Campaign Launched to Save Empress Place

Fight to stop Victorian street becoming Earls Court's 'bustling boulevard'

Empress Place as it is now

June 10, 2024

A campaign has been launched by residents living around Fulham’s Lillie Road to save a treasured Victorian enclave.

The Lillie Road enclave, west of West Brompton Station and Lillie Bridge includes Empress Place, a small street of Victorian homes and two attached rows of shops on Lillie Road itself, on the southern edge of the vast new Earls Court Development.

The premises are currently occupied on opposite corners by The Prince pub and the popular Hoarder coffee shop along with a row of pop up shops. The Earls Court Development Company itself is based in offices in Empress Place.

The residents' campaign has been launched as plans are finalised for Phase One of the Earls Court development, which the company says will include a significant proportion of green, open space along with 1,000 homes, the first office building and a cultural venue.

In this phase, the company says: “ Empress Place becomes the bustling Boulevard with new shops, cafes, restaurants and culture venues.”

Empress Place will also become part of a new north-south pedestrian route, connecting West Brompton and West Kensington stations.

Visualisation of how Empress Place might look from the developer
Visualisation of how Empress Place might look from the developer

However, residents are determined to preserve the current character of the street with a petition, which already has almost 200 signatures, which they intend to send to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Adam Daoudi, who started the petition at says: “ Do you remember the iconic venue that was Earls Court, now gone? Next to it, in Fulham SW6, is Empress Place and two attached shop parades in Lillie Road with their leafy back gardens, a rare haven for birds.

" Together with the Lillie Bridge, they form an attractive and unique Mid-Victorian cluster to be cherished for its charm and historical significance.

Another visualisation of Empress Place from the developer

“ It is the design of John Young (1797-1877) and the birth place of the prodigy and composer William Hurlstone. The human scale of this small area by West Brompton station, has become a vital part of West London's heritage, offering a glimpse into our past with its distinctive architecture, polychromatic brickwork and cultural value, while affording access to buzzing cafes, pubs, restaurants and craft shops and homes.

“ Replacing it with dense high-rise developments would not only erase this history but also disrupt the character of the neighbourhood. Join us in preserving this irreplaceable piece of our heritage for future generations to appreciate.

“ Please sign and share this petition to ask Mayor Khan to intervene.”

A plan of the proposed developments from the developer

You can see more of the Earls Court Development Company’s plans for Phase One of its scheme here.

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