The Mayor was to look at the application to demolish a number of buildings, including the widely disliked Town Hall Extension, create a new public square, restore a walking link to the riverside and give LB Hammersmith & Fulham new, cheaper office space. However, LBHF have withdrawn the scheme from his consideration.
The Fulham Chronicle reports Boris tolf LBHF there was no chance of the project going ahead in its current form, and that the Mayor said: “It is clear this proposal caused much anger in the community and I am glad that common sense has prevailed. We have to protect historic buildings, precious green space and the views of our great city and I am sure the council’s decision will be welcomed in Hammersmith and beyond.”
The BBC reports the Mayor’s office felt the scheme had too many conflicts with the London Plan, including the impact the highest 15-storey block could have on people’s views and the two conservation areas it affects.
His reference to views offers a way forward for the council and developer partners King Street Developments, a joint venture between Grainger and Helical Bar. They have already slimmed the profile of the towers, and reduced the height from 19 to 15 storeys.
However, the development remains a live project, with the council having budgeted in to future years a saving of £18m realised by moving from the present accomodation.
A spokesman for Hammersmith & Fulham Council said: “We understand that the Mayor and a number of local residents have concerns about the height of the proposed buildings and their impact on views from riverside properties. Hammersmith & Fulham Council has agreed to work with the GLA on a further independent rigorous assessment on viability to determine whether there is scope to reduce the height of the buildings again. At the same time the council will continue to progress the S106 planning obligation agreements.”
The council makes clear that while the stage 2 referral to the GLA has been withdrawn for the time being, it does remain a live planning application.