The Council are remaining pretty secretive regarding fiasco of the Town Hall redevelopment scheme – which was abandoned after the cinema (a “building of merit”) had been demolished. The financial viability of the scheme had been brought into question after the Council demanded extra Section 106 money from their development partners on the scheme Helical Bar. Now with the project abandoned the Council won’t get any Section 106 money, will probably be obliged to spend millions buying the land where the cinema and face delays during which the huge maintenance bill for the Council’s awful town hall extension will continue.
What an almighty stuff up.
Anyway apparently new plans are under way. I’m told that the under the proposed new scheme will include a replacement cinema (provided by Curzon) also that the town hall extension will go. The architects involved are Richard Rogers so whatever is built will be pretty hideous – but could scarcely manage to be worse than what is there at present. There is a plan for 210 flats of which half will be “affordable” (whatever that turns out to mean). The housing association that it is proposed will be involved is A2Dominion. I have some concerns about them as a landlord. Only yesterday I was talking to residents in Invermead Close (which they own) and came away with a litany of complaints about delays with repairs, failure to deal with rats, poor parking arrangements and so on.
The grandly named “Town Hall Development Commission” is supposed to be “resident-led”. This is a bit of a joke. It has four people on it – the council leader Cllr Stephen Cowan, a couple of architects and Melanie Whitlock. I think Melanie is a capable, independent minded and public spirited figure. But she is just one resident – and she is the first to say that she does not pretend to represent anyone other than herself.
There is due to be an exhibition of the new plans in November.
I understand there is a residents committee keeping a watch on this (set up by the Council) is this fact and if so, could you let me know who is on this committee?
“The architects involved are Richard Rogers so whatever is built will be pretty hideous”.
This is so emotive! Many of us who follow your excellent updates baulk at such a general dismissal of one of our great architects. It really doesn’t help your argument at all. Keep it factual, please.
Let me correct it. “The architects involved are Richard Rogers so whatever is built will be pretty expensive”.
But it’s true. Rogers who lives in a Georgian villa, plans and builds 28storey glass monstrosity.
My plea to the committee would be to include some owner occupiers in the ‘affordable’ quota of the build.
Hammersmith needs more owner occupiers if it is to have a healthy residential ecosystem. At the moment it is more or less a monoculture dominated by social rented housing, especially around the town centre, and yet more subsidised rental will not help that.
I am not talking about market housing for sale. Of course that could just end up with a private landlord and tenant. We need more people who own a stake in the home they live in, with all the myriad benefits that accrue from that, both for themselves and for their neighbourhoods.
There are lots of ways to accomplish this – discount market sale, fractional ownership, rent to own etc. We are prepared to spend a fortune subsidised peoples’ rents so lets spend some money helping people achieve what they really want – home ownership.
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