Stowe Road Depot Up For Sale

More than 100 new flats could be built on site

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Discussions are underway on the future of the Stowe Road Depot, which could lead to the building of more than 100 flats on the site.

The notes relating to a pre-planning application meeting between an unnamed developer and Council planning officers refer to proposals for a 'major large scale' development there.

“Redevelopment proposal consisting of (i) 57 residential units in 3-storey buildings: 6x1 bed flats, 30x2 bed flats, 18x3 bed town houses, 3x4 bed town houses with 55 car parking spaces or (ii) 103 residential units in 3 and 4-storey buildings: 37x1 bed flats, 66x2 bed flats with 66 car parking spaces, following demolition of all buildings on site,” the notes say.

No further details are given, as the application is deemed to be 'confidential' by the Council. However, H&F have confirmed that the depot, where a range of highway and street lighting maintenance services take place, is on the market for an undisclosed sum: "The building, which is surplus to requirements, is up for sale as part of the Council's debt reduction strategy. The Council would expect the site to be purchased by a housing developer who would then need to go through the planning process if they wanted to redevelop it. There are 36 members of staff in the depot currently, but most of the building is empty," a spokesperson said.

But concerns have already been raised about the potential scale of any proposed development, particularly in the light of other large scale development plans nearby, such as the 'Goldhawk Block'.

"This looks like another huge over-development. There appears to be a tidal wave of developers coming to Hammersmith & Fulham. The borough, as demonstrated by its latest Local Development Framework consultation, is open for business and open to developers. The number of units of affordable housing will on the other hand be frozen for the next 15 years! It is certainly worrying that the borough is now well known in the building world as a rollover for developers and the Council a soft touch," said Merlene Emerson, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hammersmith.

There are also concerns about whether any new development would include affordable housing. “I'm assuming none of the homes will be affordable,” said Shepherd's Bush MP Andy Slaughter. “You have the usual triple whammy of flogging off assets, doing so simply to make short-term money for the council, not building affordable homes means more people in private rented accommodation and higher housing benefit costs so it costs the public more in the long run, and cramming as much new development into a small site in already congested residential areas, which shows no regard for existing residents.”

Yasmine Estaphanos

23 September 2009