Fulham tower blocks to be demolished and rebuilt with sprinklers

By Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter

Two Fulham tower blocks will be demolished and rebuilt with dozens more homes fitted with sprinklers.

Hartopp Point and Lannoy Point, on the Aintree Estate in Dawes Road, are in the process of being pulled down.

Between 2017 and 2018, serious structural faults were discovered in the two 14-storey towers that are owned by Hammersmith and Fulham council.

Through much of 2019, the council was re-homing tenants and negotiating buy-outs of leaseholders’ flats.

A resident on the neighbouring low-rise block, Chasemore House, said they have heard little from the council on what it wants to do after demolishing the towers, which were completed in 1970.

Now, a ‘Demolition Design Summary’ document shows that:

  • 174 new homes could be built, replacing the 112 that are being demolished
  • A huge “concrete podium,” that also forms the roof of several underground garages, will be demolished
  • The new buildings will be “required” to have sprinkler systems to prevent fires
  • Bike storage areas could be included
  • New flats could also have balconies
  • Brick is “envisaged as appropriate” for the exterior building material

The new document reads: “The new development project will deliver much- needed new homes (the majority of which will be genuinely affordable) over the existing Hartopp and Lannoy site that better compliments the surrounding area and shall look to enhance provision of public realm to better respond to community needs.”

The document also says demolition will be complete by “January/February”. A planning application should also be submitted by early 2021, and the entire project built by “winter 2024”.

June O’Brien, 72, of Chasemore House, said teams of demolition workers are now on-site, and hoardings have gone up around the towers and the estate’s garages. But “nothing has been pulled down yet”.

Mrs O’Brien, who has lived on the estate with her husband for 50 years, said: “We’ve had no sign of what’s going to be built, no-one has told us anything at all.

“We don’t know what the plans are. We know they’re coming down but we don’t know what will be going up. It’s a strange situation to be in.

“We had a letter on May 18 saying the garages are going to be demolished. They have been fenced off but that’s it.”

Mrs O’Brien added: “We should really get compensation for all the disturbance it’s going to cause.”

A council spokesman said: “On the advice of independent structural experts, Hartopp Point and Lannoy Point are currently being demolished due to serious safety concerns.

“We are speaking regularly to neighbours in Chasemore House and Donnelly Court about how we can minimise the disruption.

Later this year, we will consult with all residents about the future of the site once we appoint architects and begin design work.”

The structural problems in Hartopp and Lannoy were found in the way that concrete panels, which form the exterior of the towers, had bent and become weathered over time.

This had caused cracks to appear between walls. In turn, the cracks undermined the flats’ “compartmentation” – where individual rooms should be secure enough to stop fire and smoke spreading between them.


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