Capability Brown statue coming soon

The Hammersmith Society reports:

“The Capability Brown statue, supported by the Hammersmith Society, received planning permission on 15 December 2016 for its site on Hammersmith Embankment at the end of Chancellor’s Road. The life-size bronze statue, commemorating the 300 years since his birth and the thirteen years he lived by the river in Hammersmith, is now fully funded and due to be unveiled in mid-May 2017.”

Congratulations to Richard Jackson of Brackenbury Road for pursuing  this project including raising the £35,000 needed to pay for it and thanks to all those who made donations.

Lancelot Brown (1715–16-1783) was known as “England’s greatest gardener”. He designed over 170 parks and was known as “Capability” due to his habit of telling his clients that their property had “capability” for improvement.

He started work as a water engineer. His facility with water was used to great effect with his later work on landscape design. The historian John Phibbs argues that water was crucial to Brown’s genius.


Weekly car boot sale in support of Melcombe Primary School

A guest post from Tom Martin.

A group of local parents, led by Shazeen Ahmed, are organising a weekly car boot sale on Sunday mornings at Melcombe Primary School in Fulham Palace Road.

The events will raise money for a good cause, with the entry fees from both sellers and buyers going directly to the school. More information is available here.

Please share and help spread the word. Hope to see you there!

N.B. There will be no car boot sale on Sunday 7th May and any other Sunday when Fulham FC are playing at Craven Cottage).

Victory! New trees to be planted in Beavor Lane

I have written before about the poor record of the Labour Council with regard to planting new street trees. Often money is not an excuse as the funding is allocated under Section 106 agreements from property developments. But due to poor management and low political priority the new trees just don’t get planted.

An example was the 271-281 King Street development which included an agreement of £14,ooo for new trees in the local area.

After some persistent lobbying I have not got some news from the Council’s Arboricultural Officer for some new trees. He says:

“I have issued jobs for trial tree pits to be dug at the following sites which if successful will be planted up this spring:

Beavor Lane side of 271-281 King St (S of substation in footway)

Beavor Lane opp side of 271-281 King St (in existing build out opp 5)

Beavor Lane opp side of 271-281 King St (in existing build out opp 1/3)

Beavor Lane Eastern side os Independent Muslim School (northern end in footway)

Beavor Lane junct Theresa Rd northern side in new build out (probably have to wait till 2017/18)

Standish Road junct Aitkin Place N (in existing build out)

Theresa Road os 23-34 Chambon Place (north side near Beavor Lane in footway)

I had identified several other sites but unfortunately after consulting utility companies and carrying out more detailed service checks these had services in the ground so can’t be planted.

I have also asked an engineer to come up with designs and costs for constructing other new build outs containing tree pits, but this will take some time and involve further consultation with Highways Parking and Traffic Management teams before we can start work. This latter element of planting in new build outs will probably now have to wait till the summer so any successful trial pits will be ready for next winter’s planting season.”

That is a start. Although by no means yet our £14,000 worth…

New Landmark House proposal is still a threat to the Hammersmith skyline – will the Council allow it?

There is a dreary, predictable rhythm to the cynical process by which property developers seek planning consent for tower blocks.

An ugly site is chosen. A proposal is made to replace an ugly building with a much taller ugly building. Some opposition is expressed. Then a revised proposal is offered – to replace an ugly building with an ugly building a bit taller. This compromise is then regarded as a victory and the new scheme approved.

The Landmark House scheme is turning into a textbook example. This is the scheme I wrote about in February which is currently an 18 storey office block in Black’s Road.

The Hammersmith Society report that the developers have “proposed a revised scheme with the hotel tower reduced to 22 storeys. This would be 15m higher than the existing building height of 61.3 metres. The architects will substitute the new proposals in their application and there will be fresh consultations inviting comments from amenity societies and local residents.”

