By Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter
Hammersmith residents have stepped up a campaign to stop a 23-storey hotel from being built on the site of an empty magistrates’ court building.
More than 1,150 people have signed an online petition calling for the hotel in Talgarth Road, proposed by Dominvs Group, to be stopped.
After the controversial scheme was approved by Hammersmith and Fulham council in July, and by the Mayor of London in October, locals are hoping government ministers will intervene.
Residents’ main objections to the hotel include:
- That it would be the tallest building in Hammersmith
- A “viewing platform” would let guests look over residents’ gardens
- It would “harm” the setting of Margravine Cemetery
- It could increase traffic in residential streets already affected by rat running
- There are 180 hotels already in Hammersmith and Fulham
The hotel would include 842 bedrooms, a gym and restaurant. Dominvs says on its website that it is “working with award-winning architects Rogers Stirk Harbour to create a defining scheme in a strategic location” between Heathrow and central London.
Ludolph van Hasselt, of St Dunstan’s Road, who is chairman of the Save our Hammersmith Action Forum, wrote to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, on November 4.
He said: “We restate and reinforce our appeal to you to call in this planning application as a matter of urgency.
“The planning application raises a number of issues such that it demands your personal attention as Secretary of State.”
Mr van Hasselt said: “We have not really been listened to. We have sent detailed arguments (to the council and mayor) but the responses include no explanation about why they rejected the points we have made.”
A spokeswoman for Mr Jenrick said the Hammersmith residents’ request had been received but a decision has not yet been made.
Local councillors and Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter raised objections to the scheme when it was approved by the council’s planning committee on July 21.
The development will also earn the council £7.5 million from a section 106 agreement. Under planning legislation, councils can require developers to hand over funding for community projects in return for planning permission on major schemes.
The council’s free school breakfasts policy is an example of how section 106 money is used.
Like all large-scale developments, the planning application was referred to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Mr Khan has the power to call in developments if he disagrees with a council’s decision, but in this case he said he was “content” with Hammersmith and Fulham’s decision to approve the hotel.
A City Hall report said: “There are no sound planning reasons for the Mayor to intervene in this case.”
Dominvs expects the hotel to be built by 2024.
Pictured top: A computer-generated image of what the new development could look like
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