BY OWEN SHEPPARD
Plans for a new cinema, offices, restaurant and shops along King Street have been pushed another step forward by Hammersmith and Fulham council.
On Monday of last week, the Labour-run council’s cabinet members approved an £89million budget that will form part of the regeneration of Hammersmith’s 1970s town hall extension and the surrounding streets.
A report produced ahead of the cabinet meeting said the scheme, which was given planning permission in February, will be about “transforming King Street into a new civic and cultural destination”.
The original 1930s, Grade II-listed town hall will be refurbished and its heritage elements restored.
A four-screen, 350-seat cinema will replace the demolished Cineworld on the town hall site, with room for cafes, shops and restaurants.
It will also include a public rooftop bar and restaurant, community arts and events spaces, 204 new homes, half of which will be available at discounted “affordable” rents, and a public space in front of the town hall will be freshened up so it can be used for events.
In addition there will be office spaces, including affordable spaces set aside for start-up companies, homework areas for children and students and an “eco-friendly” design to cut the council’s fuel bills.
To deliver the cinema and commercial parts of the scheme, the council has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with housing association A2Dominion.
Included in the £89 million overall cost is a £64million budget to purchase the existing buildings on site, and £25million to buy the 50 per cent stake in the joint venture with A2Dominion, which owns 38,000 properties in the South East of England.
The council will use borrowed money to pay for the scheme, as well as millions sourced from fees paid by private developers in return for planning permission over recent years.
The report added: “The council expects to generate an income stream from leasing units on a commercial basis to cover these costs.”
The council has been working on plans to transform the town hall and the surrounding streets since early last year. But discussion of how to redevelop it have faced delays for a number of years.
A cabinet report from January this year said: “This decision followed the failure of the previous scheme approved in 2013 and a series of unsatisfactory proposals from the [previous] developer, made up until 2016.”
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