as the Tory council's leader next May.
Yet the King Street monster is only sleeping, not dead. The Tories' own statement makes that crystal clear: "Hammersmith & Fulham Council has withdrawn the stage II referral until further notice. It means that the Mayor is not required to take a decision at this time. The application is still live and therefore it may be referred back to the Mayor at a future date. This will be at the Council's discretion."
If Boris is re-elected, there is still every chance that the Tory plan will be re-presented with minor tweaks and then approved over the heads of ignored and outraged local residents.

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