They say that, following initial discussions between the council, Grainger/Helical Bar and Tesco, Tesco’s development partner, St James’s Investments, has deferred a planning appeal on their proposals to turn the cinema into a Tesco store – which the Council terms "unacceptable".
The move will allow time for negotiations on land assembly for the Council's favoured regeneration plans for new restaurants, shops, homes and offices being pushed forward by Helical Bar & Grainger.
In February, Grainger/Helical Bar was chosen to regenerate the west end of King Street following a public exhibition and a detailed assessment of their plans. But St James’s submitted rival proposals to build a large supermarket on the Cineworld site it owns on Nigel Playfair Avenue.
The council believes that these applications threatened the much needed regeneration project and opposed the plans for a number of planning reasons. St James’s appeal was due to be heard on December 9 but has now been deferred to allow negotiations between the two sides.
Councillor Mark Loveday, Cabinet Member for Strategy, said: “Ultimately we have compulsory purchase powers and that will be the last resort if we cannot persuade some of the site owners to help with delivering regeneration for the benefit of Hammersmith’s residents and businesses. I can assure you that the council is still 100% committed to a scheme which delivers the much needed regeneration of King Street and we will ensure we keep control over the size of any supermarket on the site. Our view has always been that there should be a community-sized store.”
Despite the tough economic outlook, the Council say a planning application is expected by the end of summer 2009.