New Group Forms to Oppose Plans at Fulham Reach

Save Our Riverfront hold public meeting on September 6

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Plans for large developments in Hammersmith are continuing to spark protests from local people, with a new group, Save Our Riverfront, forming to campaign against the proposed development at Fulham Reach, formerly known as Hammersmith Embankment.

The group, who say they are concerned residents working with seven residents associations and community groups, oppose plans by developer St George to build over 700 homes on the currently empty site and claim:

1) At eight or nine storeys, these buildings will dwarf any others in the area and block light to surrounding streets.

2) Many planning laws protected views on both sides of the river will be lost.

3) The scheme is far more densely populated than the surrounding area and will drain transport links.

4) Traffic congestion and pollution will increase. The new residents and visitors will park on local streets.

5) The buildings are ill-considered and monolithic with no regard to the area's diverse architecture.

6) The development has no social housing and limited affordable housing so failing to promote the creation of a mixed community.

The group are holding a public meeting with a range of guest speakers on September 6 at 7pm in St Augustine's Church in Fulham Palace Road and are inviting local people to come along and have their say.

This campaign begins as another development 100 yards west along the riverfront has been turned down by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Plans to redevelop the currently derelict Queens Wharf and build 91 new homes was rejected by the Planning Applications Committee as " unacceptable in the interests of visual amenity. More particularly the development is considered to be inappropriate in terms of height, massing and design of its elevations. It would be un-neighbourly and out-of-keeping with the general street scene and riverside context, and would not take the opportunities to improve the character and quality of the area. It would have a detrimental impact on the setting of the Grade II* listed Hammersmith Bridge."

The committee's rejection of the Queen's Wharf plans has been questioned by Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter, who wrote about Save Our Riverfront in his latest newsletter and added:
" Curiously at the last committee on 3 August, a much smaller scheme on a neighbouring site, Queen’s Wharf, was turned down for all the reasons that apply to the Hammersmith Embankment site – density, lack of affordable housing, height, effect on the conservation area.

"The difference is Queen’s Wharf is owned by a housing association the council doesn’t want to do business with."

Stephen Cowan Leader of the Labour Group of Councillors, also questioned the decision and offered a background to the application at his blog The Cowan Report, where he talked of "private dealings and broken alliances".

Save Our Riverfront say they have been inspired by Save Our Skyline, the campaign group who are fighting plans for the redevelopment of King Street, which have recently been amended.

August 18, 2011