Virginia Ironside: New threat to the Shepherd’s Bush Palladium

pallshepVirginia Ironside writes:

We are faced with another threat to Shepherds Bush Common and Conservation area:

Dorsett Hotels, who did a sympathetic conversion of “Odeon I” (on the right, below), failed in their bid to demolish the Shepherd’s Bush Palladium next door.

They have now submitted a new application to build 7 storeys of “serviced apartments” which would retain only the Palladium’s façade and top it with a red brick “Gotham City” tower with fins which bears no relation to the style and character of the original Edwardian building.

The top-heavy tower appears to be trying to squash the original theatre into the ground! The Palladium has huge historical value: it was the second cinema theatre built in London.  It was built to stand alone, not to serve as the foundations of a monstrous tower.

A sympathetic renovation, with the gaudy paint removed, would restore the Palladium and the West side of Shepherds Bush Common to its former glory.

The Palladium is a locally listed “Building of Merit”.  It forms a vital link in the chain of older buildings on the West side of the Green, with the locally listed Bush Hotel and Grade II listed Empire to the South and the re-vamped Odeon 1 to the North.  Together these buildings form a distinctive and unique townscape which should be protected.

The Conservation Area Character Profile is at

The Palladium is in “pages 5-9” para 5.11. The proposed tower’s effect on the Empire Theatre (5.10) and the Bush Hotel (5.14) as well as the revamped Odeon I (5.12) would be disastrous.

If you agree that this abuse of a loved and historic building should not be allowed, could you write and state that you OBJECT to the application in the strongest possible terms and forward to any groups or individuals who would be interested?

Objections have to be in by October 25th.

This link takes you to the planning application page where you can object with the “make a comment” button:

What should be done about this redundant building on Shepherd’s Bush Green?

shepherdsbushgreenApparently this redundant building in Shepherd’s Bush Green used to be an electricity sub station. It could be attractive but at present is an eyesore.

I recently asked about it’s future.

Ian Ross, the Council’s Parks Manager replied:

“This building has been subject to much discussion recently along with its potential viability as a commercial premises.  Following said discussion, and having considered the findings of a previous public inquiry, we do not think that this building is viable as a commercial premises.  Reviewing the Planning Inspector’s findings it is unlikely a commercial operation would receive planning permission.

On this basis Officers will shortly be consulting with Councillors for Addison and Shepherd’s Bush Green Wards with a view to seeking planning permission to demolish this building.  It is worth pointing out that any decision to demolish will require Secretary of State permission due to the sites Conservation Area status and public consultation will be undertaken as part of this process.”

I pressed a bit. Could we not at least attempt planning permission, could we not put it in the market place to test commercial viability?

He responded:

“The options for this building have been discussed a number of times now.  Feedback, based on informal discussions with Planning colleagues, is that planning permission would not be forthcoming for a cafe.   The Inspector at the Planning Inquiry deemed that a replacement building including toilets, was not appropriate.  There was significant opposition from shopkeepers in properties facing the green, and this level of opposition could be anticipated for any change of use of the existing building, the area’s common land status is an extra complication.  Additionally it would cost any new occupier a large sum to put the building in working order, and this would mean the Council would not obtain rental income for several years.

While it always disappointing to lose a building that has a potential use our options are very limited here and given this building is detracting from the overall appearance of Shepherds Bush Green the practical approach is to move forward with seeking permission to demolish.  This, as outlined in my previous email, will be subject to public consultation due to the area’s conservation area and common land status.”

Local residents I have spoken to feel if it is to be demolished the site should be grassed over and not made into hard-standing of which there is far too much on the Green anyway.

What are the alternatives? Could it be a newsagents if a cafe would not be permitted? A shelter from the rain – or would that become a haven for tramps? A pump station for push bikes?

The present situation is unsatisfactory. It should not be demolished until there has been a genuine effort to find a viable alternative use – which clearly has not yet taken place.

If it was restored this would be an attractive building in a prominent location.

Please let me know your ideas.

Housing Association offers Bassein Park Road house for sale at £1.2 million

basseinparkrdA housing association is offering for sale a house in 19 Bassein Park Road (currently split into three flats) in Shepherd’s Bush for sale at auction. The guide price is at £1.2 million plus.

We are not told the condition the property is in or the name of the housing association.

What is obvious is that £1.2 million is a lot of money. Some will attack the housing association for selling the property claiming that it means the homes (with a total of five bedrooms) will be “lost”. That is the position of the Labour-run council.

But if the housing association can use those funds to provide more replacement housing then that would benefit some of those in temporary accommodation – often overcrowded.

Some of these auction sales go for even higher prices – I wrote earlier about one in Shepherd’s Bush Road for £2 million.

Housing associations are taking a practical approach to maximise their resources to do as much as possible to ease housing pressures. The council’s policy – refusing to sell regardless of the value – is ideologically driven and does the homeless no favours at all.


Hideous tower proposed to replace Palladium site on Shepherd’s Bush Green

Virginia Ironside writes

We are faced with another threat and the picture says it all.
TowerDorsett Hotels, who did a sympathetic conversion of Odeon I (above, on the right), have acquired the Walkabout pub (also known as Odeon II or the Shepherds Bush Palladium) and want to demolish it to build “serviced apartments”.

walkaboutnewThe Walkabout and the Empire Theatre and Bush Hotel to the South and the re-vamped Odeon to the North are all locally listed “Buildings of Merit” in the Shepherds Bush Conservation Area. The whole exterior of the old Palladium should be retained and restored – not destroyed.  Under the gaudy paint the original features are intact:

The Conservation Area Character Profile includes The Palladium is in “pages 5-9” para 5.11. Of course the proposed tower’s effect on the Empire Theatre (5.10) and the Bush Hotel (5.14) as well as the revamped Odeon I (5.12) would be disastrous if this important building is not saved.

The developers have made a video in an attempt to justify their desecration of Shepherds Bush Town Centre.  To view it, enter the password Walkabout.

But Dorsett Hotels retained the old façade of the old Odeon so successfully, so surely they could do the same with the old Palladium?

If you agree that to demolish one of the few idiosyncratic buildings around in Shepherd’s Bush to make way for more personalityless Dubai-like architecture would be a disaster, could you write and object in the strongest possible terms and forward to any groups or individuals who would be interested? Objections have to be in by April 15th.

This link takes you to the planning application page where you can object with the “make a comment” button.

Please copy your comments to:

The Planning Committee:

Vice-Chair: (also Shepherds Bush ward councillor)

Shepherds Bush ward councillors:

and MP Andy Slaughter: