Breathing new life into the western half of King Street in Hammersmith

Plans to build a new cinema, genuinely affordable homes and a revitalised civic campus at the western end of King Street have been approved.

The planning committee at Hammersmith and Fulham council has given the go-ahead to breathe new life into the western end of King Street.

The plans include start-up space for the borough’s entrepreneurs, homework space for schoolchildren, and the transformation of Grade II-listed Hammersmith town hall into a modern public building.

Councillor Stephen Cowan, leader of the council, said: “This is an important moment in our mission to revitalise Hammersmith because it will breathe new life into the western end of King Street.

“The new four-screen cinema, new genuinely affordable homes, new public rooftop bar and restaurant and new public square are some of the factors that will rejuvenate the area and create a new Hammersmith neighbourhood.

“The town hall will be transformed into a civic campus for residents which will have homework space for local children, start-up space for local entrepreneurs and space that can be used for many community activities throughout the week – such as a pop-up art gallery.

“I am extremely grateful to our partners, the architects and particularly to all the local residents who helped make this scheme something I think everyone who cares about our borough will be extremely proud of.

An artist’s impression

“Those residents include the volunteers who led the independent town hall commission, the volunteers on the disabled residents’ team and the hundreds of local people who attended the four public exhibitions and took the time to advise us on many aspects of this project’s design and function.”

The council will kick-start the ambitious project by demolishing the town hall extension, while transforming the historic town hall building into an energy-efficient civic campus for the community.

The scheme will also see the following delivered to Hammersmith:

  • a new four-screen cinema, with room for cafes, shops and restaurants built on the existing cinema and car park site
  • 204 new homes of which 52 per cent will be classified as genuinely affordable for local residents
  • new public rooftop bar and restaurant l new community art and event spaces
  • new affordable, flexible office spaces for start-up businesses
  • new public space for performances and events in front of the restored town hall
  • new homework spaces for children and students
  • inclusively designed buildings to ensure full access for disabled people
  • eco-friendly buildings to minimise carbon footprint and cut fuel bills.
  • opening up the town hall to the public, local start-up businesses and partner agencies will support H&F’s mission to modernise the council’s culture and deliver the best public services.

And the new civic campus will allow the council to cut building maintenance and rental costs.

The scheme has benefited from the experience of the borough’s independent disabled residents’ team who have worked with the council to design a fully accessible building, as well as resident volunteers who acted as independent town hall commissioners.

They’ve worked with architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and the developer A2Dominion to help deliver a scheme that will benefit the borough for decades and significantly improve Hammersmith.

An artist’s impression of the new cinema

Richard Winterton, chairman of the Hammersmith town hall commission, said: “We acted as a wholly independent, voluntary group to inject a citizen’s perspective on the developing design of the scheme.

We firmly support the application, in particular the transformation of the original town hall building and the new town square, the number of affordable homes, and the new four-screen cinema.”

Jane Wilmot, from the Hammersmith and Fulham disabled residents’ team, said: “Barriers faced by disabled people in using buildings and open spaces were raised early before plans were submitted rather than left to detailed design at a later stage.

“This way of working together allowed robust solutions to be found early as well as saving time and money for the developer.” Danny Lynch, director of land and development at A2Dominion, said: “This development will address the shortage of good quality affordable homes in Hammersmith, create better facilities for the community and improve connectivity to the riverside.

We look forward to working with our partners to deliver a scheme which makes better use of the land and creates genuinely affordable homes for local residents.”

Mark Rintoul, Project Architect at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, said: “The council’s pioneering collaboration with multiple stakeholders and local amenity groups has defined this truly community-led development to deliver a civic campus with access for all.”

Council staff will move out of the town hall and extension in spring and by the summer demolition work will begin. Construction work is earmarked to start early next year.

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