The Council’s policy on tall buildings is much too favourable. There is plenty of contradiction and ambiguity. But it does still allow some grounds for refusal as it says proposals:

“…will need to respect the existing townscape and historic context and make a positive contribution to the skyline emphasising a point of civic or visual significance. The character of the built form and the sensitivity of the setting of heritage assets may mean that some parts of these areas will be sensitive to, or inappropriate for, tall buildings. Any proposals for tall buildings will need to respect the existing townscape context, demonstrate tangible urban design benefits, and be consistent with the council’s wider regeneration objectives.”

If these words have any meaning at all then the proposal to replace the current 18 storey building with a 22 storey one must be refused.

The developers Eastern & Oriental say:

“In response to requests for a further public consultation event we would like to propose a drop-in session on 3rd and 4th May at Landmark House (we have a room available on the ground floor behind reception).

“We are proposing to run the session from 2pm-8pm on Wednesday 3rd May and 9am – 1pm on Thursday 4th which I hope is OK. I will be there with the architects together with a selection of updated images, views and a model and will be very happy to answer any questions you or your fellow members may have.”

I would encourage residents to attend and make their views known to the Council afterwards.


Labour says if you earn £70,000 you are rich – try buying a home in H&F on that salary

The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell proposes to clobber the “rich” with higher taxes. He said he meant those on”roughly” £70,000 a year.

It’s true that £70,000 is well above the national average. But when housing costs are taken into account would someone in Hammersmith and Fulham earning that amount regard themselves as rich?

According to Zoopla the cheapest property in W12 on sale at the moment is a studio flat in St Stephen’s Avenue at £270,000.  Good luck getting a mortgage to pay for that if you are on £70,000 a year.

What about renting? A two bedroom flat on the Peabody Estate in Fulham Palace Road costs £410 a week.  That is £21,320 a year.  If you are on £70,000 a year your take home salary is £48,067.20.  Would those on that salary paying that level of rent and that level of tax consider themselves as rich?

What does the Shadow Housing Minister (and Labour MP for Hammersmith Andrew Slaughter) make of the Shadow Chancellor’s claims?

Joe Carlebach: Only a Conservative victory on June 8th will safeguard our nation, our economic prosperity and deliver opportunity, ambition and hope for all

A guest post from Cllr Joe Carlebach, Chairman of the Hammersmith Conservative Association.

As many of you will no doubt have heard the Prime Minister has today called a General Election for the 8th June.Our country needs strong leadership and clarity of purpose at a time of great uncertainty. We should therefore all applaud the Prime Minister’s bold, courageous and brave decision to go to the country in a snap general election. It is a huge opportunity to deliver a significant Conservative majority and rid the national political stage of the madness and incompetence  Labour Party once and for all.

There will be a lot of work to be done between now and 8th June to ensure that we win. We can not afford to rest on our laurels or rely on the opinion polls and the poor performance of Labour nationally.

We must go out in Hammersmith with our positive record of economic competence with consistently low inflation and some of the highest employment rates on record. Our compassion for the vulnerable, our belief and investment in strong defences to protect our nation and our hard won freedoms. Our commitment to the promotion of opportunity, ambition and social mobility.

A new and strengthened Conservative Government will be ideally positioned to strike the best possible deal as we leave the European Union. This will ensure a fair basis for trade with our friends and neighbours and safeguard the rights of the many EU nationals living in the UK and in particular in Hammersmith. It will also safeguard the rights and freedoms of the many UK citizens living in the EU. For me it is clear, only a strong Conservative Government can do this.

Labour’s uncosted, unrealistic rambling and incoherent policies would represent a disaster for our country now and in the years to come. They would be incapable of negotiating a fair and workable deal with the EU. With their party so divided itself, how are they ever going to unite our nation at this challenging time. No doubt there are many good people who have supported Labour in past elections. I am sure we can all agree that this is a seminal moment for our country. Nothing less than the future safety and prosperity of our nation is at stake. I would therefore ask you now, even if its a first for you, to vote Conservative on June 8th.

I look forward to seeing many of you out on the campaign trail, ensuring we deliver a strong, positive and compassionate Conservative Government with a large majority on 8th June 2017.