Imperial West plans approved

Imperial College’s plans for phase 2 of their new campus in White City have been approved.

The development is the second phase of a wider regeneration project by the university that will have research and teaching buildings, notably a public school of health and ‘start-up’ space for new hi-tech businesses along with a range of homes to complement the 600 units of postgraduate accommodation which comprised the first phase.

The plans, for the former BBC Woodlands site next to the A40, involve building seven buildings, ranging from five to 35 storeys in height, on the 5.22 acre site. They aim to create 3,150 jobs and deliver £8m in community benefits.   As well as the academic campus, there will be an underground car park and a hotel with a gym, restaurant, bar and conference facilities, built around a new public square – at 4,000sqm – bigger than Parliament Square.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, said: “This development was approved on its own merits and met all planning criteria, as laid out in the council’s and mayor of London’s planning policies. It signals a huge opportunity for residents and businesses in the borough, bringing thousands of jobs and millions of pounds in investment for the local area.”

As part of a the Section 106 agreement, £8million will be reinvested into the area, including £2.4million towards Crossrail and £4million for the east-west pedestrian link that would be built under the West London rail line.   The remainder of the money will be ploughed into improvements to the local highways including the junction with Wood Lane and way-finding signposts, planting trees on Eynham Road and putting crime prevention measures in place in Wood Lane, DuCane Road and the Bentworth Triangle.

It will also make financial contributions to other supporting infrastructure required in the White City Opportunity Area.

Imperial College London has also agreed to develop educational links with the two nearest schools, Burlington Danes Academy and Phoenix High School, and will allow the schools to use some of their facilities.

The scheme was designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson and  PLP Architecture and falls within the White City Opportunity Area. Works are nearing completion on the first phase.

Imperial College bought the 32,100sqm site just north of the Westway, off Wood Lane and Shinfield Street from the BBC in 2009 for £28million.

In October 2010, the council ’s planning applications committee voted unanimously that Imperial College London could build its Phase 1 scheme, with 606 self-contained flats for post-graduate students, nine three-bed flats for lecturers and academics, and a new ‘multi-use’ community facility plus open space and gardens at the Woodlands site.

Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed by this September with students moving into accommodation ready for the new academic year.    Phase 2 is due to start on site early next year.

See previous coverage.

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