Application for Tower Overlooking Shepherd's Bush Green Rejected

Council refuses permission for 16 storey high building on site of Walkabout pub

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council has refused permission for a 16 storey high tower to be built on the the site of the former Walkabout pub, on the west side of Shepherd's Bush Green.

The tower would have been twice the height of the adjoining Dorsett Hotel, and the application, by the owners of the hotel, proved controversial with opposition from local residents and organisations including the Hammersmith Society and the Open Spaces Society.

Image of redeveloped Walkabout pub

The application was refused on five main grounds:

1) The proposed development is considered unacceptable in the interests of visual amenity and in terms of its impact on the historic environment. More particularly, the proposed building, rising to 16 storeys, would far exceed the prevailing height of the surrounding built environment, and would appear as an isolated, intrusive feature, failing to respect its townscape context in terms of scale, massing form and detailed design. It would dominate the skyline in views from Shepherd's Bush Green as well as in close and longer views including from within the Shepherd's Bush Conservation Area, and would fail to preserve or enhance the quality of the built environment and open spaces which contribute towards the character of the conservation area.

2) The proposal would lead to the loss of a locally listed Building of Merit which has historic, architectural and communal value, without satisfactory evidence to show that the building could not be viably retained, or practicably be adapted to retain any historic interest, or that the scheme would provide public benefits to outweigh the harm arising from its loss.

3) The proposal is considered to be unacceptable as it would result in the unjustified loss of an entertainment use in the town centre, contrary to the requirements of Policy DM D2 of the Development Management Local Plan 2013, which seeks to retain cultural and entertainment uses.

4) The proposed development, due to the scale, height, bulk and width of the rear part of the building in close proximity to neighbouring residential properties at the rear, would lead to unacceptable loss of outlook and increased sense of enclosure to these properties.

5) The daylight analysis submitted with the application shows that the development would lead to loss of light to neighbouring residential properties in excess of accepted standards.

You can read the full details of the refusal here.

The application was as follows:

Demolition of existing former Walkabout building and redevelopment to provide a part 7, part 16 storey building comprising 56 serviced apartments (Class C1) at first to seventh floors in connection with the operation of the adjoining hotel, 7 residential units (class C3) from eighth to fifteenth floors, extension to hotel restaurant and provision of café (Class A3) at ground floor level, new basement storey comprising additional restaurant seating, customer toilets, refuse storage and plant; resurfacing and landscaping of external areas and provision of external seating area in connection with proposed café/restaurant to the front and side of the proposed building. 

The seven storey Dorsett Shepherd's Bush, which launched last year, is set within a Grade II listed building, built in 1923 originally known as The Shepherd's Bush Pavilion, and retains the building's historic façade. It has over 500 Chinese inspired rooms, plus restaurants, business facilities and spa.

Shepherd's Bush Walkabout, the pub on Shepherd's Bush Green fondly nicknamed SheBu Walkie by London's Australian, New Zealand and South African communities, closed in 2013, after its owners Intertain sold the site to Dorsett Hospitality International for an undisclosed sum.


New 16 storey building proposed for Shepherd's Bush

The decision has been welcomed by the Hammersmith Society, whose chairman Rosemary Pettit said " chairman of The Hammersmith Society, said: “It was the wrong place for a tower.

"This is brilliant news, we are all delighted. It was too large, too high and would have been overbearing on its distinguished neighbours."

The subject has also sparked discussion on our forum and you can join the talk and give your views here.

June 2, 2015


 March 16, 2015