I was pleased that last night Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Planning and Development Control Committee rejected a proposal for an ugly office block in Wellesley Avenue.
The overbearing development would also have been harmful to residents in Dorville Crescent and have had a negative impact on the character of the conservation area.
Planning officers had recommended rejection and my only criticism was that they should have been more emphatic in doing so.
For instance it said of 14 Wellesley Avenue that the “timber cladding on the front elevation is not in keeping with the character and appearance of the conservation area.”
We can all sneer at “mock Tudor”. The building is rather idiosyncratic in the context of the local area. But the point is that the proposed replacement would be awful. So that would be a bad swap. Give me mock Tudor!
With regard to traffic the planning officers said:
“Regarding visitors to the office use it is considered that due to the good public transport accessibility in this location, people would be likely to use transport methods other than a private car to visit the site and therefore the proposal is unlikely to generate any increase in parking pressure or cause conditions detrimental to traffic conditions. “
Come off it.
The office would have 200 people and so there would be a lot more traffic – with all the couriers, Uber taxis, Amazon deliveries, etc.
That would be bad for local schools – with air pollution and congestion during the school run for those children dropped off.
The traffic caused by the existing workshop is very modest – they take in perhaps three cars a week. Also cars are currently parked in the garage, but in future all cars would be on the street.
By all means let’s have a change of use for the workshop – but it should be for new (but traditional) housing. That is what is needed rather than more offices.
Brackenbury Residents Association said the proposed scheme was “alien” and added:
“We value the benefits of mixed use within residential areas, but we consider this application would introduce the wrong mix, creating an inappropriate design for the street, an inappropriate commercial presence, and an insensitive neighbour to the existing houses.”
New developments don’t have to be unattractive. But all too often they are. Local residents and I left the meeting last night to allow the Committee to proceed with its work – remorselessly approving schemes to make our borough less and less beautiful.
But at least we had our victory:
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.