32-Storey White City Skyscraper Approved

Central House redevelopment to contain over 500 flats

Central House redevelopment

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A “sweeping crescent” of 527 flats in two new skyscrapers looks set to replace a dingy set of offices in White City.

Plans for two huge blocks opposite White City tube station and close to the grade II-listed BBC Television Centre were approved on Tuesday (April 3) by Hammersmith and Fulham council.

One of the stepped blocks will be part-11-part-22 storeys tall, whilst the block on the north half of the crescent will be part-11 and part-32 storeys.

Architects Pilbrow and Partners said the glazed towers “sit atop a lower rise podium building which runs the full length of the site and follows its gentle crescent shape”.

Thirty-five per cent of flats will be reserved at discounted “affordable” rents for academics and staff from Imperial College London university.

It will also include three new children's play areas and a landscaped garden courtyard, plus 915 cycle parking spaces, and 10,000 sq ft of ground floor commercial space.

The site will be built on the 1920s Centre House office building in Wood Lane, and is next to a former Marks and Spencer warehouse.

But objections were made to the new scheme by local people, including residents from the Wood Lane estate.

One resident said the 32 and 22 storey towers were “too high and will block sunlight to the adjacent properties”. Another objector said they should be “reduced by 10 floors”.

At Tuesday's (April 2)  council planning committee, councillor Wesley Harcourt said: “A key issue for Wood Lane residents was the massing [of the towers] and its effect on their sunlight… That was a particular problem.”

Sean Ellis, chair of developer St James Group, told the committee: “The proposals have been designed to reflect Centre House's prominent position… creating two landmark buildings, transforming public realm and enhancing Wood Lane with active frontage.”

He added: “The affordable housing will be delivered as intermediate rent for key workers employed by Imperial College, with rents starting at £173 per week.”

Demolition on the site and construction could begin in June 2020. It will also sit beside the White City Living scheme of 1,845 new flats, currently under construction. Both schemes fit inside the council's so called White City Opportunity Area, a 270-acre plot where between 6,000 and 7,000 homes could be built in total.

The council has asked St James to pay it £3 million to pay for improvements to the local area.

Labour and Conservative councillors on the planning committee voted unanimously to approve the housing scheme

Owen Shepherd - Local Democracy Reporter

 

 

April 6, 2019

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